“The Big Sick” actor Kumail Nanjiani is teaming up with The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Brooklyn Defenders Services to help immigrant communities. He’s lent his voice to the #WeHaveRights campaign, narrating in Urdu the options they have if U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s ICE agency has arrested or detained anyone.
ICE has been arresting, detaining, and deporting immigrants and the number has only increased since the current administration came into power.
ICE arrests have increased 30%. The fastest-growing category of arrests? Those with no criminal records.
There are videos in many languages.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 27, 2018
That’s why We Have Rights is aimed to prepare for and safely defend their rights during encounters with ICE, including steps to take during an emergency and how to request for a lawyer.
In most cases, language is obviously a big barrier between agents and the immigrants, who aren’t given a chance to speak up for themselves. These videos are meant to give them the vital information they need that they probably won’t get from anywhere else in a language they understand. Nanjiani’s Urdu contribution is a big help in the right direction. It’s the actor and comedian’s native language. He hails from Pakistan.
Sending this out again. If you have Hindi or Urdu speakers who may benefit from instructions on how to deal with ICE, please forward to them. (Hindi speakers won’t be able to read the text but the instructions are spoken as well, so they’ll understand most of it.) https://t.co/46kQ4vJpsv
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 28, 2018
Besides Urdu and English, the other languages the videos are offered in are Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Haitian Creole, and Mandarin, narrated by fellow artists like Jesse Williams, Diane Guerrero, Xiren Wang, and Katya Lee. ACLU also released multi-language ‘Know Your Rights’ pamphlets to ensure non-citizens are aware of all of their rights, offering advice in a Q&A format. They are offering them for no cost to ethnic communities. Right now, these pamphlets are in English, Spanish, and Arabic and will soon be published in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, and Farsi but they are available to read digitally already.