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Letter in Support of 'The Infiltrators' Protagonist Claudio Rojas

By Simon Kilmurry

Dear Documentary Community:

On the eve of the East Coast premiere of Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra's Sundance Film Festival Award-winning The Infiltrators at the Miami International Film Festival, one of the protagonists from that film, Claudio Rojas, was detained by ICE and is now in the Krome Detention Center in South Miami-Dade. What began as a routine check-in with ICE has quickly devolved into the very real possibility of Rojas being deported immediately. A native of Argentina, he has lived in the US for 19 years and is a father and grandfather to US citizens. For more on this story, click here.

We feel strongly that detaining a protagonist of a documentary film has a chilling effect on those whose stories we tell as documentary journalists, and restricts the examination around policies of great national importance.

Below is a letter we have sent to Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security; Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury; Florida Congressman Ted Deutch (D); and Florida Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R). Feel free to forward this letter to them, to your elected representatives, as well to your respective networks.

Thanks very much!

2021 update:

As the US switch to new administration, we must send a clear message to President Biden. ICE must stop punishing immigrants for expressing their views, whether in the context of our work or otherwise. Secondly, it is time to reverse the deportation of Claudio and others like him who have been illegally targeted for their speech. Please join us by adding your name to a new letter to President Biden.