Life and Arts

Review: “Living Undocumented” reveals the harsh realities of U.S. immigrant life

The strength of immigrant families and the raw look into what deportation really consists of, is what makes Netlfix’s “Living Undocumented” a must see.

The six-part Netflix series humanizes immigrants and pushes past stigmas, which reveals the long processes of getting documentation and conveys the aggressive nature of deportation. It ultimately leaves viewers feeling desperate for a solution.

“Living Undocumented” includes stories of eight families living in the U.S.. Some are from Honduras and Mexico, others from Israel, Laos, Columbia and Mauritania. 

In the second episode, Luis Diaz, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras, is seen detained by ICE after being told that he wouldn’t be – as he dropped off his step-son to his girlfriend at a detention center. As Diaz enters the detention center, ICE officials can be seen pushing Diaz’s attorney to the ground in order to detain him. 

“Living Undocumented” is about understanding that it goes beyond wanting better jobs and better schools, for many families, coming to the United States is about staying alive

Families come here to escape persecution from foreign governments, gang retaliations and threats to the safety of their children. 

Yet, somehow every family tries to stay optimistic through it all, leaving small tokens of hope in each episode.  

The true desperation and love between the families is depicted so genuinely, that I couldn’t help but cry and get angry. Crying because this is our reality, and angry because people are antagonized for basic human rights. 

The reality is that these families represent so much of the struggle that is hidden under America’s ideology of “freedom,” making much of what “Living Undocumented” reveals as something all too common. 

The power of the heart is powerful in the show. An insight into the lives of the eight different families all comes down to one thing, the strength of their love and their hope to stay together.

During filming and after, some of the families were pursued, detained and deported by ICE. Others remain under the radar.

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