Netflix has cultivated a wide array of stories aimed at all segments of the Latin American community. Earlier this year they released the short documentary After Maria, examining the continued plight of Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria. And now their next documentary looks at the continued fear of those Living Undocumented.
The documentaryseries, which boasts Mexican-American actress and singer Selena Gomez as an executive producer, focuses on eight undocumented families, all of whom risk deportation throughout filming. Described as people who “live in the shadows” Living Undocumented introduces the question of how the average person can pick out an immigrant. Rapid cuts of the faces of those interviewed, people described as business owners and neighbors, who just happen to not “have papers” is evidence of the blatant racism that accompanies immigration rhetoric.
The names of those interviewed aren’t revealed in the short trailer but their stories are heartbreaking. A young girl explains that she always knew she wasn’t born in the United States but she didn’t know of the danger. As she cries she admits she now “has to do everything scared.” Scenes of a man being taken into the immigration detention center are followed by his family being forcibly shoved out the door. The trailer’s intensity ramps up, with a little girl saying the policy is meant to deport criminals, but “my mom is not a criminal.” With the line for a green card spanning 20 years, the trailer turns away from the tears towards hope, hope that these stories will put a human face on the different people who are living this experience. There are also flashes of resilience, a reminder that in the face fear, immigrants still bring many benefits to the country.
Living Undocumented looks like it’ll be both a tough and inspiring sit though it’ll be interesting to see if it does anything to change the minds of those who are anti-immigration. The different perspectives employed should cast a diverse view on those affected by Trump’s immigration policies and remind viewers that it’s something we should all care about.
Living Undocumented debuts October 2 on Netflix.