NMPBS - American Exile

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November 4, 2021
7:00pm Mountain Time
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Welcome to a FREE screening and discussion of the PBS documentary American Exile with Filmmaker John Valdez presented by NMPBS and Santa Fe Public Library.

Filmed over seven years, American Exile is a deeply personal film about two men seeking justice for themselves and the thousands of others in their situation. Since the completion of the film, there is new hope. On July 3, 2021, President Biden ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to immediately create a process for deported veterans and their families to return home to the United States.

Video Descriptions

Trailer | American Exile

Brothers Manuel and Valente Valenzuela both volunteered and fought in Vietnam. Fifty years later they are among thousands of veterans who are being deported. The brothers don their uniforms for one last fight, to bring all the veterans back home.

MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY Trailer (2021) Mystery

Two families search for their loved ones who went missing in the fields of Brooks County, Texas, and find a haunted land with more questions than answers. #trailer #documentary #uniques

VOCP 402 American Exile YT Screener

120 minutes



  • Panelist Avatar
    John Valadez


    John J. Valadez is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, Professor of Practice in the MSU School of Journalism, and the director of the Documentary Film Program. His latest film, “American Exile,” about the deportation of American military veterans will air nationally on PBS in the fall of 2021. It was produced with filmmaker and fellow Professor of Practice Carleen L. Hsu.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Rebecca Sheff


    Rebecca Sheff is a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of New Mexico specializing in immigrants' rights. Prior to joining the ACLU, Rebecca spent three years in El Paso as a staff attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, with a focus on immigration, border rights, and civil rights matters. Rebecca worked previously for Human Rights First in their Washington, DC office on foreign policy matters including refugee protection, rule of law issues, and threats to civic space.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Russell Contreras


    Russell Contreras is the Justice and Race reporter at Axios covering the policies and agencies at the heart of the administration of justice and how it impacts people of color. He is also the co-author of the Axios Latino newsletter — a partnership with Axios and Telemundo. Before coming to Axios, he was a member of the race and ethnicity reporting team at The Associated Press. He’s worked for the Boston Globe and the Albuquerque Journal. He is currently working on a book about JFK and Latinos. He lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Russell Contreras


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  • Panelist Avatar


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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.