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Soap opera lures Brazilians to United States
Breitbart.com | Reuters ^ | 8/25/05 | Andrew Hay

Posted on 08/25/2005 9:02:41 AM PDT by LibWhacker

BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazilians are illegally entering the United States in record numbers in hopes of finding jobs and better lives -- just like characters in a wildly popular Brazilian soap opera "America."

The number of undocumented Brazilians caught on U.S. soil is set to rise over four fold this year from 2004 -- a much bigger increase than for illegal immigrants from other Latin American countries, according to U.S. officials.

As authorities search for factors spurring the exodus, they have begun to look at the passion of Brazil's poor for "America," a soap opera that debuted in early March and shows illegal immigrants risking their lives to enter the United States to find jobs and romance amid the hardship.

"Any publicity raises the idea in people's minds they can make it," said one U.S. diplomat who did not want to be identified.

Like half of all Brazilian TV viewers, Tarcila Madureira Silva tuned in each night to the Globo network soap opera. She watched heroine Sol make it as a dancer in Miami and send money home to help her family, in between passionate scenes with her American lover.

Silva, 20, had already watched her neighbors build homes with money they earned from illegal work in the United States.

"I decided to seek a better life for my family," says Silva, who in July left behind her mother and two young brothers in the farming town of Gonzaga, Minas Gerais to make the 5,000 mile journey to the U.S.-Mexican border.

Like one in four illegal immigrants, she was picked up by U.S. authorities shortly after crossing. Though many get out on bail and get away, Silva was deported.

"The soap opera is true; here in Brazil poor people have no chance," said Silva, as her mother fretted over how they will buy food and pay the $65 monthly rent for their crumbling, mud-brick home.

VIRTUAL REALITY TV

Brazilians in the past few months have become the second-largest group of illegal immigrants detained in the United States after Mexicans -- overtaking Hondurans -- as up to a third of residents in some poor Brazilian towns seek work abroad. Teen-agers as young as 15 are making the trip.

Driving poor Brazilians are dreams they can find hope, money and glamour they lack at home.

Brazil's economy is growing but unemployment is still near 10 percent. Nearly half the population lives in poverty and fights for a limited number of jobs that pay a minimum monthly wage of $128 that is difficult to live on.

As U.S. officials tried to explain this year's surge in numbers they first noticed a three-year-high in Brazil's local currency made it cheaper to pay the $9,000 fee traffickers charge to smuggle migrants across the Mexican border.

Also, talk that Mexico will impose tighter immigration controls may have prompted more Brazilians to make the trip, a U.S. Embassy official said.

Since 2001, the United States has tightened immigration controls, raising the number of Brazilians crossing illegally.

But when the number of Brazilians caught on the border between April and May rose to over 7,000 -- nearly the same as during the whole of 2004 -- U.S. officials began to look for other factors and came across the soap.

U.S. Embassy officials in Brazil have been glued to "America" ever since.

The show has tripled the number of Brazilians heading for the border, said Leonardo Monteiro, a lower house deputy and member of a Congressional inquiry into emigration.

Migrant rights group say it has had a huge influence.

"It shows most people in great difficulties, but the fact one or two do well creates the image people can make it," said Luis Bassegio, head of the Brazilian Catholic Church's migrant relief service.

GRITTY UNDERBELLY

Critics like Monteiro say "America" glorifies illegal immigration by showing Brazilians living in a cozy fantasy world rather than the country's gritty, illegal underbelly.

The soap's producers say it shows reality, albeit in the glossy, lavishly produced form of a melodrama.

"The soap shows Brazilians that go in search of dreams of a better life and end up as excluded and segregated immigrants in a foreign land," said Gloria Perez, the author of "America."

"America" portrays Brazilians suffering discrimination, exploitation and racial segregation -- everything they face at home in big cities.

The difference is that in the soap, as in real life, they get jobs as maids and construction workers that pay in a couple of days what they get during a month in Brazil.

