Mon, 07/12/2010 - 8:00am - 9:00am
9500 Liberty, a documentary on one town's battle over immigration
Hosts Celeste Carey and Cecil Prescod speak with the co-directors of the documentary film, 9500 LIBERTY
, which begins a week run at Cinema 21 on July 16. The film recounts the passing of an immigration reform resolution in Prince William County, Virginia in 2007. This radical resolution was the precursor to Arizona's recent controversial immigration bill
, which the Portland city council voted unanimously to oppose
. The resolution which required law enforcement to question any persons they thought might be illegal aliens had a devastating effect on the economy and community of Prince William County. 9500 LIBERTY plays like a court room drama detailing the introduction of the resolution, the main players, its dramatic affect on the county and its eventual reform.
Arizona's infamous S.B. 1070 has been tried once before. In Prince William County, VA, a law requiring police to check the immigration status of those they had "probable cause" to suspect are undocumented immigrants went into effect in March 2008 after a 10-month culture war that included a bitterly contentious election. Despite a climate of fear and racial tension, ordinary citizens banded together to ask lawmakers to repeal of the controversial "probable cause" mandate. They succeeded with an inventive combination of Internet and grassroots advocacy, pointing to the law's unexpectedly negative economic impact, and the costly law suits that would have been a heavy burden for taxpayers. Both Arizona's S.B. 1070 and the Virginia county's short-lived "probable cause" mandate were originally drafted by the same anti-immigration lobbying firm in Washington DC
9500 Liberty begins showing July 16 at Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave. in Portland.
The film's co-director Eric Byler will be at screenings on July 16 to introduce the film and answer questions.