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This film illustrates a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States. Through a close look at the personal impact of 1996 immigration laws, this film depicts the severity of detention and deportation policies. Lives are changed forever, as legal residents find themselves being torn away from their American families and sent to countries they barely know. For political asylum seekers, dreams are put on hold, as they are kept for years in county jails that profit from their incarceration.

'Through intimate, often passionate interviews, and shocking footage of detainees' treatment behind bars, filmmakers Belle and Wrathall build a powerful argument for the urgent need to reform immigration laws before more lives are ruined and more families torn apart.' Human Rights Watch Film Festival

'ABANDONED looks at a 1996 law that allows for the Immigration and Naturalization Service to imprison legal permanent residents and asylum applicants. 'They can't do that,' say the astounded victims of this unjust law -- and so will you.' IndieWire

'An eye-opening experience for anyone who believed America's immigration laws were fair and basic to the cause of those seeking freedom in the United States. Using documented cases of legal immigrants, some of whom have spent nearly their entire lives in the U.S., the film makers show how flawed the legal system has become during the past decade. If you had any doubt xenophobia was a thing of the past, I strongly recommend you watch this film.' Ken Muir, Professor of Sociology, Appalachian State University


Main credits

Belle, David (Producer)
Belle, David (Director)
Wrathall, Nicholas (Director)
Giles, Gilbert (Narrator)

Other credits

Edited by Robert Edwards; camera, David Belle ... [et al.]; writer, Gabriel Morgan; music, Stuffy Shmitt ... [et al.].

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

American Democracy
American Studies
Human Rights
International Studies
Migration and Refugees
Social Justice
Social Psychology


immigration law,detention,deportation,political asylum,INS; "Abandoned"; Bullfrog Films

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