The 1.3 million Brazilians in the United States -- half of them illegal -- send around $2 billion back home each year. Those that return home with money inspire thousands more to follow in their footsteps.

Stories of Brazilians found drowned in the Rio Grande or dead in the desert don't even make it to newspapers.

Wearing a thick gold chain and a T-shirt reading "Massachusetts Home Sweet Home," Fabiano da Silva sits outside the restaurant he opened in the farming town of Guanhaes, Minas Gerais, with his U.S. nest egg.

He worked illegally in the United States for four years as a gardener and in restaurants. "I'd do it all again," da Silva tells his friends, as they listen to his American tales.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; brazil; brazilians; illegal; illegalaliens; immigrantlist; lures; opera; soap

1 posted on 08/25/2005 9:02:41 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

How many is a brazilian?


2 posted on 08/25/2005 9:04:53 AM PDT by Johnstone
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To: Johnstone
How many is a brazilian?

Too many.
3 posted on 08/25/2005 9:05:37 AM PDT by Thrusher (Remember the Mog.)
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To: LibWhacker

They really stand out when crossing the chapparral.

4 posted on 08/25/2005 9:13:41 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Casey Sheehan died so mommy could freely act the jackass)
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To: LibWhacker

As long as all the immigrants look like the female leads in this soap, I am all for this.


5 posted on 08/25/2005 9:13:54 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (A good friend helps you move. A great friend helps you move a body.)
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To: LibWhacker

But, TV shows don't influence people's behavior.

Really.


6 posted on 08/25/2005 9:13:54 AM PDT by Skooz ("Political Correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism" - Michelle Malkin)
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To: MeanWestTexan

Haven't seen it.

Do they look like the ones on Univision?


7 posted on 08/25/2005 9:14:48 AM PDT by Skooz ("Political Correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism" - Michelle Malkin)
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To: Skooz; Clemenza; Petronski

My mom said that no one should ever use television as a model for America. It's a rude awakening when you actually get here. Same with my father's family. Lots of hype in the old country then all that hype disappears when shoved together in a damp tenament. America is the land of 'milk and honey' but you really do have to break major ass to get it.


8 posted on 08/25/2005 9:16:38 AM PDT by cyborg (I'm having the best day ever.)
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To: cyborg

Its amazing how many foreigner I have met, whether from Europe, Latin America, or Asia, who think America is like Friends or Baywatch. God help us if they think that Survivor represents average Americans.


9 posted on 08/25/2005 9:18:47 AM PDT by Clemenza (Proud "Free Traitor" & Capitalist Pig)
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To: Skooz

Huge numbers of Brazilians in Massachsutts. They speak Portugese not Spanish!


10 posted on 08/25/2005 9:20:16 AM PDT by Pio (Vatican II, thy name is Modernism, Madness and Death.)
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To: Clemenza

You mean, Latin America isn't like Sabado Gigante?


11 posted on 08/25/2005 9:20:45 AM PDT by Skooz ("Political Correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism" - Michelle Malkin)
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To: Pio
Why would they go to Massachusetts?

Tax fetish?
12 posted on 08/25/2005 9:22:24 AM PDT by Skooz ("Political Correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism" - Michelle Malkin)
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To: Skooz

Much better, actually.

Brazil is world-reknown (sp?) for the skill of its plastic surgeons.

A looks-obsessed country, far more so than even California.


13 posted on 08/25/2005 9:24:20 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (A good friend helps you move. A great friend helps you move a body.)
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To: LibWhacker
My favorite Brazilian who came to this country and she did it legally


14 posted on 08/25/2005 9:25:00 AM PDT by NRA1995 ("People do stupid things...." and I hear the Vonage music playing.....woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo....)
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To: Skooz

I wish, although I did know some ladies in both Miami and Panama who looked like they stepped out of a Novela.


15 posted on 08/25/2005 9:25:03 AM PDT by Clemenza (Proud "Free Traitor" & Capitalist Pig)
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To: Skooz

Cash workers are not taxed in Massachusetts.

