Maria Hinojosa and her crew at work on “Lost in Detention,” a Frontline documentary airing this week on PBS.Mamiverse: Do you consider Lost in Detention to be your best and/or most important work in your long and distinguished career? Why or why not? Hinojosa:I do indeed consider this to be one of my most important works. It’s hard for me to say at this point because nobody has watched it yet. I am very blessed that I have done in depth stories on a variety of topics, including women presidents, child brides, and now two documentaries on immigration. This latest documentary, “Lost in Detention,” is such an important piece of work, and I know that have done my job as an American journalist, which is to shed light on something that nobody knows about or has seen. I feel that this is one of the most important projects of my career, but what happens when it hits the public is what matters to me. I can watch it and cry and be inspired or moved, but the real measure for me is how the public reacts to the piece. Mamiverse: Briefly tell Mamiverse readers about (detainee and mother of five) Roxana Garcia. Do you think she will ever get to see her children again? Will they be forced to become Mexican citizens since their mother was deported?
In the her new documentary “Lost in Detention,” Frontline correspondent Maria Hinojosa takes a penetrating look at the harsh world of immigration detention and the Obama administration’s enforcement policies. Mamiverse caught up with the always cool, calm, and on-the-move Maria to speak about her latest work, her new job as the first Latina correspondent for Frontline, and her greatest role of all: supermami. Mamiverse: Immigration is such a hot button issue, is that why you and PBS felt it was important to devote a year of investigative reporting to it? Hinojosa: This started because we had a paper trail and a strong investigative angle for this story in Willacy, a detention center in Texas. As we began our investigation for abuse in this one center, we realized the problem was much bigger than just the conditions in this one location. The problem was that there were over 250 detention centers across the country and nobody has been inside. Then, because the President inserted himself into the conversation, we made it deeper and looked at how the Obama administration is handling the immigration and detention issue. We started narrow, and it became much larger. Unless you are at a high level in the government, I don’t believe anyone else has witnessed the circle of immigration—the executing warrants, the detention, the deportation, and the impact on the community. I don’t think anyone has seen the cycle like we have.