‘Living Undocumented’ sheds light on the injustices of America’s immigration system

Alejandro Diaz-Lopez

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“Living Undocumented,” a new series launched by Netflix, sheds light on the lives of undocumented families living in the United States under the Trump administration. Eight different families from Central America, Asia, and Africa share their stories on how they came to America. With current political upheaval and discussion surrounding immigration, the series documents the effects of this administration’s policies towards undocumented families. 

The series effectively captures the struggles these families have to encounter. As viewers, we are optimistic about the outcome of their immigration status, but are soon confronted by the harsh realities of these strict policies. Throughout the series, viewers embark on a journey following the grueling experiences of these families as they confront the current immigration system. 

Interviews play a key role in the series because as these families share their stories, viewers become aware of their good nature and their pivotal role in American society. We can easily identify with these families through their stories of triumph, hope, and personal struggle. Consequently, the documentary series takes us over waves of anger and frustration when the lives of these hard-working individuals are put in jeopardy due to the current administration’s immigration policies. 

One family in particular caught my attention. Roberto Dunoyer from Colombia was a government official in Colombia who was targeted by narco guerilla groups who threatened to hurt his family. In 2002, Roberto and his wife Consuelo decided to leave Colombia and moved to the United States to protect their two children, Pablo and Camilo (now 21 and 18 years old, respectively). 

When the family came to the United States, they entered with a visa. However, after the visa expired in 2005, they applied for political asylum. But in 2008, the political asylum case was denied by a judge who claimed that their case was not 100 percent political. Currently, the family is undocumented living in San Diego County, California.

One of the interviews that impacted me was with Camilo, Roberto’s teenage son, about his experience as an undocumented teenager. While being interviewed, Camilo began crying because his immigration status prevented him from doing typical American teenager things like obtaining a driver’s license. The emotions in the series run very high; one minute I felt sad and empathetic for Camilo and his family and the next minute my blood was boiling over the immigration laws that separated Camilo from his father. 

‘Living Undocumented” is a great series to watch, although frustrating at times, the series teaches us the importance of immigrants in our country. The series reminds us that taking our documented status for granted is unacceptable, especially in America.