Coming to America - Snap #315

Can you smell those ribs on the barbeque? Can you taste the summer’s first watermelon? Get ready, America. It’s time to celebrate ourselves. Put on your sunglasses and open up the fire hydrants for Snap Judgment’s Fourth of July special! Amazing stories about people making America their home. Expect fireworks.

Pen Pals


Storyteller and artist Christy Chan is an American-born Chinese woman.  She was confident in her identity until her family moved to a new town and she began getting letters from a mysterious, (possibly magical) stranger.

Christy's working on a short film about her experience--check out the trailer here. 

Producers: Stephanie Foo and Renzo Gorrio


Gas Tank Crossing


Vanessa was happy living in Mexico, but at 13 her mother thought it was time to bring her over to join the rest of her family in the United States. That meant an illegal border crossing with a shady coyote. Could such a dangerous journey be worth it?

Producer: Stephanie Foo

Sound Design: Pat Mesiti-Miller


Texas vs. Texas


Joe Rowe lived happily in the middle of the West Texas desert - until a stranger named Rick McLaren moved in and started a violent militia group called the Republic of Texas.  Things got downright ugly when McLaren sent troops to take Joe hostage in his own home.

Check out some behind-the-scenes footage of Joe showing off bulletholes in his home! Right here at Snap Films!

Producer: Stephanie Foo


International Gaydar


As a little kid growing up in Chicago, Sam Biederman knew that he wasn’t like the other boys. But it took leaving the country to really understand what was happening.

Producers: Pat Mesiti-Miller and Anna Sussman


Learning to Speak


Ali was an Alevi Kurd living in Turkey.  And for Ali that meant either keeping his identity a secret or facing religious persecution and racism.  But after serving in the Turkish military, he found he could no longer stay silent.

Producers: Stephanie Foo and Mark Ristich




Hi! I really enjoy your show and listen to it every week! I did want to make a comment in regards to Vanessa's story. I am also from Mexico, although I came to the USA under different circumstances as I came to go through graduate school. I am glad you had her story for she is one of many children that over the years get handed off to random people to be crossed over the border. I do however want to point out that while there are definitely women that finish their schooling by middle school such is the case with men too. In the national average men only are ahead by .3 years more of schooling than women. I know it is a story on her perspective but just wanted to share more info on the topic. http://cuentame.inegi.org.mx/poblacion/escolaridad.aspx?tema=P