Oliver Stone’s “South of the Border” Premieres at USSF

Hope for a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year has fallen by the wayside, but the Obama Administration is rallying for one last hurrah before mid-term elections in November. Late last week, the White House unofficially announced plans to sue the state of Arizona over the now notorious Senate Bill 1070, a state law passed this year to crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

SB 1070 allows Arizona police to check the immigration status of a person if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that they are undocumented, and forces immigrants to carry government papers proving their identify at all times.

Meanwhile, an estimated 15,000 progressives and 1,300 organizations are meeting in Detroit this week to discuss alternative solutions to our broken immigration system at the second U. S. Social Forum (USSF).

US v. Arizona?

As Jessica Pieklo reports at Care2, “After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s nonchalant statement on Ecuadorian television last week that the Department of Justice planned to file suit challenging Arizona immigration law SB 1070, senior administration officials confirmed that such a suit would be forthcoming.”

“Expect a suit to come soon though as the controversial measure is set to take effect in July,” Pieklo writes. “That said, it is only one of many suits already challenging the measure in federal court.  Some of those cases have asked a federal judge to issue an injunction which would halt implementation of the measure while the legal issues get sorted out.”

At the Women’s Media Center, Gloria Steinem and Pramila Jayapal argue that “In the wake of Arizona’s SB 1070 — the harsh anti-immigrant law that not only condones but promotes racial profiling that endangers entire groups of the innocent — all sides seem to agree that the Federal government has abdicated its responsibility to institute a fair and just immigration system….”

Eyes on Detroit

In the wake of discriminatory laws like the one in Arizona, many immigration reform activists have come to the USSF, taking place June 22-26, to make their voices heard.

“This is great because it just shows community unity,” Rocio Valerio, an activist with the Worker’s Center immigrant rights group, told GritTV. “Right now the strategy for immigrant voices is being driven by policy groups, and with the social forum we’re saying that decisions can’t be made without us.”

At New America Media, Anthony Advincula interviews Rev. Phil Reller, a coordinator for Phoenix-based Southwest Conference United Church of Christ who is attending the forum. “This is a perfect opportunity to educate people on what’s truly happening in our local communities, not just about the struggles of immigrants in Arizona, but also the momentum of hope among community leaders to repeal SB 1070,” Reller says.

ICE gets a face lift

While activists are trying to find answers in Detroit, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency in Washington D.C. is attempting to turn itself into a more attractive bureaucratic juggernaut. As AlterNet explains, “This week, [ICE] announced changes to its management structure, conceived as part of a strategy to ‘re-brand’ the agency to the public.”

The agency has even gone so far as to recruit help from Hollywood, although it’s uncertain where the assistance will be coming from or if ICE agents will be portrayed as the “good guys” in movies. But not even a public relations face lift can cover ICE’s sordid record of terrorizing and deporting undocumented immigrants at a record pace.

The National Radio Project has already reported on numerous abuses in ICE-run immigration prisons. The media outlet notes that the government’s “immigrant detention is the fastest-growing form of incarceration in the U.S., with more than 30-thousand detainees behind bars on any given day.”

Filming América

While immigration problems and discrimination against Latinos continues, Oliver Stone is releasing a new film titled “South of The Border” that traces the history of popular struggles in South America and how they affect the Western Hemisphere.

According to Free Speech TV, the movie, which is set to premiere at the USSF, features interviews from “several South American heads of state, including Evo Morales of Bolivia, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil and Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela.” Stone was also interviewed about the movie on Democracy Now!

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about immigration by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint.

photo credit: thanks to nicogenin via flickr
by Erin Rosa, Media Consortium blogger


LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Thank you.

Barbara H.
.7 years ago

We need more people like Oliver Stone and Micheal Moore to seek out the truth. We need a media (FREE) media news to report both sides of issues and WE THE PEOPLE can decide for ourselves. Now the top 2% big business tells the news caster what lies or slant to put on things. At this time in America we have no true freedom of the press and reporting. If we did we would see more free reports about the wars and how are government holds business. A brave reporter would not be in trouble for letting some of the world see civilians shoot in Afghanistan etc.

Dave Tohunga
Dave te tohunga7 years ago

It's just a sad story that the native american peoples weren't able to keep the eurotrash immigrants from invading and genociding them.
Is karma going to embarrass the descendents of the genociders who live high on the hog on their ill gotten gains?
The hipocrissy of America is mind knumbingly arrogant.
This is the country that spends more on war than the rest of the world put together.
This is the rogue state that uses depleted uranium on civilians.
These are the liars and thieves, torturers and mass murderers
that point their fingers at tiny North Korea, Iran & Cuba.
These are the people who invaded Afghanistan
and are still there despite 911 being an inside job!
The forensic evidence of this is incontrovertable
despite the continuing denials of the perpeTraitors...
Who could be a patriot to such evil?

Trish H.
Anne H7 years ago

I'm an American living outside of the US. I'm required to carry proper ID at all times. I have to show it when requested or to function in day to day life. It is my obligation to renew on time not that of my host country.

I don't feel like it is profiling and if anyone has any better ideas to tell who is illegal from who is not please share.

Martin S.
Abe M7 years ago

I saw the interview last week, on the Bill Maher show with Stone, speaking about the movie. Immigration is just another business and another distraction from the real issues. We ought be far more concerned about how many of our jobs have been outsourced, and where corporations brought plenty of foreigners in to take higher paying jobs over the past 20 yrs., how much of our economy has been hi jacked by the gooberment, wall street crooks and mortgage loan sharks 3/1 5/1 arms should be terminated. How much of our clean water,agriculture and resources like the gulf have been poisoned and hi jacked. But no, were cowardly, picking on poor little Mexicans running across a desert to work here doing farm labor and cleaning toilets, things most Americans would rather not do. We all already forgot how Bush offered Amnesty for any Mexicans willing to go to Iraq if they made it out of being cannon fodder, alive.Oh and that was ok. Gee's get a clue every one here! is an immigrant. Whah. Free trade Capitalism. Keep a LARGE DESPERATE work force willing to do anything and blame anyone that they think are getting their crumbs. And the 2% are laughing all the way to the bank.

Philippa P.
Philippa P7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Phil Smith
Phil Smith7 years ago

If the authorities hands are tied and can not ask if they are legal or not ~ Could they also be a terrorist and have to be set free??

Where is the National Security in this??

And if they are 'illegal' ; Isn't that breaking the law?? Is their rights now more important than the citizens of this country.. Can i get away with breaking the law too.?? Now i feel like a redheaded stepchild..

Linda Mills
Linda Mills7 years ago