Only people striving to go from middle to upper class, silly.


16 posted on 08/25/2005 9:25:17 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (A good friend helps you move. A great friend helps you move a body.)
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To: Pio
Lots of Brazilians in South Florida too, although most are middle to upper class.

There are alot of poor and working class Brazilians in New Jersey. The reason Brazilians are moving to Mass, NJ, and Rhode Island is because all those states have well established Portuguese speaking communities, particularly from the Azores.

17 posted on 08/25/2005 9:27:05 AM PDT by Clemenza (Proud "Free Traitor" & Capitalist Pig)
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To: martin_fierro

We have room for at least a couple more don't we?

18 posted on 08/25/2005 9:28:17 AM PDT by Enterprise ("Islam is not a religion, but rather a means of world conquest" - ALAN BURKHART.COM)
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To: Skooz
Why would they go to Massachusetts? Tax fetish?

Most immigration illegal and legal is tied in with families. So besides the huge Portugese contingent from the Azores there's also huge populations of Portugese from Cape Verde around New Bedford.

Massachsetts taxes are not too high compared to other NE states. Unlike the Ozarks, we have infrastructure to take care of (mass transit, paved roads, public colleges, etc etc etc).

19 posted on 08/25/2005 9:35:59 AM PDT by Pio (Vatican II, thy name is Modernism, Madness and Death.)
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To: cyborg; Skooz; Clemenza; Petronski
America is the land of 'milk and honey' but you really do have to break major ass to get it.

(filing away for future tagline use)

< |:)~

20 posted on 08/25/2005 9:36:39 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Casey Sheehan died so mommy could freely act the jackass)
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To: martin_fierro

Tis true...I'm in a bad language mood today :o)


21 posted on 08/25/2005 9:37:37 AM PDT by cyborg (I'm having the best day ever.)
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To: Pio
They speak Portugese not Spanish!

And have you seen them in a buffet line? They Samba!

My father's second wife was Brazilian. Fastest way to get her completely irate was to suggest she was Mexican.

22 posted on 08/25/2005 9:41:49 AM PDT by steveo (Member: Fathers Against Rude Television)
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To: LibWhacker

I think we have an idea for how to control illegal immigration. Sponsor foreign television shows depicting America as a very undesireable place to be.


23 posted on 08/25/2005 9:44:06 AM PDT by nosofar
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To: LibWhacker
Brazilian Police Justice...

Click here to watch Brazil Police Get Last Word
24 posted on 08/25/2005 9:48:32 AM PDT by Dallas59 (“You love life, while we love death.” - Al-Qaeda / Democratic Party)
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To: Clemenza

Friends or Baywatch would be a step-up from The Jerry Springer Show. My husbands cousins in Ireland asked me to my face if the people were really like that. I said "Am I like that?" These are educated people too!


25 posted on 08/25/2005 9:59:50 AM PDT by clarissaexplainsitall (stewed tomatoes are just plain gross)
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To: martin_fierro

Those three can stay; deport the rest. :-)


26 posted on 08/25/2005 10:03:20 AM PDT by NJ_gent (Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.)
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To: Pio

Gee, I wonder how we pay for our infrastructure down here in Hooterville. You know, our mass transit, paved roads, public colleges, etc etc etc.

I guess we're just not sophisticated enuff to know that we need to punish the populace with hypertaxation to pay for it all.


27 posted on 08/25/2005 10:06:39 AM PDT by Skooz ("Political Correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism" - Michelle Malkin)
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 4.1O dana super trac pak; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; ...

ping


28 posted on 08/25/2005 10:07:00 AM PDT by gubamyster
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To: nosofar
I think we have an idea for how to control illegal immigration. Sponsor foreign television shows depicting America as a very undesireable place to be.

Like, maybe, World News Tonight.

29 posted on 08/25/2005 10:08:22 AM PDT by Skooz ("Political Correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism" - Michelle Malkin)
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To: Clemenza
Its amazing how many foreigners I have met, whether from Europe, Latin America, or Asia, who think America is like Friends or Baywatch.

