“Win The Green”—Lose The Red, White, And Blue?

[Recently by Bryanna Bevens:

The Rise Of The Treason Tort

Reality television is something akin to

Danielle Steele
novels. Her books have sold 530
million copies worldwide, but I have never met anyone
who admits to having read one.

Every new season, however, the networks compete for the
title of best new reality program. They know the average
family will flock to their televisions with giant bowls
of popcorn to witness the madness.

We love to proclaim our astonishment and disbelief as

swallow insects
while swathed in blood and suspended
by their ankles beneath a helicopter that is hovering
over a tank filled with great white sharks.

We can`t get enough of it.

My personal favorite:

The Swan

(can`t wait for Swan II!!). Nine seemingly ugly women
are given the opportunity to, well, not be so ugly.

They undergo rhinoplasty, breast augmentation,
face-lifts, extraordinary dental surgery,
liposuction and “numerous trips to the

All of this, we the viewing public get to witness.
Although, if you are anything like me, you do so between
your fingers in front of your eyes during the gory

The Swan

is a production of the

Fox Network,
which is also responsible for the
Emmy-award winning series American Idol. Yeah, I
missed that one but I`ve seen the various
 at numerable ribbon cutting ceremonies in places like
Wilbur, Nebraska, so it appears to be another triumph
for Fox.

Well, now there is a new reality series that will give
FOX and NBC a run for their money.

Gana la Verde
or Win the Green was launched in early July. By the first week
in August it boasted a million viewers a week, to become
the second most watched program by Hispanics aged 18-49.


Hispanic Nielsen ratings
shows that Gana even
defeated NBC`s Fear Factor during sweeps weeks.

So why haven`t more people heard of it? Is it because
Gana la Verde

not produced by conglomerates
such as FOX or NBC?
Are the `stunts` any less interesting than those afore
mentioned reality programs?

Not really.

Gana la Verde
is a reality show replete with vile contests and daredevil stunts—the
precise ingredients found in the recipe for ratings that
TV networks adhere to. The big difference: The
contestants are not American citizens competing for cash
and prizes. They are

illegal aliens
competing for Green Cards.

No, I`m not kidding.

Lenard Liberman, president of

Liberman Production Company
and creator of this

new reality series,
offered this description during
an interview with The Early Show:

“Basically, six
people appear every day on the show…The show is on the
air five days a week, Monday through Friday. We hope to
produce at least 110 shows a year, and those six people
go through a series of physical challenges culminating
in a

job challenge
and here is one final winner who, at
the end of the program, wins one year`s worth of legal
assistance in their immigration case before the INS.”

What`s Wrong With `Win The Green`?

Aug. 26, 2004

have two questions.

  • First, how do we
    know if the contestants, while obviously not citizens,
    are legally in the United States?

The Early Show
also asked this question, to which Mr. Liberman responded:

“Every person on the
show meets with four different people on our program
and, in the course of that interview process and
prescreening process, they have a waiver that they
review and read in Spanish. It`s 20 pages or so. In
there, they represent they`re 18 years or older. They
represent that they`re legal residents of the United
States. So from our perspective and from the show`s
perspective, the participants are legally in the United

Whew! What a relief! I was afraid the network just took
the contestant`s word for it.

But what if the contestant (don`t laugh, it is possible)
is already a citizen? No worries, The Early Show
reports that Mr. Liberman has a plan B:

“He also notes one of
the perks of his reality show is that people who
participate can transfer the prize to a

friend or family member
who is in need of legal

Good to know.

My second question:

  • Where the heck is
    the INS?

I would think the set of Gana la Verde was a
target-rich environment for immigration agents.

But alas, what do I know?

Besides, Liberman has already thought of that.

Enter the entertainment lawyer; the scoundrel who is
always prepared to defend the insanity of


Richard Sherman Esq
. was retained by Liberman to
facilitate legal representation for the winners of Gana
la Verde and he acknowledges these risks.

you`re illegal, it probably would be better not to be on
anybody`s radar screen…It`s possible that there is some
risk of that. But I don`t think it`s going to catch the
attention of Homeland Security. They have other things
to do now."

This is the part I hate: Sherman is right.

Homeland Security does have other things to do besides
protecting the homeland.

Don`t ask me what they are because I have no idea.

There is, however, opposition to this atrocious reality
series. And it is fierce opposition from an unlikely
source: the

immigration lawyers.


American Immigration Lawyers Association
, directed
by Victor Nieblas, wants the show pulled from the air.
He says

“One, we believe it
preys on people`s fears. It targets the people who are
desperate in our society…Two, it gives false promises
and false hopes. No one can guarantee a green card, not
even Mr. Lieberman, and number three, it makes these
contestants targets for the Department of Homeland
Security to detain them and support them and separate
them from their families.”

You might be asking what the U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement think about all of this. Maybe they,
like I, saw an opportunity to locate a large number of
illegal aliens, round them up and deport them.

Well, not so much. Virginia Kice

spokeswoman for U.S.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement
, had this to

"I don`t think it`s
appropriate for me to comment on the premise of a
television show except to say that they are holding out
false hope to people…You`re getting people to submit to
unpleasant things, holding out hope that you`ll be able
to change their legal status in this country, when some
people are just not able to adjust their status because
this is all dependent on laws. It sounds very much like
exploitation." [Contestants
go for the green

by Maria Elena
Fernandez, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2004]

But how can Gana la Verde be
called exploitation?

can complain about

] These contestants have nothing
to lose. If they don`t swallow enough

fast enough to win a Green Card, they just go
back to their homes on Crenshaw Boulevard and continue
living here illegally.

My suggestion: someone should develop a reality series
where immigration officials are

tested for their acumen



deporting illegal aliens.

The winners could compete for a job as consultants to
Gana la Verde

The losers can work for

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Bryanna Bevens [email
her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff
for a member of the California State Assembly.