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Netflix’s ‘Living Undocumented’ is a sobering eye-opener on immigrant life

Netflix’s ‘Living Undocumented’ is a sobering eye-opener on immigrant life

Netflix’s ‘Living Undocumented’ is a sobering eye-opener on immigrant life
October 24
21:52 2019

Netflix’s latest series, “Living Undocumented,” follows eight families as they open up about being undocumented in current day America. The series shows real struggles, issues and emotions that they must face and maneuver daily as undocumented individuals. 

Many people have always angrily asked, “why can’t they come here the right way?” yet are utterly unaware of what the process is or how long it takes.

The immigrant visa process is one of the most challenging steps that an immigrant can decide to take. 

Applying to become a legal U.S. citizen is a 10 step process, but with each step, approval must be met. Each step requires application fees that are not refundable regardless if the application gets approved or not. 

According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the first step before the process is having petitions written by a spouse, sibling, parent or their own children. This petition indicates why you believe that the “Alien Relative” needs to be accepted. This step will cost a filing fee of $535 and once filed, still needs to be accepted. If denied, you cannot move forward with trying to get a visa which is the first problem that many immigrants face in this long process.

Many immigrants flee their homeland because of war, economic troubles, better education, or for the sake of wanting to be reunited with their loved ones. If they are already struggling financially, they most likely will not even be able to provide the money for their petitions. Everything is time sensitive. Immigrants do not have time to pinch pennies, or to wait for the petition to be processed only for them to be denied. Many are forced to enter the US illegally because that is their one chance of survival, or their one chance for a better life.

Now that is only the first step, and as I previously stated, there are 10 total steps. 

With all this being said, these families simply cannot afford to pay all of these fees. Some of the topics discussed in the show is how families are ripped apart from each other. A simple drive to the store could possibly turn into a simple traffic stop that could lead to being detained and then deported.

Everyday these eight individuals in the show fear leaving their homes and trying to live a “normal” life. Everyday they live with the fear that they will never see their dad, mom, or sibling ever again. They struggle trying to find a decent paying job in order to support their family. They cannot get a drivers license and they cannot even get social security benefits even though they can never claim their own taxes.

Just like in the show, here are many more families throughout the U.S. that get scared if a police car gets behind them during a regular driving route or get scared if someone tries to attack them because if they end up in an altercation, they are the ones to get arrested and most likely deported.  

This series is such an eye opener, and these eight families in the show are the ones that have bravely decided to share their stories. They are millions of untold stories still living in the shadows of fear. 

Featured Illustration: Olivia Varnell

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Megan Hernandez

Megan Hernandez

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