New Short Film educates Undocumented immigrants on what to do if arrested
It may not have the power of a Hollywood blockbuster, but the new documentary released yesterday by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrants rights organization in California, can make an impact too.
“America; I Too,” (América, Yo también) is a short film meant to educate undocumented immigrants on what to do if arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and started production on the same day President Trump signed an executive order to deny entrance to the United States to anyone from the seven countries of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia.
It is the second short film in our "Know Your Rights" series starring Academy Award nominee Barkhad Abdi, known for his Oscar-nominated turn playing opposite Tom Hanks in 2013’s “Captain Phillips.”
Directed by Anike Tourse, “America; I Too” tells three interconnected stories about immigrants arrested under different circumstances and follows their journeys through the system, illustrating the different ways in which one can be arrested and the different things that can happen depending on how one responds. It will be dubbed into several languages and distributed as widely as possible.
Abdi signed up for the project unaware that two of the places he lived — Somalia and Yemen — would be included in the ban. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, on April 10, 1985, Abdi earned wide acclaim for his first film role in “Captain Phillips” and has also been cast in the highly anticipated “Blade Runner” reboot, reported My LA News. The son of a teacher, he fled to Yemen with his family at the age of seven after the 1991 civil war erupted in Somalia. Abdi stayed in Yemen until he was 14, when winning a green card lottery allowed his family to move to a Somali neighborhood in Minneapolis.
The film, which has two versions in English and Spanish and subtitles in English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese, counted on the participation of around 250 extras, many of them members of CHIRLA who volunteered their time and talent for the production of Educational video, reported EFE.
"We are deeply proud to have produced and edited this timely film for our community," said Angelica Salas, executive director of CHIRLA. "We hope anyone can use it as a tool to learn about their constitutional rights, how to protect themselves and how to be prepared," said the Hispanic activist.
The premiere of the documentary took place on Monday at the Independent Theater of the Center of Los Angeles and simultaneously will be published in the YouTube channel Chirlavideos.