×

‘The Fosters’ Season Finale Tackles Trump’s Anti-Immigration Policies

Freeform’s family drama “The Fosters” is known for punctuating its season premieres and finales with stories that deal with hot button issues. The summer finale for the show’s fifth season follows the pattern as executive producer Joanna Johnson and her writers did not want to ignore recent news headlines surrounding immigration laws.

“We always do try to make sure that these stories reverberate personally with our characters and our family, that we’re not just telling ‘issues of the week,'” Johnson tells Variety.

The Fosters” has taken on the topic before, through the character of Lexi (Bianca A. Santos) who, in a pivotal first season episode, actually threatened to call the authorities and get her own undocumented parents arrested. Now, though, Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) and Callie’s (Maia Mitchell) new friend Ximena (Lisseth Chavez) revealed that her father has been updating their family’s plan for what would happen if he were to get deported. Unfortunately for Ximena, the plan becomes more than just a hypothetical when ICE agents show up at the prom, which is being held in her roller derby rink.

“We felt it was important to tell that story again in light of all of the changes with our country,” Johnson says. “ICE has been given the marching orders that everyone is game and detention centers are filling up like crazy. It used to be that the higher priority were immigrants who had some kind of criminal offense, but now it’s sort of ‘anybody goes.'”

Johnson’s writers’ room was greatly inspired by activist Daniela Vargas, who spoke out about ICE arresting her family members earlier this year – only to also then be detained.

“We think it’s an important story to tell because these kids have been brought here by their parents, and many of them when they were babies, and they’re not Mexican citizens, or they don’t feel like they are,” Johnson says. “We’re supposed to care about keeping families together, but we’re ripping these families apart.”

“The Fosters'” summer finale airs on Freeform Sept. 5 at 8 p.m.

More TV

  • She's Gotta Have It Review

    'She's Gotta Have It' Canceled After Two Seasons at Netflix

    Netflix has canceled Spike Lee’s series adaptation of “She’s Gotta Have It.” The show ran for two seasons at the streamer. Lee is expected to shop the series to other outlets. The news comes less than two months after the release of Season 2 back in May. “Spike Lee is one of the greatest filmmakers [...]

  • David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

    'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Will No Longer Attend Comic-Con Panel

    “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with some beloved “Thrones” actors, have canceled their scheduled appearances at San Diego International Comic-Con. Actors Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei of Naath), director Miguel Sapochnik, and dual writer-producers Benioff and Weiss are no longer attending, HBO revealed in a revised panel lineup [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 'Mr. Robot' Drops

    TV News Roundup: 'Mr. Robot' Drops Season 4 Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, USA releases a trailer for the final season of “Mr. Robot,” Apple plans a “Snoopy in Space” series and Variety has an exclusive clip from Season 3 of Netflix’s “The Epic Tale of Captain Underpants.” CASTING Golden Globe-winner Ian McShane will guest star in the season premiere of “Law & Order: SVU.” [...]

  • Elisabeth Moss Handmaid's Tale

    Why Elisabeth Moss Deserves More than 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Column)

    Elisabeth Moss has a long talk with a somewhat less-than-present conversation partner, to which Moss herself brings a certain wired tension. Her physical posture, upright even as her voice frays with exhaustion, indicates as much as do her words a new resolve to do better than she’s done as a caretaker. Having run out of [...]

  • jeffrey hirsch Starz

    Listen: Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch Spots an Opening in the Global Streaming Market

    Streaming content is about as competitive as a business gets these days, but don’t tell that to Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch. He’s aggressively moving to establish the Lionsgate-owned premium programmer around the world while the time is right for his company to stake its claim. “Other than Netflix, we’re probably be the second or third [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content