Netflix Filmmakers Forced By DHS To Delay Immigration Documentary

The New York Times reported on Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security forced a couple of documentary filmmakers to delay the release of their Netflix documentary about immigration. The film is about the immigration policy of the Trump administration and the filmmakers are being forced to not release the film until after the 2020 Presidential election. The NYT also reported that scenes that cast a bad light on Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were cut from the film at the demand of DHS.

The report was done by Caitlin Dickerson who points out that the filmmakers were granted unprecedented access to the immigration process and how it is carried out. The filming began in 2017, but as the filming was being concluded the federal government became anxious about the film and fought to get some scenes stripped and the overall film delayed by threatening legal action. The report reads, “In early 2017, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement prepared to carry out the hardline agenda on which President Trump had campaigned, agency leaders jumped at the chance to let two filmmakers give a behind-the-scenes look at the process. But as the documentary neared completion in recent months, the administration fought mightily to keep it from being released until after the 2020 election. After granting rare access to parts of the country’s powerful immigration enforcement machinery that are usually invisible to the public, administration officials threatened legal action and sought to block parts of it from seeing the light of day.”

Dickerson continued, “In heated phone calls and emails, they said, [an] official pushed to delay publication of the series, currently set to air on Netflix next month. He warned that the federal government would use its ‘full weight’ to veto scenes it found objectionable. Several times, the filmmakers said, the official pointed out that it was their ‘little production company,’ not the film’s $125 billion distributor, that would face consequences. The filmmakers said they were told that the administration’s anger over the project came from ‘all the way to the top.’”

The filmmakers have been taking serious precautions to protect their film, including, placing security cameras around their office and encrypting the servers were footage is kept. The Trump administration’s immigration policy has been very divisive with the act of separating children from their families being the biggest point of contention. The conditions the children are kept in at detention centers are also causing massive outrage from many Americans. In the eyes of many, the administration is trying to keep itself from enduring more public scrutiny.

Read the full report here.

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