Netflix’s Living Undocumented series presents a rare view of the citizenship crisis many families quietly battle by letting cameras follow the daily struggles of eight undocumented families. The Colombia-born Dunoyer family is one of them, but the price of their participation has been steep: Newsweek reports that they're now living in fear of being targeted by ICE.
The family explained in the series that they fled to the U.S. in 2002 and applied for asylum through San Diego's immigration system because their father Roberto's life was being threatened by drug traffickers. (The series even stated that guerillas in Colombia were still sending Roberto threats at the time the documentary was made.) But in 2008 a judge denied their asylum request. After the Netflix series aired, Roberto was picked up by authorities in the parking lot of his job and he was deported, the family tells Newsweek. Now, his sons Camilo and Pablo, who are 18 and 21, have dropped out of school and are living in separate hideaway locations. Camilo told Newsweek, "I don't feel safe anywhere. [...] I barely leave the house I'm in."
The Dunoyer family's plight highlights an issue in documentary filmmaking: what happens when a project puts its subjects at risk? In Living Undocumented, Roberto's background story of narrowly escaping murderous drug traffickers heightens the drama and suspense of the series. But for the Dunoyer family, that's their reality.
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