While the Trump administration is tightening up on immigration law enforcement, the American Civil Liberties Union is assisting illegal immigrants in avoiding arrest and deportation. The ACLU has produced an animated series that provides information about enforcement techniques used by by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while the agency is detaining persons suspected of being illegally present in the United States.

The entire series is narrated in English, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Haitian Creole, and Urdu by a variety of celebrities, including Diane Guerrero -- an actress born in New York to Colombian parents, Chicago-born actor/activist Jesse Williams, and comedian Kumail Nanjiani -- an American citizen born in Pakistan. Another narrator is Linda Sarsour -- a progressive Muslim activist from New York who was a co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. The series is narrated in Arabic, English, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.

The animated series is the product of cooperation on the part of the Immigrant Defense Project, Brooklyn Defender Services and the ACLU to inform aliens about their rights and protections under the law. For example, illegal aliens are legally required to have access to an attorney. Also, they are counseled to not allow ICE agents into their homes without a warrant signed by a judge.

Titled “We Have Rights,” each of the short videos offer what are purportedly real-life situations that arise when ICE agents confront suspected illegal aliens. The videos state that aliens are not legally required to admit agents into their homes without a proper warrant. They also allege that ICE agents lie or use illegal deception to trick persons so as to detain them.

The ACLU states on its website: “ICE agents may come to your home looking for you or a loved one. They will try a number of tricks to get you to open the door. This video will help you understand what your rights are if ICE agents come to your home and what you can to try to prevent them from entering.” “ICE arrests increased by 30% in 2017. Today, more than ever, it is critical for you and your loved ones to have a plan for what to do if one of you is arrested by ICE. This video will walk you through what your rights are if ICE arrests you. It explains what you and your loved ones should do if one of you is arrested.”

Created by the the FLUORfilms production house of Chile, the videos use a storybook style that reveal domestic scenes that are familiar. A statement from the ACLU said that the videos are being released when ICE is allegedly violating the Constitutional precepts by enforcing immigration law. “ICE has a disturbing history of crossing the line and we want immigrants to know that they are protected under the Constitution,” said the statement.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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