How Netflix’s Immigration Nation shows the true horror of Ice agents

One of the better articles on the Netflix series, a must see:

The initial main draw of Immigration Nation, the six-part documentary series on immigration enforcement under Trump released on Netflix this month, was that US authorities did not want you to see it. After viewing a final cut, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), which had allowed the film-makers, Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz, to embed with agents for over two years, attempted to intimidate the production team into delaying the release. The agency threatened Clusiau and Schwarz with lawsuits, according to a New York Times report, and to use the “full weight” of the federal government to block publication of certain Ice scenes usually invisible to the American public.

It didn’t work, and watching the six-hour series, it is clear why the agency did not want the footage to become public. Immigration Nation, more than any other documentary of the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, allows Ice agents and officials to explain their perspective. And thus more than any other documentary, Immigration Nation reveals how a government agency upholds and perpetuates evil. Two-plus years of Cops-style embedment doesn’t glorify Ice agents, but instead reveals the agency to be populated by, in some cases, callous people who gloat over arrests; more often, affable people fulfilling their small part of the contract as directed, with the compartmentalization it requires.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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