Immigration Transparency

There are another 38 interactive interviews on the PBS Frontline site. This time we enabled 38 source interviews from the immigration documentary Zero Tolerance.

Like the interactive source interviews from past projects, you can peruse the full text of the interviews that went into the documentary, and you can share excerpts at the sentence level by selecting some text and choosing one of three share buttons: Twitter, Facebook, or copying the link. The links go directly to the first sentence of the selection, showing the quote in the full context of the interview. Sixteen of the source interviews From Zero Tolerance are also linked to their video interviews. For these, you can hear and see exactly how the person said it, in context.

Here are some examples – the first one Is text-only, and the other two are text and video:

Scott Shuchart, senior adviser to the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2010 to 2018:

Well, the thing that I needed to be alarmed about professionally was whether what they were proposing to do was not compatible with the law or not compatible with the Constitution, right? Banning people from the country based on their religion, there was no proper way to do that. That’s just flatly unconstitutional. So I was concerned about that.

Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator (D-OR):

Well, what we’re facing right now is when the president started talking about using a national emergency or sealing the border, it was a signal to everyone in Central America, if you have any dreams of coming to America, come now. So the president created a surge.

Steve Bannon, former Chief strategist for the Trump White House:

And Ailes calls me up and says: “You’ve got to knock off these stories. She’s crying. She’s all upset. She’s getting death threats.” I go, “It sounds like a personal problem.” I said: “We’re not backing off.”


Here’s what you see when you click the Jeff Merkley quote above:Transcript with highlighted quote is on the left half of the screen, video showing Jeff Markley is on the right


Click anywhere on the text to jump to that place in the video. You can also peruse the interviews by chapter – click the chapter button that appears at the top right of every interview once you start to scroll down.

Here are the chapters for the Scott Shuchart Interview:
Chapters navigation column with chapters and icon at top, then a list of 11 chapters: The Trump Transition; Bannon, Miller and Sessions in the White House; Who is John Kelly?; The Travel Ban; Crisis at the Border; Zero Tolerance and Family Separation; Backlash to Family Separation; The Caravan and the 2018 Mid Term Elections; Jeff Sessions Impact on Immigration; Immigration and the 2020 Election; the El Paso Pilot ProgramPBS Frontline’s interactive transcript system is based on the open source InSite system we put together for Duke University’s Rutherford Living History. Frontline is making the source material of of its documentaries available as part of its Transparency Project.