Inside the Netflix docuseries ICE didn't want you to see

Inside 'Immigration Nation,' the Netflix docuseries ICE didn't want you to see

8/5/2020 10:03:00 AM

Inside 'Immigration Nation,' the Netflix docuseries ICE didn't want you to see

Filmmakers Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau delve into 'Immigration Nation,' their shocking Netflix docuseries about ICE, immigrants and a broken system.

Did they at any point try to stop production?Schwartz:No.You touched on this a little bit earlier, but how did you find the families or individuals willing to participate? I imagine many of these immigrants had never spoken to a journalist or a filmmaker before. So how do you cultivate that trust at their most vulnerable and navigate safety concerns with the subjects?

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Clusiau:It was challenging. I think for the amount of people that we profile in the series, there were many others that just were not interested. They didn’t want to be on camera, which we totally understand and respect, because I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in that position.

But I do think that there were some situations where, for example, like the [fathers separated from their children] — there’s this whole world around them that’s closing in on them. And I think there was a moment where they just felt like they wanted to tell their story. They wanted somebody to talk to. And I think that was kind of the guiding light: If somebody wanted to really tell their story, we would try to go from that point and talk to them more and say, “This is what we’re doing; are you interested in participating?” We would walk that line very carefully because we think all these individuals are in such vulnerable positions, and we don’t want anybody to be put more in danger because of the work that we’re doing.

Schwartz:It was very challenging because a lot of the time we would find our subjects from embedding with ICE. So if you can imagine knocking on the door at 6 o’clock in the morning and needing to say, these guys are trying to come in and do their business and we’re like, “We’re separate from them” — slightly in my broken Spanish. I understand everything, but I speak a little bit, so usually it was in Spanish of me saying, ‘We’re independent journalists. We’re not with them. Would you be OK if we document your story? If you sign paperwork, we could air this and we can try and stay in touch and so on.” And you know, a lot of people said no. But a lot of people said yes. And I think they felt slightly more protected, although we can never influence any situation, really.

AdvertisementYou talked about allowing your subjects to speak for themselves. And I think there’s the assumption that people might be on their best behavior in front of cameras. But over the course of the episodes, we see some of the ICE employees say and do some pretty brazen things, knowing full well that the cameras are there. Was that shocking to you?

Clusiau:Sometimes it was shocking; other times it was not. You start to understand individuals’ personalities, and some [are] a little bit rougher than others and some have more empathy or sympathy than others. And so you tend to just keep the camera rolling because you just never really know what’s going to come through. When somebody is not used to being on camera, there’s always a sort of wall of, “What am I supposed to say? How am I supposed to react? How am I supposed to talk about myself?” But eventually, usually when you’re following people doing their work, some of that stuff just kind of goes out the window, and they start to let down their guard.

Schwartz:The opening scene of this immigrant being brought to detention, when he bangs his head and Scott, who was the head of the unit there, pretty higher up, [records video] — that was actually one of the first days of production. And because it was kind of an operation, me and Christina were in different cars. So, I was there [in the office] by myself. and I remember, as he makes clear, it was like the first arrest. It was early morning. And I remember texting Christina if she can talk for a second because I was little bit like, “Holy [expletive]!” I was the only guy in the room. It was like the three of us. He was looking at the camera and he’s clearly aware of the camera. It’s how he acts. And some people will hate him, and ICE told us that he would get fired for it; I don’t know if that’s true. As time went by, there was a lot of that.

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What shocks me is ICE is like, ‘Oh, they managed to catch these couple of moments. And we’re not like that.’ I’m sorry. Bull—. I’m calling bull— on that. And to make it complicated, I think again, from serving in the army, from embedding in policing as a journalist, I think if you have this environment that is set from the top — and it’s really true to DHS under Trump — then some individuals are going to be emboldened. Now listen, to put in perspective, they’re not kneeling on a guy, killing him in the footage we saw. Nothing like that. It just shocks me that they would pretend that that’s not the day-to-day part of the operation. That’s the honest truth.

How did you decide what issues or points about immigration to focus on? Had there been thought about exploring the Muslim ban since it was one of the first controversial policies of the Trump administration?Schwartz:There was a big fight about that scene.

Clusiau:There’s an early cut with that in it in Episode 1. We used to have this map on our wall with a construction paper cutout of some different places where we want to explore. And a lot of it was guided from the inside access that we had to ICE.We kind of focused on wanting to have stories unfold in front of us. So a lot of it was like the Muslim ban already had happened, so it was archival.

