One tool that Immigrations and Custom Enforcement agents use against immigrants is a lack of knowledge about what legal rights they do and do not have.
A new video series from the American Civil Liberties Union is working to change that. On Tuesday, the ACLU and Brooklyn Defender Services launched a new “national immigrant empowerment campaign” called We Have Rights, focused on a series of animated videos.
The videos feature stories of immigrants coming into contact with ICE agents in four scenarios: when ICE agents are at the door, when they enter people’s homes, when they arrest people on the street, and after people have been arrested.
In the first video, a woman named Esther hears a knock on the door early in the morning. Looking through the peephole, she sees two men who say they are police officers. She remembers her rights, and does not open the door:
In the second video, a couple is getting their daughter ready for school when ICE agents knock at the door. “Do not open the door if authorities come to your home, no matter what they say,” the narrator says. “Without a warrant signed by a judge, they have no authority to enter. But beware: ICE may enter your home forcefully anyway.”
The series of animated videos is narrated in seven languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Haitian Creole, and Urdu. The videos feature voiceover work from well-known activists and actors, including Linda Sarsour, Grey’s Anatomy’s Jesse Williams, Orange Is the New Black’s Diane Guerrero, and Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani.
“It’s a terrifying and dangerous time to be among the more than 11 million immigrants living in the United States today,” Williams said in a statement. “Making sure that everyone, including our immigrant family members, friends and neighbors are aware of their rights is critical to fulfilling our nation’s promise. I’m honored to be able to use my voice to help people live an informed, free and dignified existence. Immigrants are people.”