Two New TV Shows Will Explore the Lives of Latino Immigrants

Fresh on the heels of President Trump’s announcement that his administration will be phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to work and attend school without fear of deportation, television audiences will soon be presented with two new shows featuring compelling portrayals of the Latino immigrant community.

Gina Rodriguez, who currently stars in the hit CW “dramedy” (dramatic comedy), Jane the Virgin, is developing a pair of projects slated to air on CBS and the CW through her production company I Can & I Will Productions. The CBS show will be a drama titled Have Mercy, and will revolve around a Latina doctor who is unable to practice medicine when she immigrates to the United States. Desperate to follow her dream of saving lives, she opens a clinic in her apartment that caters to her Latino neighbors, even though her American dream could be ripped away if her secret is discovered. [See Gina Rodriguez Developing Pair of Latino Series at CBS, CW by Joe Otterson, Variety, 06.Sep.2017.]

The CW project will be an hour-long drama titled Illegal, and will center on an American high school student named Rafael, who learns that he is undocumented. Rodriguez, whose family came to the continental United States from Puerto Rico when she was a child, will executive produce the show. In a recent interview discussing Illegal with the Los Angeles Times, Rodriguez explained how important it is for the Latino immigrant community to be represented in prime-time programming. “When we talk about inclusivity, there are a lot of communities that aren’t being discussed…. I’m not just talking about DACA or undocumented. I’m talking about all Latinos in this country wanting to feel present in this country and loved and supported.” [See Gina Rodriquez’s New ‘Dreamers’ Series Hopes to Rid America of the Term ‘Illegal’ by Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times, 11.Sep.2017.]


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