Read more: Los Angeles Times »

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All these people that work for ICE need to be recorded and outed for there disgracefully disregard for life, probably all descendents of immigrants to begin with. Shameful This series is well worth watching. The ICE crowd is exactly as racist as imaginable. autismcounts8 this was amazing!!! I still haven’t watched this just cause I don’t want to cry my eyes out.😭😭😭

It is absolutely heartbreaking, especially when the immigrants are lied to and not taken to see their children, but instead are taken to another jail. What kind of nation are we when we do these kinds of things? We need to protect our citizens from criminal illegal aliens. In the last two years, immigration officers have made arrests at the border of illegal aliens that were charged or convicted of more than 100000 assaults and 4000 killings.

Everyone here is illegal apart the native indigenous people who had the land stolen from them. America has lost its compassion and its soul for human life! I despair of this country. ☠ They don't have to grapple with it if they enter the country legally like they're supposed to. ...... 😉 I’m a Canadian who immigrated to the US and I can tell you the horrors on the entire process and I had it generally easy compared to others. It’s a real shit show.

Did anyone in the series filmaking ever blame the actual country they are coming from? Besides blaming America for following its laws? But if white people weren't hiring them... they act like they hate immigrants yet hire them for cheap labor. No difference than how they felt about black slaves, except slaves raised their children on top of all other work.

Why do so many US federal agents, police, sheriffs etc dress like the military or something out of Call of Duty? V odd for civilians The show glosses over 95% of illegal aliens and presents sob stories: next. Fuck y’all!! Pretending y’all give a fuck about the raza! This shit been going on for decades, my people know what they are getting into and consequences when they get caught here illegally hate to say it but,it is what it is! Raza stand up! Don’t let these putos brainwash you✊🏽!

Don’t give us your leftist campaign narrative! Don’t want to go through trouble? Don’t break illegaly into another country! Man, I could even respect them a little if they tried and failed and then said “Ok you caught me fine” but no haha they demand the US takes care of them!! Deport them Does anyone know if they touch on the babies and children being separated?!? I hope so. Many Americans are in total denial of this 😭💔

Is all the hipe promotion or is there something of substance in there? Compassion. Magnanimity. Those are the real qualities of a great nation. This docu series made me sick. Law enforcement creates criminals more than it protects society from them. Proper way of doing this, not hard, dont come here illegally hell even my father got deported in the 80s...he came back 2 years the....legal way

Excellent exposure of Tommy Hamm from FL panhandle. This man is closeto human trafficker, imo. I miss when the trending tab had actual news and not blatant propaganda Migrants are illegal aliens. At least be intellectually honest with your nation wrecking narratives. Ice didn’t what you to see? If they didn’t you would not be allowed in there. LA times spreads a lot of crap news.

Obama started the Kids in Cages illegal immigrants are the problem, if they didn't exist this news article, documentaries, ICE, wasted taxpayer money, etc. would have not been an issue As a DACA / dreamer this makes sad, idk if I can watch this One episode in & it had me in tears. You CANNOT call yourself Catholic, Christian etc. and agree with what ICE and Trump Administration are doing. You JUST CAN'T!

Maybe they shouldn't have been saying we should make Spanish our 2nd language like French is in Canada and waving their flag around saying Yes We Can best show ever MegaMidweekExpo 예수님께서 계시지 않는 인간의 마음에는 많은 근심이 있습니다. 예수님께서 답입니다. The creators received a rare level of access to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), but administration officials later sought to have scenes deleted and delay the series' release until after the election.

Stop making fun of high skilled immigrants. We are Dreamers too. Several bills stalled S3599 S948 S386 MeritBasedImmigration. FIX EMPLOYMENT BASED CATEGORY NOW to run the economy realDonaldTrump SenateGOP SenateDems AILANational jaredkushner SenMikeLee sendavidperdue The only good ICE agent is a DEAD ICE agent.

Are you promoting Marxist propaganda for open borders now? sorry they closed down your taco truck It's disheartening to see how many people hate American workers what have we ever done to you. If they don't want you see, how can you see it on Netflix? 🤡 LA Crimes protecting the illegal aliens to pander to what audience they have left.

Show the part where democrats have literally been advertising free health care and housing in the U.S. all over central and south America resulting in 'migrant caravans' and record ChildTrafficking

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