Building the American Dream

  • Fred Vigeant

Building the American Dream takes you to Texas, the site of a massive construction boom heralded as the “Texas Miracle.” Its dirty secret: the abuse of immigrant workers. The film captures the rise of a workers’ movement, fighting widespread construction industry injustices – from non-payment of wages to deadly work conditions.

Grieving their son who died a heat-related death on a construction site, the Granillo family campaigns for a much-needed safety law that would allow workers 10-minute breaks for every four hours of labor. Claudia and Alex, a Salvadoran couple, are skilled electricians owed thousands in back pay who fight for their children’s future.

And Christian, a bereaved son, hopes to protect others from his family’s preventable tragedy. Through their stories of courage, resilience and community, the film reveals eye-opening truths about the hardworking immigrants who build our American Dream.

Watch Building the American Dream on WITF Tuesday, September 15 at 10:00pm. The program is also available for on-demand viewing through the PBS Video app.

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