The Hidden Workforce: Undocumented in America


This revealing look at undocumented workers in the United States takes the focus away from the border and places us instead in the American Midwest to show how vital immigrants have become to the heartland. Correspondent Ed Lavandera visits rural communities in Minnesota, Iowa, and New Jersey transformed by immigrants (many undocumented) to explore the new landscape. Interviews with both labor and business about how and why the workforce has changed shows how immigrants help businesses and communities thrive and survive. Even so, tension remains in these once mostly white communities—the irony of a “Stop the Invasion!” sign in the window of an Irish bar in one Minnesota town was not lost on Peabody jurors. Most compelling are examples that directly contradict anti-immigrant voices such as disgraced former Iowa Congressman Steve King, whose hometown, Storm Lake, has been revitalized by immigrants working in the poultry and pork industries. For humanizing and placing value on immigrants who enrich the social, economic, and cultural fabric of the nation, The Hidden Workforce: Undocumented in America deserves a Peabody Award.


Executive Producer: Jim Murphy. Associate Producers/Producers: Matthew Reynard, Alexa Miranda, Monica Serrano, Tina Matherson, Sarah Prazmark, Cierra Johnson, Natalie Angley. Editors: Matthew Reynard, Glenn Perreira, Elizabeth Sabagh, Ross Helman. Correspondent: Ed Lavandera. Cinematography: Evelio Contreras, Leonel Mendez, Neil Hallsworth, Walter Imparato, John Rubenstahl.