An educational Spanish language video series created specifically for Latino immigrants


Legal System

The Challenge

Some immigrants may feel a certain amount of trepidation regarding the legal system and law enforcement. Depending upon each unique set of circumstances and personal history, that unease may manifest as distrust, causing avoidance, even when help is needed urgently. Sometimes law enforcement agencies may lack the information or resources to effectively cope with these cultural and language barriers. These issues, as well as immigration status, may keep some immigrants from the resources that inform them about:

  • The U.S. Justice System
  • Guaranteed protection under the law
  • Legal responsibilities and expectations


As a primary goal, this video/DVD seeks to promote cooperative and trusting relationships between law enforcement and immigrated residents. With depictions of common scenarios between the two, the video/DVD explains certain protections under federal law and demonstrates how immigrants and law enforcement can work together to keep everyone safe. Key laws and elements of the U.S. justice system are spotlighted, informing immigrants of both their rights and responsibilities under the law. Highlights include:

  • Relating comfortably with Law Enforcement
    1. Calling on Law Enforcement for Assistance
    2. Reporting a crime
    3. Traffic violations (including OWI)
    4. Language barriers (protection under Title VI of the Civil Rights Code)
    5. Arrests
  • U.S. Justice System
    1. Guaranteed Miranda Rights
    2. Going to Court
    3. Public Defenders


Many law enforcement-related agencies are making concerted efforts to reach out to Hispanic and other immigrant communities. Some offer online resources of assistance to immigrants and/or immigrant service providers. Additionally, a significant amount of information regarding the legal system (some of which is translated into multiple languages) exists on federally sponsored or other national Web sites. For a listing of some of these resources, scroll down for a link to a document containing them. Supplemental state-specific or local resources may be located via the printed resource guide that accompanies this video.

For a listing of organizations and sites that furnish general information or assistance to immigrants, or provide assistance in multiple areas, either click here for general resources or you may download an adobe acrobat pdf file of tax resources.

Facilitator's Guide

View the Facilitator’s Guide for the Legal System Title here.

Running Time: 22:33 minutes

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