Review

  • Finished half of the season so far. Definitely an interesting look back at how recent immigration policies of the Trump administration have effected the lives of current immigrants and the policing tactics of Ice Agents. It's more of an observation of several aspects of immigration enforcement in the new administration rather than having a specific call to action statement.

    At it's best, the documentary shows that immigration reform not black and white, and that abolishing ICE would not solve the many problems with our existing system. It tries to be pretty balanced politically. For instance, it shows how Immigration policies have been shaped over decades and that Donald Trump's administration is just an acceleration of previous policies from democrat and republican presidencies.

    The first episode was excellent and grabbed my attention, as it focuses on how ICE agents operate under the new administration, including a lot of ride-along footage with ICE agents. It's pretty eye opening to see how traumatizing it is to be detained by ICE agents and simultaneously offers an interesting perspective from both the ICE agents and detained immigrants. It really shows how the new administration's policies effect everyone involved in immigration.

    The show does kind of slips a bit after the first episode though. It becomes a bit slower moving because it's more focused on the slow processes that happen after being detained by ICE agents The show follows a lot of Immigrant families which I think is important because it helps humanize the issues. Unfortunately, Netflix falls back on this documentary trope where they ask the families to act out certain conversations to capture on camera. Asking family members to act out conversations just seems kind of corny and ruins the feeling of the documentary's authenticity even if these acted conversations are based on genuine conversations they had in the past. I would have much preffered if they just talked about these topics in an interview-like format, because I feel like the artificial dramatization of their conversations pads out the run time too much.

    Overall an interesting but imperfect documentary. The first episode is definitely worth checking out, though the rest feels a bit too drawn out.