The mother? Undocumented.
The father? Deported.
The children? One citizen, two Dreamers.
Against the backdrop of shifting border immigration policy, the Arvizus, a mixed-status family in El Paso, Texas, navigate love, work, and the desire for a better life.
The Arvizus live on the border between El Paso, Texas and Juárez, Mexico. They are one of more than three million mixed-status families in the United States, households in which at least one family member resides in the US legally while others are undocumented. Margarita and Mandis Arvizu came to the US illegally in 1997 from Juárez, at a time when the city had one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Now, over 20 years later, their family reckons daily with the effects of US immigration policy.
Mandis was deported back to Mexico in 2012. Margarita, undocumented, lives in the shadows, struggling to support her family as a single mother. The two eldest Arvizu children, Daisy and Armando, were both brought to the US before the age of two and have protected status through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that currently stands in limbo. The youngest, Adaiah, is a natural-born US citizen who would be separated from his mother and siblings if they were deported.
Created by an all-female team of documentary filmmakers, Mixed Status will follow the Arvizus as they come of age, come together, and come apart during the Trump administration. As policy changes play out on a national scale, we will see them navigate the tenuous day-to-day realities of living on the border as a mixed-status family.