Jada Urbaez, Writer
Immigration policies can be a sensitive topic for America, and a complex one due to the heartbreaking realities these laws cause families to face.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) was created in 2003 “to protect America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety,” according to their mission statement.
To some, I.C.E.’s mission looks promising, protective and necessary. To others, the condition of the detention centers across the U.S., those taken into custody and the procedures done by I.C.E. officers are viewed as contradictory, inhumane and unnecessary.
To gain an empathetic perspective on deportations and separation of families, it would be ideal to see what life is truly like for individuals without proper documentation. Luckily, Living Undocumented, a docuseries produced by Many Teefy, Selena Gomez and Eli Holzman, provides authentic information and digs deep into families’ experiences with deportation. The 2019 Netflix Original is six episodes long, following journeys of numerous families who emigrated from Israel, Mexico, Mauritania, Colombia, Laos and Honduras. The eight families in the series include two each from California and Texas as well as families from Wisconsin, South Carolina, Maryland and Florida.
Alejandra, for instance, is a Mexican woman introduced in the first episode. Although she is a military wife, due to the “zero tolerance policy” of the Trump administration, her appeals were denied by the government.
Living Undocumented highlights the hardship, fear and raw reality of these particular undocumented families’ everyday lives, but also gives greater understanding of the perspectives of millions of other people who have similar experiences.