×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘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

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • R. KellyR. Kelly in concert at

    'Surviving R. Kelly' Producers on the Lifetime Doc's Ripple Effect

    The ripple effect of “Surviving R. Kelly” continues to widen more than a week after the documentary aired on Lifetime, renewing public interest — and outrage — over the litany of sexual abuse allegations against the R&B artist. Lady Gaga and Phoenix have apologized for working with him. Chance the Rapper and other artists are said to [...]

  • Yellowstone

    Viacom Lays Off Paramount Network Staffers Amid Reorganization (EXCLUSIVE)

    Viacom has laid off a number of staffers in its entertainment group, with the majority of the affected employees hailing from Paramount Network, Variety has learned exclusively. A Viacom spokesperson declined to comment. But a source with knowledge of the situation that the number of affected employees was fewer than 20, or less than 2% of [...]

  • The Last OG

    TV News Roundup: 'Last O.G.' Sets Season 2 Premiere Date on TBS

    In today’s TV News Roundup, “The Last O.G.” announces its Season 2 return date and Variety has the exclusive first look at Fox’s new legal drama “Proven Innocent.” FIRST LOOKS Netflix has announced its new limited series “Black Earth Rising” will launch on Jan. 25. The contemporary thriller series stars Michaela Coel as Kate Ashby, a Rwandan girl [...]

  • Matt Walsh

    'Veep' Star Matt Walsh to Lead ABC Comedy Pilot 'Happy Accident'

    Matt Walsh has been tapped for a lead role in the upcoming ABC single-camera comedy pilot “Happy Accident.” In the series, two Pittsburgh families – a father (Walsh) with three adult daughters, and a hotel lounge singer with her med student son – are forced together after a decades-old secret is revealed. Walsh currently stars in [...]

  • Jane Fonda

    'Grace and Frankie' Renewed for Season 6 at Netflix

    Netflix has renewed “Grace and Frankie” for a sixth season ahead of the Season 5 premiere this Friday. The series stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as the titular characters who found their lives turned upside down when their husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, respectively) revealed they were gay and left the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content