In the Spring of 2018, the U.S. government enacted what President Trump called a “zero tolerance” policy meant to deter undocumented immigrants from coming to the United States. At the same time, the Attorney General Sessions worked to make it harder for immigrants to declare and receive asylum status. Central to the policy was a decision to separate children arriving in the U.S. from their families. For more on the policy, see our collection of news sources and teaching suggestions.
PBS’s Frontline explored the story in a one-hour documentary that aired on July 31, 2018. Frontline described the program this way:
What’s happened to the more than 2,000 families who were separated after crossing the U.S. border unlawfully earlier this year? And how did immigration policy in America reach this point?
In a special FRONTLINE report called Separated: Children at the Border that premieres Tuesday, July 31 on PBS and online, acclaimed producer Marcela Gaviria and correspondent Martin Smith examine immigration policy under both Trump and Obama, investigate the origins of “zero tolerance” — and reveal the journeys and voices of children who were separated from their parents.