Immigration Nation: Exploring Immigrant Portrayals on Television

This report presents a media content analysis conducted by the Lear Center’s Media Impact Project in collaboration with Define American, a nonprofit media and culture organization, to investigate two research questions:

1. How are immigrants and immigration issues depicted on entertainment television?

2. How do these depictions compare with the reality of the immigrant experience?

The analysis examines the demographic, socio-economic, and social representations of immigrant characters depicted, as well as the context and use of any culturally- or politically-charged terms relating to immigration in 143 episodes of 47 television shows that aired in 2017 and 2018.