Growing Up Undocumented on 'Sesame Street'

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

"Sesame Street" has introduced the children of the world to a number of neighbors over the years, from Oscar the Grouch to Linda, the deaf librarian, to Maria and Louis, who spoke English and Spanish with equal proficiency. But what viewers may not realize is that "Sesame Street" also introduced them to an undocumented immigrant. His name was Carlo, on both the show, and in real life. Carlo the character was a teenager who worked in Mr. Hooper's store for five seasons.

Carlo the actor is really Carlo Alban, who was born in Ecuador and arrived in the U.S. when he was eight. Alban discusses his off-Broadway play, "Intringulis," which tells his personal story of fear, patriotism, and celebrity.

Comments [3]

Jessie Henshaw from way uptown

One of the most obvious players in the modern immigrant story, so ever-present that people seem unaware of its importance, is that "the earth is full" is a new condition of life, that seems permanent, certain to never go away. There's a very different physical reality that restricts the potential welcome of newcomers into places that are over-crowded already.

Of course, it cuts all ways, causing all kinds of things not to work as before. An economy that relies on growing immigrant labor is discarding its own historical comfort in having had open space and room to breathe for itself as a “birth right”. At the point where "the earth is full" all growth comes at the cost of permanently losing greatly valuable things that no one needed to protect, had no name and had no price.

So that applies in dozens of ways, and to things we are rapidly losing that almost no one is accustomed to thinking about, the generosity of the earth. We simply assumed it was permanent but now find it dangerously shrinking.

It also comes to the problem of debt. If we seem to no longer have amazingly generous surpluses of natural wealth to just give away to all comers... what do we do about having promised people with wealth ever growing returns from their idle money?? That’s a tough one. It's one of many things that "just won't work" now that "the earth is full".

Nov. 09 2011 10:31 AM
Anibal Alban from Elmsford, NY

How can I get a recording of this live interview?, is it available as Podcast? Or as Gloria asks is there any way to listen to?

Nov. 09 2011 08:34 AM
Gloria from Goshen NY

I tried to listem online this morning, but never heard this story. Is there any way to access it now?

Nov. 09 2011 08:29 AM

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