Voices in Exile: Immigrants and the First Amendment

Arab Americans bring civil liberties to the Supreme Court
Year Released
Film Length(s)
30 mins
Remote video URL


Since 9-11 and the passage of the USA Patriot Act, immigrants' rights to civil liberties have been profoundly diminished under the rubric of "national security". Voices in Exile gives historical context to these contemporary issues, by drawing connections between recent campaigns against Muslims and Arab Americans, the anti-communism of the McCarthy era and the post-WWI Palmer raids.

Featured review

By drawing historical connections between the recent hysterical campaigns directed against Arab Americans, the anti-communism of the McCarthy era and the post-WWI Palmer raids against immigrant radicals, Voices in Exile addresses civil liberties issues far beyond the case of the 'L.A. 8′…
Joel Beinin
Professor of History, Stanford University


Voices in Exile succinctly documents the beginnings of the longest running deportation case in US history: the 20 year trial of the "LA 8". This riveting video examines plans for rounding up Arab Americans, reminiscent of the WWII internment of Japanese Americans, and foreshadowing Guantanamo. The ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights take on the FBI, INS and Justice Department (now Homeland Security) in a courtroom battle over First Amendment rights for all non-citizen residents.


Through Voices in Exile, we are able to meet the faces and hear the voices of those the government would prefer remain faceless and voiceless among us.
Kip Steinberg
Hastings Law School Professor

Awards and Screenings

Honorable Mention, San Francisco International Film Festival
Certificate of Merit, NY Expo of Short Films and VIdeo
Finalist, Women in the Directors Chair

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • DVD Extras

Film/Audio Languages

  • English

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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