Thursday, September 8, 2011
CHECKPOINT NATION? RACIAL PROFILING BY LAW ENFORCEMENT ON THE RISE IN THE US SINCE 9/11: New video by Breakthrough and Rights Working Group documents shocking harassment — and growing solidarity in the struggle for justice and respect
Breakthrough and Rights Working Group (RWG), a coalition focused on ending racial profiling and fighting other human rights violations in the U.S., today released “CHECKPOINT NATION? BUILDING COMMUNITY ACROSS BORDERS,” a documentary video depicting the reality of racial profiling.
Several federal initiatives — such as 287(g) and Secure Communities, which give local and state police authority to enforce federal immigration law — have intensified racial profiling of migrants and people assumed to be migrants. Laws similar to Arizona’s SB1070, which would require Arizona residents to carry ID documents to prove their immigration status — and which lead to increased discrimination — are being passed in states around the country.
In CHECKPOINT NATION?, a woman named Maria describes being stopped and harassed by Arizona police for no discernable reason while nine months pregnant — and subsequently trailed by immigration agents into one of the most intimate moments of her life.
Set in the U.S./Mexico border area, which sees more and more migrant deaths every year, the video also demonstrates how diverse groups of allies — including Muslim, Arab-, South Asian-, African-, and Latino-Americans; civil rights lawyers and media activists — have found common ground in each other’s histories and united in the shared goals of justice, equality, and respect.
CHECKPOINT NATION? was produced to complement the release of a new report and Week of Action around the 10th anniversary of September 11th spearheaded by RWG, a national coalition of more than 300 civil liberties, national security, immigrant rights and human rights organizations committed to restoring due process and human rights protections that have been eroded in the name of national security. The report, “Reclaiming Our Rights: Reflections on Racial Profiling in a Post-9/11 America,” will be released on September 14th. CHECKPOINT NATION can be viewed here.