According to Newsweek, a new Netflix docuseries that is the product of filmmakers’ “unprecedented” access to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reveals ICE agents opening up about their experience being seen as “the bad guys.”
- Filmmakers Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau were granted extraordinary access to both ICE and Border Patrol for three years, following “federal officers and agents as they enforced some of the Trump administration's most controversial immigration policies.”
- The series, called Immigration Nationa and set to launch on August 3, shows “ICE agents speak candidly about their orders to ramp up arrests of undocumented immigrants, with one scene showing an agency supervisor in New York ordering an agent to bring in more ‘collaterals’—undocumented immigrants identified during a targeted arrest—whatever it takes.”
"Start taking collaterals man," an ICE supervisor can be heard saying. "I don't care what you do, but bring at least two people in."
- The series includes numerous one-on-one interviews with agents, several of which Newsweek highlighted.
- “Schwarz and Clusiau found that some appeared contrite over their role in enforcing Trump's immigration crackdown, while others defended their work, arguing that they are just doing their jobs,” the news outlet wrote.
- One agent acknowledged that "ICE isn't a fan favorite of anybody's. Words like 'Nazis'. 'How can you do this'."
- "To be called a Nazi, you know, a racist, you know, it's just ignorant. It's ignorant,” the agent said, before suggesting they are only following orders: "We don't pick and choose groups of people based on race, color, religion. We just look for people who are removable.”
"We're used to it and, I mean, I love my job. I do," he says. 'I have a good stable home. I make money."
- Another agent said, "We constantly look like we're the bad guys, when all we're doing is enforcing the laws and doing our job,” adding: "It gets to me sometimes, it does. Cause, I just feel like, you know, we have no respect."
- She also said “things have changed a lot” under President Trump: "Now, the administration has changed and we're finally able to do our job. To be honest with you, I honestly still cannot believe that he's our president. It's the best thing and the worst thing that could have happened to us."
- Other agents “appeared to express some regret over their role in enforcing the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.”
One agent with ICE fugitive operations, identified only by their first name, "Efran", expressed remorse over the growing arrests of "collaterals" under the Trump administration's guidance of arresting anyone caught living in the U.S. without documentation, a marked departure from the Obama administration's focus on detaining immigrants with criminal convictions.
"Most of our targets are criminal aliens. That's where the collaterals are kind of like, you know, kind of the victim," Efran said. "It's an unfortunate situation because a lot of these guys are hardworking individuals. They're here to work and provide for their family. They just get caught up in politics if you look at it. It's how it is."