Friday, April 24, 2015

Sobredosis de TV: Home and Away

“Sobredosis de TV” is our occasional feature where we look at television shows regarding the Americas.
VICE was founded in 1994 as a culture and arts magazine in Canada, which would eventually turn into a media conglomerate that includes a film production company and a record label. But perhaps VICE is best known for producing hard-hitting and revealing documentaries on a myriad of subjects from secret North Korean labor camps to civil conflict in numerous countries. The newest episode of the “VICE on HBO” series that airs tonight at 11:00pm EST is no exception to this perception.

“Sweet Home Alabama” focuses on the aftermath of staunch anti-immigration laws passed in 2011 in the Cotton State. Under House Bill-56, undocumented immigrants are barred from receiving local government benefits, obligates public schools to provide yearly tallies of the number of undocumented migrant children and permits police with “reasonable suspicion” to inquire about a person’s legal status.

Unsurprisingly, HB-56 became a lightning rod in the fractious debate over immigration in the U.S. Critics of the measure included Alabama’s Latino populace, small town police chiefs without sufficient resources to enforce the must-arrest provisions and groups that successfully convinced the federal court to invalidate some provisions. Some initial supporters of the law such as legislators who voted for its approval even backtracked with one admitting, “If you make a mistake, you should be man enough to admit it.”

In the following brief clip from “Sweet Home Alabama,” two backers of HB-56 give their rationale for the controversial measure. One of them is the sheriff of Albertville, a community that apparently became a ghost town after Latino residents fled in the wake of HB-56. Check it out below the page break:

The other segment of tonight’s “VICE on HBO” episode looks at the difficulties survivors of a major 2010 earthquake still have to endure as well as the possible misallocation of billions of dollars in foreign relief.

YouTube Source - VICE

Online Sources – VICE on HBO, MSNBC, Listverse

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