A film by Peter Raymont | Canada | English | 100′ / 3x46′
Much has changed in immigration policing since Lindalee Tracey and Peter Raymont made their acclaimed 1997 documentary about Canada’s illegal immigrant population, Invisible Nation. Enforcement policy is now emphatically anti-criminal, while intelligence gathering has become more centralized. Priorities have become the capture and deportation of criminals, anti-terrorism and staunching the endless flow of illegals between Canada and the United States.
The Undefended Border burrows deep into the criminal underground and into the newly formed enforcement units trying to control it: the Immigration Task Force, the War Crimes Unit, the “Failed Refugee” Program and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. While enforcement officers raid factories and homes searching for benign illegals and failed refugees, there is a new political urgency to defend against Canada’s reputation as a “soft” country.
The Undefended Border explores the furious new pace of immigration police work, revealing individual investigators staggering in the blur of competing urgencies. Shot over six months in the wake of 9/11, the series pulls back the layers of bureaucracy to reveal the priorities and the police work behind individual cases involving illegal immigrants. It follows the progress of these cases through investigation, detention and deportation.
Produced by White Pine Pictures in association with TVO, Life Network, CFCF 12, Knowledge Network, ACCESS The Education Station, with the participation of theCanadian Television Fund, Created by the Government of Canada, and the Canadian Cable Industry, Telefilm Canada: Equity Investment Program, CTF: License Fee Program, Rogers Telefund, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
“An excellent three-part documentary series…it’s compelling and a little frightening…it’s more dramatic and captivating than any of the so-called dramas airing tonight.”
“The filmmakers’ tenacity, understanding and sensitivity over the years have resulted in unprecedented access to the front lines of immigration enforcement, immediately after September 11…The camera sees what the investigators see – frightened faces, the twitch of desperation, cold stares”
“The Undefended Border should be mandatory viewing for everyone. It is as important for the insights it provides as it is for the questions that inevitably come to mind as you watch it.”
“The filmmakers were aloud remarkable access to their subjects. What Undefended Border captures on tape is intriguing”