*Practice limited to federal immigration law. Licensed in NY, MA, but not in CA.

DHS and ICE Tried to Block a New Netflix Documentary—Film Shows the Banal Horror of the Deportation Bureaucracy

On August 3rd, 2020, the documentary ‘Immigration Nation’ premiered on Netflix. From directors Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau, the film is a six-part miniseries that examines our country’s deportation bureaucracy and the terrible and traumatizing effect that it has on vulnerable people and their families.

According to a report from The New York Times, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) tried to block the documentary’s release—or at least delay it until after the 2020 election. Here, our Los Angeles deportation lawyers provide an overview of the film that the Trump Administration does not want people to see.

Inside the Deportation Machinery: A System Designed to Maximize Suffering

The documentary ‘Immigration Nation’ traces the early stages of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and it examines how the president’s long record of anti-immigrant rhetoric has translated into day-to-day policy at the agency. The film offers an insightful glimpse into the banal horrors of our deportation bureaucracy. It is a system that appears designed to maximize the suffering of vulnerable migrants.

While ICE tried to block or delay the film’s release, the agency initially granted considerable access to the project. As a consequence, the filmmakers obtained close access to ICE officers. The agents are shown in many different lights. In fact, some ICE agents are clearly torn between their sense of compassion and empathy and the harshness of the rules that they are carrying out. On the other hand, other ICE agents make offensive and racist comments in front of filmmakers.

Los Angeles Times Interview: Trump Election Prompted Documentary Project

Recently, the Los Angeles Times spoke with the film’s directors for an exclusive interview on the project. In discussing why they decided to make the documentary, they noted that it was President Trump’s election in November of 2016 that prompted their interest in this project. After watching Donald Trump speak about immigration and deportation on the campaign trail, they knew serious changes were coming to our immigration system—and that those changes would pose new challenges and hardships for vulnerable immigrants.

The filmmakers noted that the New York Times report was “100 percent accurate” and that there was a lengthy process of ICE “trying to shift the editorial” in terms of what the film showed. Despite the pressure, the filmmakers held steadfast—they emphasized that their only interest was to give the public an honest and straightforward look into the mechanics of our immigration bureaucracy.

Call Our Los Angeles Deportation Lawyers for Immediate Help With Your Case

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Los Angeles immigration lawyers are experienced, passionate advocates for our clients. We have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to handle all types of deportation cases. To schedule a confidential initial appointment, please call our Los Angeles office today. We are ready to take immediate action to help you find the best solution.

Josh Goldstein
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