Q&A with Documentary Filmmakers of Immigration Nation on Netflix
Immigration Nation is a groundbreaking six-part documentary series on Netflix. The series, shot over a three year period, provides an unprecedented look at the immigration system in America.
Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz, the Directors and Executive Producers of Immigration Nation, are the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award honorees for the arts & entertainment category for their successful battle to overcome the U.S. government’s attempts to censor their film and delay its release until after the November Presidential election, even though they had been granted access to parts of immigration enforcement that are usually invisible to the public by the administration.
We asked Christina and Shaul: “What do you hope viewers will learn from Immigration Nation?” Their responses are below.
Shaul: We want people to understand how complex immigration is and that it’s intentionally been turned into an extremely divisive issue. There is a perception now that you have to be either “for” or “against” immigration, but the one thing we learned throughout making this project that everyone can agree on is that our immigration system is broken. We doubt that many Republicans would say that someone who’s lived here since age two and served in the U.S. Marines should be deported. We also doubt that most Democrat-leaning individuals think it’s okay to enter the country “through the window instead of through the door” or that we should completely abolish ICE. No matter what their perspective – whether they’re an ICE agent, police officer, an advocate, an immigrant who is documented or undocumented or just a concerned citizen – we hope viewers gain a better understanding of the issue through the real-life stories they’ll see on-screen.
Christina: Our hope is that through Immigration Nation, all sides will see that we’ve simply lost our common sense in how we treat those who try to immigrate here; we must restore dignity and justice back into the system. We also hope the series serves as a reminder that we are a country of immigrants; that this is the story of America.