THE INFILTRATORS is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center—on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations.


By Cindy Hernández

In 2012, two young undocumented activists on a mission, got themselves detained by ICE and put into a detention center. The activists, Marco Saavedra and Viridiana Martinez were on a mission to free people from inside the facility. The 2019 docu-thriller, “The Infiltrators” follows their journey as they navigate through the challenges of being an undocumented citizen in Florida. 

At the time Marco and Viri were detained, they were a part of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, an organization that pushed for immigration reform and worked towards making sure undocumented people were aware of their rights. During that time, the Obama administration also passed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act — or DACA. This program would grant undocumented citizens who grew up in the U.S. permission to work and go to school. This program changed the lives of many people. “The Infiltrators” showcased how Marco, Viri and the rest of the youth alliance worked to help dreamers inside the Broward Transitional Center — a for-profit facility — be released. 

Eight years later, DACA is at stake and the lives of millions of recipients could be put into jeopardy. Since the Trump administration was put into office, they have tried to terminate DACA but that could all change depending on who is elected President next. 

“The Infiltrators” is gives watchers a glimpse into the lives of undocumented families in America and the daily challenges they must face. However, the movie also shows how despite laws, politicians have the lives of undocumented people in their hands. Politicians have power and are able to influence a decision on a deportation with one phone call. At the same time, the movie shows the power of people’s voices. The people a part of the alliance never gave up and were not afraid to face the systems that so often fail people in the country. What Marco and Viri gave those on the outside a better understanding of the injustices they suffer while at the same time giving people inside some hope at gaining freedom. 

“The Infiltrators” will play until Nov. 6 as part of the 27th “Reel” Latin American Film Festival. For the link to watch the movie, visit their webpage. Credentials for access to the movie can be found on the Al Dia en America events page on Facebook. 

The 27th VIRTUAL Reel” Latin American Film Festival @ UofL

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