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Cristina Jiménez, a Genius grant recipient and founder of United We Dream, the nation’s largest youth immigrant organization, talks about significant moments in her life that propelled her to speak against injustice.

USA TODAY

Scripted TV shows can encourage viewers to support immigration rights, but need to more accurately represent immigrants and the issues they face.

Those are the key findings of a new study, “Change the Narrative, Change the World,” released Wednesday by Define American and USC’s Norman Lear Center. It finds that undocumented immigrants are portrayed on TV more often than their true numbers suggest, and that the connection between immigrants and crime is overstated.

But the report goes beyond onscreen measurement: The survey concludes that the more exposure viewers had to immigration-related stories and characters on TV, the more inclusive their attitudes became and the more likely they were to take supportive action.

“The report shows