America’s heightened sensitivity to terrorism and the government’s crackdown on immigrant communities - specifically, the Latina/o immigrant community in the United States - is the topic of a lecture to be presented at noon April 11 in the Cross-Cultural Center at the University of California, San Diego. The event is free and open to the public.
Kevin Johnson of the University of California, Davis, School of Law, will speak on 9/11 and Latina/o Immigrants: Collateral Damage Comes Home.
A Harvard Law graduate, Johnson is a specialist in civil rights and immigration law. He will discuss what he terms the collateral damage of the war on terrorism, the affects of the United States government’s response to Sept. 11, 2001, on the U.S. Latina/o immigrant community. He will include other immigrant communities in his observations as well.
Johnson’s lecture is one in a month-long series of events, Celebrate, Educate, Serve, at UCSD during April honoring the life and achievements of César E. Chávez, the principal figure in the Chicano Civil Rights Movement and a champion of human rights. Chavez died in 1993. The celebratory events are timed in conjunction with a state holiday honoring Chávez on his birthday, March 31.
Johnson says the collateral damage of the domestic war on terrorism has been the civil rights of immigrants and certain groups of U.S. citizens.
“In the months immediately after Sept. 11, the federal government arrested, interrogated, and detained more than 1,000 Arab and Muslim ‘material witnesses’ without charging them with a crime,” Johnson says, adding that this created hardships for these groups and made them the subjects of racial profiling.
“Although Arab and Muslim non-citizens felt the brunt of the civil rights deprivations in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11,” says Johnson, “immigrants generally will suffer the long term consequences of the many measures taken by the federal government in the name of fighting terrorism.”
Johnson will look specifically at the impact of the government’s response on the Latina/o immigrant community in this country, as well as prospective immigrants and temporary visitors to this country.
Johnson is the co-author of Race, Civil Rights and Immigration Law After Sept. 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims. He is Associate Dean of the School of Law, UC-Davis, and has served as editor of the Harvard Law Review. Prior to receiving a law degree at Harvard, he received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
A student of immigration and refugee laws, Johnson describes immigration law as an exciting and controversial field today, and says immigration raises important issues of race, class, national origin, and gender that go to the heart of the national identity.
For further information on the Johnson lecture, call (858) 534-4731. For information on César Chávez activities at UCSD during April, visit http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/chavezevents.htm or call (858) 534-9689.