If you think your job is tough, imagine working as a U.S. asylum officer. Every week you would interview refugees desperate to settle in America, and your decision will change their lives. Do they stay, or get deported. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we'll take you inside the U.S. immigration service.
Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini produced a documentary film, "Well Founded Fear" for the PBS series POV. The film examines the workings of the asylum branch of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and was granted unprecedented access to asylum officers and hearings. The producers tell Judith Strasser that inadequate translation is a huge problem, and paid asylum preparers sometimes hurt their clients' chances. Also, Doug Gordon, a Canadian living and working in the U.S., performs a sketch about the Canadian habit of defining themselves as "not American."SEGMENT 2:
Elizabeth Kim's memoir is called "Ten Thousand Sorrows." It tells the story of how her mother was murdered by her own family for the shame of giving birth to a mixed race child - Elizabeth - who was then adopted by rigid, fundamentalist American Christians. Kim tells Jim Fleming how she became trapped in an abusive marriage, and how the birth of her own daughter gave her the courage to escape and re-build her life. Also, Susan Sontag tells Steve Paulson why she has abandoned the essay form, which made her famous, in favor of writing historical novels. Her new one is about a group of 19th century immigrants, and is called "In America."SEGMENT 3:
Peter Guralnick has been writing about American popular music for forty years. He tells Steve Paulson that his writing reflects his passion for the music. Guralnick's books include "Feel Like Going Home," "Sweet Soul Music," "Lost Highway," and an acclaimed biography of Elvis Presley.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 00-06-04-A.
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