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Today we get a perspective from the Arizona border on how the state’s new immigrant law will impact human rights. Many have expressed outrage at the state law that would force police to determine the immigration status of someone suspected of being an undocumented immigrant. Jennifer Allen, Executive Director of Border Action Network joins co-host Heidi Boghosian. Border Action Network was formed in 1999 and members work with immigrants and border communities in Southern Arizona to ensure human rights are respected, and human dignity upheld.
Jennifer Allen – Border Action Network:
- SB 1070 is a broad stroke, back door approach of enforcement of federal immigration laws.
- Other components of the legislation, include criminalizing day laborers and those who seek to hire them.
- Other provisions in the bill would require local cities, towns, agencies to save information about people’s immigration / citizenship status and then share that information with other agencies.
- Law enforcement being required, with lawsuits threatened against them, to ask people about their immigration status, based on their appearance. Indeed we do need a sensible immigration policy. We need borders that are safe, secure, orderly.
- If SB 1070 is not stopped in Arizona, it will surely spread throughout the country.
- SB 1070 fiscal analysis for 1 county in Arizona: would cost 10s of millions of dollars for trying to implement law.
- We’ve been calling on the Obama Administration to oppose this legislation.
- This law is a combination of six or seven pieces of legislation that the bill’s sponsor, Senator Russel Pierce has been trying to get through the Arizona legislature, the last 5 years.
- Targets of attrition, wearing people out so they leave Arizona.
- It’s not motivated by public safety and increasing security, it’s much more about pushing families out of the state of Arizona.
- A strong presence of white nationalists groups in Arizona. Minutemen style, state sponsored vigilante group – Border Security Commission Bill.
We are excited to welcome back Sarah Kunstler, daughter of the late radical civil rights lawyer William Kunstler, and co-director of a biographical documentary about her father, titled William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe. The movie is now available on DVD, with extras. In our last interview, Emily told us that it was frightening for us to share the film with the world. She says the first 10 times watching with the audience, she clenched fists, couldn’t even look. The movie is the work of 4 years, but really 30 years says Sarah. Since they were children, she and her sister have been collecting footage and material for the film.
The movie has been described as a sensitive, truthful and insightful film about a man who stood at the center of a confrontational movement and became the public spokesperson for communities standing up to injustice. The story of this radical attorney is told by his daughters in an intimate narrative, from the Chicago 7 to the Attica trials, then the American Indian Movement’s occupation of Wounded Knee.
- We had a theatrical run in about 25 cities.
- Chicago 8, DVD Extra: What you hear is someone unafraid of being held in contempt, someone outraged by the treatment of his clients the court room is an intimidating place. He didn’t let the austere surroundings get to him.
- What I’ve learned since making the film, is my relationship with my father continues.
- When Emily and I started making this film, we thought it would be something we would be getting over.
- This film was written in pieces, it was a struggle, I didn’t know how to write around something or Emily and I would fight in how to say something.
- He seems that he was painfully aware that he was being followed from state to state. The FBI had been listening to his speeches and trying to indict him with trying to incite a riot.
- He makes a differentiation between picayune violence and real demonstration.
Guest – Sarah Kunstler, co-producer and attorney. Sarah Kunstler graduated from Yale University with a BA in Photography in 1998 and from Columbia Law School with a JD in 2004. She is currently a criminal defense attorney practicing in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. Emily, her sister is a film major and former video producer for Democracy Now. They recently won the L’Oreal Women of Worth Vision Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize for Best New Filmmakers at the Traverse City Film Festival.