“9500 Liberty” looks at economic, social, public safety impact in controversial Virginia case
Dec. 10, 2011 (Philadelphia, PA) — WHYY will host the award-winning documentary 9500 LIBERTY, its director Eric Byler, and a distinguished panel on Monday evening, Dec. 13 in advance of a special airing of the film at 10 PM on Jan. 13, 2011. The film chronicles the rise and fall of a Virginia county law that briefly required police to check the immigration status of people they had “probable cause” to suspect were undocumented immigrants.
“9500 LIBERTY shows a Republican-dominated legislative body pass a law under extreme political pressure, then reconsider and repeal it based on new information,” Byler said. “It’s important to have a fact-based dialogue, with all voices represented, not just the extreme ones.”
Both Arizona’s S.B. 1070 and the “Probable Cause” mandate in Prince William County, VA were drafted by an anti-immigration lobbying firm in Washington DC called the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Organizers are hopeful the event will help Pennsylvanians decide if a law crafted in Washington, and tested in Virginia and Arizona is a good fit in Pennsylvania, where state lawmakers have vowed to follow Arizona’s lead. <extended text>
The post-screening discussion will be moderated by Stan Straughter (Chair the Mayor’s Commission for African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs), featuring State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware), Anne O’Callaghan (Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians), Cherylle Corpuz (Temple University), and Domenic Vitiello (University of Pennsylvania).