Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bringing the Border to the Bay - San Francisco film screenings in September

Three Bay area events will highlight the human and environmental costs of border militarization.

Free film screenings will occur on September 19th, 21st, and 22nd sponsored by the Sierra Club Borderlands Team and the Marin Task Force on the Americas.  Afterwards there will be a Q&A with people who live along the U.S.-Mexico border, and who know the situation first-hand.

Our immigration system is broken.  Thousands languish in immigrant detention centers, including private prisons that warehouse detainees to cut costs and increase profits.  Border enforcement inflicts tremendous harm upon border communities and the environment, as border walls tear through cities and wildlife refuges alike. 

It is important to understand the problem if we want to find solutions.

“Right now Congress is hammering out immigration legislation.  If they do it right, it could benefit millions of people.  But if Congress sticks to the “enforcement first” model, with more border walls and for-profit detention centers, they will squander the promise of immigration reform,” says Dan Millis of Sierra Club Borderlands.  “There should be a pathway to citizenship without hundreds of miles of new border walls or the waiving of environmental laws.”

Everyone is invited to come see these films on the impacts of current U.S. border policy on immigrants, border communities, human rights, and the environment:

Immigrants For Sale (2013, 33 min.) is a ground-breaking on-line documentary series that goes inside the private immigrant-detention industry through the lens of those most impacted and the players behind the trade, examining the multi-billion dollar profits that fuel it all.

Wild Versus Wall (2010, 20 min.) covers the ecological effects of the 651 miles of border wall already constructed along the U.S. boundary with Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security waived 37 federal environmental-protection and other laws along our borderlands, resulting in a brutalized landscape and a compromised legal system.

The Fence (2010, 30 min.) award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy’s HBO documentary includes candid interviews with Border Patrol agents, ranchers, environmentalists, and voices from both sides of the border-security debate. Kennedy uses humor to highlight contradictions and politically driven misinformation, as well as the ineffectiveness and costliness of the controversial border barrier.

“It is critical that people in the Bay area see for themselves the impacts of our current immigration policies, so that they can push members of Congress to correct the situation instead of making it worse,” says Millis.

Times and locations:

Thursday, September 19, 6:30 pm, Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics, 518 Valencia Street, San Francisco.  Co-sponsored by the Eric Quezada Center and the Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition.

Saturday, September 21, 6:30 pm, First United Methodist Church, 9 Ross Valley Drive at Fourth Street, San Rafael.  Co-sponsored by the Marin Peace and Justice Coalition.

Sunday, September 22, 4:30 pm, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar Street (at Bonita), Connie Barber Room, second floor (sorry, no wheelchair access).  Co-sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship.