Tag Archives: prince william county

ACTION: 9500 Liberty Screening in San Francisco tomorrow!

If you live in, or around, or even just near San Francisco, you should try to make it out to the screening of 9500 Liberty tomorrow. The film, which centers around Prince William County, Virginia, documents the local community’s struggle with an anti-immigrant law introduced by elected officials.

9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. Alarmed by a climate of fear and racial division, residents form a resistance using YouTube videos and virtual townhalls, setting up a real-life showdown in the seat of county government.

This film, a low-budget documentary by Annabel Park and Eric Byler, is a front-row glimpse into how deeply the immigration debate can impact a community.  Watch as Prince William County becomes ground-zero of the immigration debate.

The screening in San Francisco is especially relevant, given the city’s long-standing identity as a “Sanctuary” city and the currently heated debate over that policy in for minors.

Also, the screening will include a cast of VIP attendees.  Markos Moulitsas, Founder of Daily Kos, will introduce the film. Michael Yaki, Attorney for US Commission on Civil Rights, President of SF Board of Supervisors David Chiu, District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, and District 9 Supervisor David Campos will join a discussion with the filmmakers. And, though not yet confirmed, it is possible that Police Chief Gascon, SF’s new police chief, will also be in attendance.

It should be an amazing night. I can’t go, but you should! You can still get tickets here.

VIDEO: 9500 Liberty Trailer

From 9500 Liberty:

In July of 2007, Prince William County, Virginia became “ground zero” in America’s explosive battle over immigration policy when elected officials adopted a law requiring police officers to question anyone they thought was “probably” undocumented.

9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. Alarmed by a climate of fear and racial division, residents form a resistance using YouTube videos and virtual townhalls, setting up a real life showdown in the seat of county government.

The devastating social and economic impact of the “Immigration Resolution” is felt in the lives of real people in homes and in local businesses. But the ferocious fight to adopt and then reverse this policy unfolds inside government chambers, on the streets, and on the Internet. 9500 Liberty provides a front row seat to all three battlegrounds.

Costly Crackdown Doesn’t Deliver but Divides

After a well-publicized crackdown on undocumented immigrants in Prince William County, the most recent report is showing poor results.

Of all those arrested since the measure took effect, less than two percent have been found to be undocumented immigrants.

Fewer than 2 percent of people charged with crimes in Prince William County since the well-publicized crackdown on illegal immigration began in March have turned out to be undocumented, Police Chief Charlie T. Deane told county supervisors yesterday.

As was reported when the measures were announced:

The new measures are expected to cost $26 million over five years, and Deane has asked county officials for an additional $3 million to install video cameras in every patrol car and monitor them to ensure proper procedures are followed.

Sounds like another great use of taxpayer money.

To make matters worse, a poll measuring the level of satisfaction with the policy is divided along ethnic and racial lines.

Opinions about the police have become polarized along ethnic lines, with Hispanic residents much less satisfied than others, said Thomas M. Guterbock, the survey director.

For example, 97 percent of Hispanics were satisfied with police in 2005. This year, Hispanic satisfaction with police has decreased to 73 percent.

“This is fairly disturbing,” Guterbock said, noting that the department has had high ratings in the past regardless of race and ethnicity. Guterbock said the ratings appear to have decreased because of the immigration enforcement.

Pro-migrant Billboard Torn Down in Virginia

Known as the “Liberty Wall”, the wall in the picture below was torn down this past weekend. The wall’s owner was facing a court hearing.

Gaudencio Fernandez, a Manassas contractor who moved to the United States from Mexico in 1979, built the sign more than a year ago to protest what he called “racist” policies that target illegal immigrants in Manassas and Prince William County.

For full details, read the Washington Post article.