July 21, 2017

Fear and Loathing in Homer and Rockville

Two towns where people got really upset about undocumented immigrants, even though in both places, that did not seem to be the most important thing happening at all. One of the towns, a small town in Alaska, has no undocumented immigrants at all, but the possibility of them arriving put the whole town at each other’s throats.

Brian Reed / This American Life


Ira talks to our Senior Producer Brian Reed about a fight that’s been brewing in the remote town of Homer, Alaska over a resolution that states that Homer welcomes immigrants. Which is odd. Because the town has virtually no immigrants. (9 1/2 minutes)
Act One


Brian Reed continues his story about the town of Homer, Alaska. He talked to all sorts of people involved in the debate over whether the town should welcome immigrants. He was particularly interested in one guy. A guy named Ben, who didn’t know what he thought about the resolution. (28 minutes)

Act Two


In the first half of the show, we documented a community that was worried about what might happen, theoretically, if undocumented immigrants arrived. In this act, Producer Zoe Chace looks at a community where the immigrants have already arrived – Rockville, Maryland. It’s a suburb of Washington D.C. where early in 2017, something actually did happen. And the whole community had to deal with it. (18 minutes)