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Audio: War on Immigrants Report 12/22/09

December 22, 2009


A segment of Global Movements, Urban Struggles on Pacifica Radio

THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES – As the first year of the Obama administration draws to a close, frustration with the lack of policy reform has led to desperation among some advocates and community members who see snowballing detentions and deputizing of police around the country. With the difficult fight for health care reform resulting in a compromise, there seems to be little prospect for consensus on any major legislative issue including comprehensive immigration reform. However, for some advocates and local groups, there are signs of hope. On the national front, a recent bill proposed by Representative Guttierez (D-IL) is being viewed as a positive first step for the upcoming struggle. To discuss national reform as well as local based initiatives, the War on Immigrants Report (WOIR) brings together two leading rights advocates – Shahid Buttar and Amy Gottlieb. In the second half, WOIR will interview Najma, along with her social worker and community advocate Malika Rushdan of Islamic Circle of North America and Subhash Kateel of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, to discuss how communities in desperation are using different tactics to make their voices heard.

Co-Hosts: Ravi Ragbir of Families for Freedom and Adem Carroll of the Muslim Consultative Network

Shahid Buttar leads the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the People’s Campaign for the Constitution (PCC). In addition to his work as a civil rights lawyer and community organizer, Shahid is a hip-hop and electronica MC and an organizer of Resistance Media Collective, the DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency, and the Stanford Spoken Word Collective. Shahid will perform some of his work on the show.

Amy Gottlieb is the Program Director of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Immigrant Rights Program in Newark, New Jersey, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees. Gottlieb supervises AFSC’s Legal Services, Community Organizing, and Outreach and Education projects. She also provides training on immigration law to attorneys and social service providers in New Jersey.  

Najma and community advocate Malika Rushdan of Islamic Circle of North America will discuss events from last weekend, when Najma was taken off a city bus and detained for several hours in an immigration facility despite her proper documentation – a frighening ordeal for a young Muslim woman from East Africa.

Former co-host of WOIR and co-founder of Families for Freedom, Subhash Kateel has extensive experience in anti-detention work and community organizing. He has worked at Jesuit Refugee Services and AFSC’s Wayfarer House as a caseworker for formerly detained asylum seekers. He also co-founded and coordinated the Detention Project for Desis Rising Up and Moving. He currently lives in Florida and works at the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

[Click here for audio of War on Immigrants radio segment 12/22/09]

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