Parents' Guide to

Living Undocumented

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Heartrending true stories in infuriating ICE docuseries.

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This heartrending series shows the human faces that are behind Immigration and Customs Enforcement's harsh crackdown on immigration -- and immigrants themselves -- post-Trump. In long naturalistic segments we watch as eight families in Texas, Florida, California, and elsewhere, go about their lives despite the varying degrees to which they've been noticed and/or targeted by ICE: Alejandra prepares for a birthday party in Florida, where she's lived for more than a decade; she was outed as undocumented in a routine traffic stop. Luis prepares to drive his son, Noah, to an ICE center -- his mother's being deported, and Noah's forced to go too. Ron and Karen left their Tel Aviv-adjacent neighborhood after the bombings got so frequent they feared for the life of their new baby -- a relative advised them to lay low and not think about their status that much, so they didn't. Then 17 years passed.

The truly gutting thing about all the stories in Living Undocumented is how easy they are to understand and to empathize with. Who wouldn't want to take their new baby far away from terrorist bombings? Who wouldn't want to escape desperate poverty, or crime, or war? Once we understand what all these people were fleeing from, then understanding America's new "zero tolerance" policy, has the galvanizing effect this show was hoping for. The cruelty, the devastation, is terrible to see, but important to witness.

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