CNN Illustrates Debate over Illegal Immigration

ATLANTA, GA-- Through extraordinary access, CNN Presents explores the lives of four families on the front lines in the growing battle over illegal immigration in America. In “Immigrant Nation, Divided Country,” CNN’s Maria Hinojosa tracks the illegal immigration debate from a nearly deserted village in Mexico to the booming suburbs of Atlanta and the rural hamlets of North Georgia.



“Immigrant Nation, Divided Country” premieres Sunday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on CNN/U.S. (ET). The program will re-air on Saturday, Oct. 23.



An estimated three million illegal immigrants will flood into the United States this year in search of jobs. Their presence has sparked a backlash from some native-born Americans. Hinojosa, a Mexican-American herself, takes a personal journey to understand the changes and conflict created by the wave of illegal immigration. She confronts U.S. government officials about the mixed message sent about illegal immigration.



“Maria's heritage as a Mexican-American and experience as an award-winning journalist give her a unique perspective on the immigration debate,” said Sid Bedingfield, senior vice president of CNN Productions. “Her ability to win the confidence and respect of families of both sides of this new divide allowed her to paint a richer, more detailed portrait of a complicated issue that affects all Americans.”



During this extraordinary hour, Hinojosa offers gripping looks into the regular drama facing four Georgia families involved in the battle over immigration today. These families include:



-A family that came to the United States legally to visit Disneyland, but never left. Today, the father is a manager and senior waiter at a 100-year-old family restaurant in North Georgia, and the family’s eldest son earned a scholarship to a local college. Although the family appears “legal” and pays taxes, a single visit from a U.S. immigration officer could end their stay in this country;



-A Mexican mother who came to the United States for work and is now trying to smuggle her two young children across the border. The documentary tracks her efforts to reunite with her son and daughter in America;



-A former insurance agent who gave up a comfortable retirement package to battle against illegal immigration. He often takes the search for illegal immigrants into his own hands, openly asking people on the street for their green cards, visas and other forms of identification;



-A local man who became an activist against illegal immigration when he noticed how illegal immigrants were using “free” social services and education. His wife, a legal Korean immigrant, is now threatening to leave him because his fervor for this issue is driving a wedge between them.



“Immigrant Nation, Divided Country” was produced by Kimberly Arp-Babbitt and edited by Blake Luce.

CNN, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information. Its reach extends to 15 cable and satellite television networks; two private place-based networks; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; six Web sites, including http://www.CNN.com, the first major news and information Web site; and CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service.



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