In the shadow of Texas’ lucrative building boom, immigrant workers are on a downward spiral to poverty, illness, and death. BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM explores intimate stories from the frontlines of the construction industry, as undocumented immigrants fight for their basic rights.



Building the American Dream tells the story of several immigrant workers in the Texas construction industry who face hardship and are taking action to change the political system in order to protect workers. After Roendy Granillo, a 25-year-old immigrant construction worker dies of heatstroke on the job, his bereaved father and kid sister channel their grief into campaigning for a groundbreaking rest break ordinance in Dallas. While workers fight for the right to rest and their stolen wages, their lives are put at risk as immigration reform is stalled and anti-immigrant rhetoric expands with the rise of a tumultuous political climate. The film tells a story of inspirational leadership, committed collective action, and empowerment as it bears witness to a growing determination to uplift an invaluable community – the people who are literally building America brick by brick.


funded by

Director - Chelsea Hernandez