Yes, we can: 10 shows that challenge America to be better

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Jane the Virgin

What it’s about: A 20-something Latina woman becomes pregnant by accidental artificial insemination, and her carefully orchestrated life plan is upended. As she adjusts to young single motherhood, she also navigates family, religion, careers, love and sex.

What it’s fighting for: Jane the Virgin puts a human face on the much-discussed, polarizing topic of immigration. For much of the telenovela send-up, Jane’s grandmother, Alba, is an undocumented immigrant. Until she receives her green card in the second season, Alba’s anxiety about being deported back to Venezuela influences everything she and her family does — even going to the hospital during a medical emergency. Alba is able to breathe once she gets her green card, but her respite ends when Trump takes office. Suddenly anti-immigration sentiments seem to hang in the air, and she’s afraid ICE will detain her at a political march.

Jane the Virgin never takes the “She should’ve just come here legally” route with Alba. Instead, the series grants her the compassion that the law and government will not. She came to the U.S. with her husband for a better life. They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, worked hard, and created that life for themselves and their daughter, Jane’s mother, Xo.

Alba shouldn’t have had to keep a low profile while she was settling into her new life in Miami, as the series implicitly argues; nor should she have had to struggle to become a citizen. She should have been welcomed to America with open arms.

Where to watch: Seasons 1-4 are streaming on Netflix. It will return to The CW for a fifth and final season sometime in 2019.