Someone in England told me: "We know all about you Americans. We watch the Jerry Springer Show."

30 posted on 08/25/2005 10:09:18 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: nosofar

"...television shows depicting America as undesirable..."

Excellante!
We'll get the Propaganda Minister on it right away.
We'll show dirty tenements and people rifling through garbage cans for their dinner.
That should make them think twice.


31 posted on 08/25/2005 10:25:54 AM PDT by henderson field
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To: MeanWestTexan
"As long as all the immigrants look like the female leads in this soap, I am all for this."

Brazilians are the most beautiful people on earth.

32 posted on 08/25/2005 10:50:18 AM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: billorites
Brazilians are the most beautiful people on earth

Which makes the ugly reality of their country all the more terrible.

Ask anyone who has lived and worked in the Favelas.

33 posted on 08/25/2005 10:58:01 AM PDT by Regulator
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To: clarissaexplainsitall

I used to think the people in Jerry Springer's show were all actors, but after living for 8 years in E. TX I beleive at least some of them are real.
susie


34 posted on 08/25/2005 11:14:33 AM PDT by brytlea (All you need as ID to vote in FL is your Costco card...)
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To: LibWhacker

Maybe they will bring the "Carnival" along with them. Brazilian women are hot!


35 posted on 08/25/2005 11:20:28 AM PDT by Eagle of Liberty (Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind - Einstein)
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To: MeanWestTexan

Anyone anywhere who can afford plastic surgery by even a moderately talented surgeon has no excuse for engaging in illegal immigration.

Unless they're drug dealers trying to conceal their identity, or some other criminal.


36 posted on 08/25/2005 11:22:31 AM PDT by BIRDS
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To: billorites

Depends upon the point of view.


37 posted on 08/25/2005 11:24:40 AM PDT by BIRDS
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To: brytlea

You mean you don't have "that unmentioned side" of your family?


38 posted on 08/25/2005 11:25:27 AM PDT by Eagle of Liberty (Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind - Einstein)
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To: BIRDS

Who is talking about illegal immigrants getting plastic surgery?


39 posted on 08/25/2005 11:27:32 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (A good friend helps you move. A great friend helps you move a body.)
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To: MeanWestTexan

Please read the thread.


40 posted on 08/25/2005 11:29:44 AM PDT by BIRDS
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To: BIRDS

Please read the post that you replied to.


41 posted on 08/25/2005 11:37:48 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (A good friend helps you move. A great friend helps you move a body.)
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To: martin_fierro
"The soap opera is true; here in Brazil poor people have no chance," said Silva, as her mother fretted over how they will buy food and pay the $65 monthly rent for their crumbling, mud-brick home.
America is the land of 'milk and honey' but you really do have to break major ass to get it.

Yes, but in the U.S. anyone can break away from the cycle of proverty if they are willing to do it. That is not true of almost any other country on earth.

42 posted on 08/25/2005 11:47:14 AM PDT by sharkhawk
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To: gubamyster

Protect our borders and coastlines from all foreign invaders!

Support our Minutemen Patriots!

Be Ever Vigilant ~ Bump!


43 posted on 08/25/2005 11:58:54 AM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: Dallas59

An excellent drama on gangs in Brazil- "City of God"


44 posted on 08/25/2005 12:21:32 PM PDT by CATravelAgent (Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.)
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To: martin_fierro
America is as popular as Disney world. Why aren't we charging admission? Why won't a single politician come out and say, 'Look world you're just jealous. If the citizens of other countries put half as much energy into their own country as they do trying to get to the U.S., they wouldn't need to leave.'
45 posted on 08/25/2005 1:31:25 PM PDT by one more state
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To: MeanWestTexan

I did.


46 posted on 08/25/2005 1:56:23 PM PDT by BIRDS
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

Comment #48 Removed by Moderator

To: LibWhacker
For some irony, there are colonies of Confederate descendants in Brazil.


49 posted on 08/25/2005 10:53:40 PM PDT by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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