Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reflections and Resources for Justice

On the 10th Anniversary of 9/11:

As the 10th anniversary nears of the events now known simply as "9/11", we pause to reflect on that tragedy, and both the compassionate and hateful responses it triggered. We remember all the innocent lives lost then, and also in the years since, due to the consequences and violence in the "war against terrorism."

The U.S. government's response -- the enhancement and consolidation of "national security" measures and eventual engagement in two long wars -- continues to shape a cruel environment for immigration and immigrant rights, in particular. It's now hard to even recall that in the months preceding 9/11, the immigrant rights movement truly believed that political progress was being made towards the development of a new legalization program. Much of our education, advocacy and organizing since 9/11 has been framed by or fueled by a national security rationale in the the evolution and enhancement of immigration enforcement policies and practices.

At the National Network, many of our members and friends were literally on planes on 9/11, returning home from Durban, South Africa, where more than 60 delegation members had participated in the UN World Conference Against Racism and Xenophobia. There too, we had been buoyed by the positive work with our global partners towards uplifting the rights of migrants. We were so excited that we had worked to improve some 45 paragraphs in the UN's "Durban Document" that pertained to migrants and other displaced people!

But we all quickly realized that our work -- our world -- had just made a dramatic shift. Ever since, much of our work and that of the immigrant rights movement has been imprinted in so many ways by 9/11. We could not really know how our efforts would change, but we quickly came to understand that we faced new and ever more difficult challenges.

We wanted to share the editorial and one of the articles that appeared in our first issue of Network News after 9/11 - an issue that was delayed due to the developments, and which also included thoughtful commentary by a variety of immigrant rights voices. Click here to read No Nation of Immigrants Would Treat Immigrants This Way, by Network News Editor Arnoldo Garcia. The themes and concerns are all too familiar today. Calamity of the Patriot, an article by law professor Richard Boswell, describes the impact of the Patriot Act - one of a long line of laws and programs cracking down on immigrants.

We are also sharing tools and resources from friends and allies to strengthen our fight for human rights and justice.

This coming week, we will share a new popular education resource addressing Islamophobia, and we encourage all of our members, friends and allies to help raise awareness in all of our communities of the painful realities of growth of racism and hate, particularly directed to Muslims and anyone perceived to be a Muslim.

NNIRR is also organizing a new national campaign in the coming weeks to shift the narrative on immigration, build support for the suspension of detentions and deportations, and renew the call for a genuine legalization program. Please join us!

Resources and Actions:

NNIRR is a member of the Rights Working Group (RWG), which is organizing a National Week of Action -- Reflecting on Our Loss and Reclaiming Our Rights, this Sept. 11-17. Go here to download the Campaign toolkit for more information on how you can participate this coming week and beyond. A conversation guide is also available.

View the video, Checkpoint Nation? Building Community Across Borders, produced by Breakthrough to complement the RWG campaign against racial profiling. The video features four of NNIRR's member groups - Desis Rising Up and Moving, VAMOS Unidos, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Coalicion de Derechos Humanos - who had organized a solidarity tour of the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.

Sign the petition initiated by RWG to President Obama, to take action against racial profiling.

South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT) has launched a new campaign, An America for All of Us, to "build a movement to address post 9/11 backlash." Check it out here.

A special issue of the journal Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts focuses on the impacts of 9/11 on Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian racial, ethnic and religious identities. Information on ordering is available here.

And finally, NNIRR's latest HURRICANE report, Injustice for All: The Rise of U.S. Immigration Policing Regime, describes the consolidation of government infrastructure and policies that have been set in place post 9/11.

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NNIRR's 25th Anniversary Celebration:
Bridging Communities, Breaking Down Walls

Saturday, November 5

Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 5:30 - 10:00 pm
Oakland, CA


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