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New Arrivals: Immigration and the Bayou State (2006)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2006-06-21

Duration: 00:56:24

Subjects: Migrant labor | Hurricane Katrina, 2005 | Immigration | Agriculture | Filmed panel discussions


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Freeman, Craig Host
  • Godoy, Al Producer
  • Fussel, Elizabeth Interviewee
  • Letten, Jim Interviewee
  • Gutierrez, Martin Interviewee
  • Poche, Rhonda Interviewee
  • Vitter, David Interviewee
  • Cravins, Donald Interviewee
  • LaFonta, Juan Interviewee
  • Neubig, JIll Speaker
  • Sarah, Mostafa Speaker
  • Robinson, Florence Speaker
  • Haywood, Anita Speaker
  • Vidaurreta, Alicia Speaker
  • Davis, Janet Speaker
  • Mochelle, Patrick Speaker
  • Collins, John Speaker
  • Randall, David Speaker
  • Langland, Virginia Speaker
  • Olsen-Phillips, Jane Speaker
  • Migues, Karen Speaker
  • Migues, Donna Speaker
  • Neubig, Eric Speaker
  • Flynn, Jeri Panelist
  • Holt, Sibal Panelist
  • Gonzales, Jesus Panelist


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square” from June 21, 2006, features Craig Freeman leading a discussion between the audience members and panelists on the influx of immigration in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. A background report on the topic precedes the discussion. It includes interviews with: Dr. Elizabeth Fussel, Professor of Sociology at Tulane University; United States Attorney Jim Letten; Matron Gutierrez, Director of the Hispanic Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New Orleans; Rhonda Poche, Livingston Parish farmer; United States Senator David Vitter; and State Senator Donald Cravins. The audience members then discuss: the impact of immigration on Louisiana’s economy; their views on legislation mandating an official language for the United States; immigration policy; and whether undocumented workers positively or negatively impact the economy. A panel of experts then joins the audience to answer their questions. The panelists are: State Senator Donald Cravins; Jeri Flynn, immigration attorney; Sibal Holt, former president of the Louisiana AFL-CIO; and Reverend Jesus M. Gonzales, Pastor of the Monte de los Olivos Lutheran Church in Metairie. They discuss: upcoming legislation regarding “a path to citizenship” for undocumented workers and how immigration impacts education, social services and the criminal justice system. This program was preserved through a 2022-2023 Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship. Hosts: Beth Courtney and Craig Freeman