‘Immigration Nation’ on Netflix: How Did the Filmmakers Get Into ICE Operations?

by Jeremy Spirogis

Netflix dropped a brand new documentary, Immigration Nation, on Aug. 3, 2020. The six-episode miniseries made headlines even earlier than its launch as a result of the filmmakers had been confronted with authorized threats. Immigration Nation sat down with many undocumented immigrants to observe their tales. 

Netflix 'Immigration Nation'
‘Immigration Nation’ Episode 1 | NETFLIX © 2020

Is ‘Immigration Nation’ on Netflix actual? 

The new Netflix documentary, Immigration Nation, is filled with real-life footage from 2017 to 2020 of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) company. The collection depicts the company’s actions throughout President Donald Trump’s administration. 

Filmmakers Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau filmed inside precise ICE companies and brokers working in New York City, Charlotte, North Carolina, and outdoors Tucson, Arizona. They adopted officers as they chained and handcuffed immigrants who had been about to be deported. The collection included interviews with directors and supervisors as they handled the ever-changing insurance policies. 

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It additionally delves into the lifetime of actual people, together with immigrants separated from young children as they sob whereas wrapped in chains. The collection reveals what occurs when ICE brokers encounter “collaterals” once they discover their “target.” The brokers used the time period “collaterals” to seek advice from undocumented immigrants who had been introduced into custody, though they weren’t the people the officers sought to search out. 

‘Immigration Nation’ on Netflix: How did filmmakers get into ICE companies?

Filmmaker Shaul Schwarz defined that they gained entry to the ICE companies and operations due to a earlier story the director did with Homeland Security Investigations in 2010-2011. He had a relationship with a spokesperson there, and the person agreed after President Trump took workplace. However, the documentary wasn’t what the spokesperson had in thoughts. 

“There was a moment where we spoke to one of the spokesmen after the review process,” Schwarz advised Vanity Fair. “And he says—I’m not quoting him phrase for phrase, however his notion was, ‘I can’t imagine you’re telling a lot of the immigrant story. We thought it was actually a present about ICE.’

The director identified that the filmmakers described their intentions of their pitch. 

'Immigration Nation' on Netflix'Immigration Nation' on Netflix
‘Immigration Nation’ Episode 3 | NETFLIX © 2020

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“I said to him, ‘Immigration and Customs Enforcement is literally the name of the agency! If you look at the pitch we wrote, it was on the shift during the Trump era.’ It was, like, in the synopsis of the first paragraph.”

He additionally famous that the spokesperson didn’t look into the filmmakers’ earlier documentaries. 

“Maybe they were anticipating some kind of rah-rah kinda cop show,” Schwarz continued. “Which doesn’t make sense, because they should have known our prior work and our line of work.”

‘Immigration Nation’ on Netflix was difficult to supply in ‘so many ways’

The Immigration insurance policies modified so usually through the three years of the documentary that the movie was robust to supply. 

“You had to be very nimble and quick to jump, to be willing to—you know, tomorrow morning, get on a flight to go to El Paso because Berta [an El Salvadorean grandmother seeking asylum, featured in the docuseries] is going to be deported,” Schwarz advised the outlet.

The filmmakers needed to make use of the entry they needed to discuss to immigrants inside the system. However, the problem got here once they tried to observe that individual’s story all through the three years. The brokers moved across the people so incessantly; it turned difficult to maintain up. 

However, the administrators give an inside take a look at the real hardships of the ICE brokers and the Immigrants concerned. Immigration Nation is at present streaming on Netflix.

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