(7/20) Orange Is The New Black Shines Light On The Reality Of Immigration Policies
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Politics

Season 6 Of 'OITNB' Brings To Life The Reality Of Current Immigration Policies

Season 6 of "Orange Is The New Black" symptoms may include heartbreak and nausea as it brings light to the current immigration climate and political atmosphere in the United States.

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Season 6 Of 'OITNB' Brings To Life The Reality Of Current Immigration Policies

Thousands of children and family members have been stripped of their dignities and identities when they were separated from one another. They have had to face President Trump's current view on immigration status. A recent report conducted in June, according to The Guardian, found children as young as 14 in a situation similar to prison, where they were handcuffed, strapped in chairs with mesh bags over their heads, and taken away from their families. This is the story of many children, and it is happening just 150 miles outside of the United States state capital.

Just 390 miles away from DC, the newest season of "Orange Is The New Black" (OITNB) takes place, shining a light on another type of prison system. Airing July 27th, the show has been a binge-watching sensation for Netflix since airing in 2013. With witty characters, a forbidden romance and the justice system questioned, the show doubled Netflix profits in 2014 just after its first season premiered the year prior. The show has since then touched upon issues of sexual abuse, police brutality, and the prison system. Following the trend of societal issues, season six dived deeper as it introduces a new prison, sociopathic characters, and elements of the United States' current political atmosphere. Season six painted the reality for many families in the states today.

"OITNB" highlighted the current immigration situation that President Trump has been addressing and that has occupied much of the media's attention for the last several months. Season six focused on issues that people outside of the prison cells could deeply connect with, the idea of your identity stolen and taken away from your family. According to VOX, from October 1st, 2017 to May 31st, 2018 at least 2,700 children have been separated from their families, with an additional 45 children separated from their parents daily. The season six final episode left viewers heartbroken as an ongoing romance between two characters on the show quickly being broken away due to the immigration policies in the United States.

It's a moment of heartbreak for fans who have followed Blanca Flores and her partner Diablo's romance since season one's ironic bathroom scenes. You can feel your heart sinking as you realize that this isn't just a television romance being broken up by immigration, but a true story of thousands of families in the United States today.

The story was hard not to fall in love with as we watched her character progress over the six seasons, with season five diving deeper into her life. Fans watched the character fall in love, endure prison brutality and battel with feminine issues. As the season progressed her character became more relatable and intertwined throughout the show.

However, as we watched her walk away at the end of the season finale, your heart breaks watching her being taken away as the camera zoomed in on the deportation bus. All as Diablo waits outside with flowers, waiting to take her home. That moment, the moment of realizing that someone you love can be taken away at any moment is the truth and pain behind thousands of stories of loved ones being broken apart as a result of Trump's immigration policies.

The thought still remains, however, despite being able to accept characters in prison, why are people still afraid to accept immigrants into the States? The United States, a country founded on immigration, a country who praises itself on the idea of the American dream, is turning its back on people just trying to make a better life for themselves.

If we can fall in love with characters like Blanca, whose immigration status was not revealed until the last episode in the newest season, where is the humanity for people going through this daily. Often, when discussing immigration, you hear about people speaking about immigrants bringing in drugs, violence, using resources and jobs. People seemed to be forgetting that immigrants who are coming to the United States are coming to make a better life for themselves, doing the same thing that the majority the United States ancestor did centuries beforehand. However, during the current political climate, the truth behind immigration is masked.

In a live CBS broadcast in May 2018, Present Trump addressed the California Sanctuary cities laws, Trump states, "We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in—we're stopping a lot of them. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals. And we're taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that's never happened before." During this statement, Trump imminently categorized immigrants as animals, taking away any sense of humanity that they may have. This characterization from the president creates false images of who is coming to the United States and why.

While Trumps describes immigrants as "bad people," there are plenty of notably criminal American citizens. Ted Bundy, a rapist and serial killer was born and raised the states. Timothy McVeigh, one of the participants in the Oklahoma bombing, was born in Lockport New York and was honorably discharged from the United States Army. A person's origin has no correlation with what makes someone a good or bad person.

"OITNB" addresses these issues by challenging the public to see characters like Blanca and let you fall in love with her. They let you see her background story. They let you into her life, before identifying her immigration status. If we can fall in love with characters like her and feel the heartbreak as we watch her and her love part ways, how can we not have the same emotional feeling towards the thousands of families who have this happening to them every day? It is vital to start recognizing the stories behind immigrants and taking away the labels that politicians have placed upon their shoulders. With that, it is vital to eliminate prior judgment and focus on the concept that immigrants, despite their origin of birth, are human.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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