“América” is a TV series that was produced and shown weeknights Monday through Saturday on Brazilian TV Globo TV. The 1st episode aired on Monday, 14 March 2005. The show revolves around illegal immigrants in the United States and a 25-year old girl named Sol de Oliveira played by Brazilian actress Deborah Secco. Sol who lives in Rio de Janeiro eventually meets Tião Higino who is played by Brazilian actor Murilo Benício who lives on a cattle ranch in west São Paulo State. After a short time they lose track of each other as Sol decides to travel to the United States to find a happier, peaceful life in the “Land of Opportunity” and what she hopes will be the “American Dream”. Sol begins living in the U.S. as an illegal alien and Tião who still lives in Brazil becomes a successful and very popular rodeo star.
This series featured a realistic and possibly an anti-American view of illegal immigration that emphasized the risks involved, the presence of criminal people who would organize crossing over into the U.S. and the prejudice shown toward these illegal immigrants by Americans and legal immigrants. This series had a few controversial episodes that caused the American embassy to protest. One said episode showed Texans shooting at immigrants trying to enter the U.S. by swimming the Rio Grande river. Another episode that was taped but never aired showed 2 gay characters kissing. It was scheduled to air as the final episode by TV Global decided against airing the episode, which cause the Gay community to protest for equal rights. It is said that this series caused a large increase in Brazilian immigrants to attempt to cross over to the United States. A total of 203 episodes were taped but only aired a total of 202 new episodes ending its’ run on 5 November 2005. In early 2006 the OMNI Television corporation picked up the first 55 episodes of this series to air them in Ontario, Canada on their OMNI 1 channel.