ILRC Reflects on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

(Washington)—As the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) observes the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the ILRC urges the country to change course on two decades of harmful policies and adopt a new way forward.  This moment of reflection calls for critical analysis of the policies enacted in reaction to the attacks. 

“Twenty years ago our country suffered a terrible attack that changed our lives forever.  Families and communities across the country and world experienced shock, fear, grief and trauma.  As we reflect on the intervening 20 years we must also think about the policies we adopted in reaction to 9/11.  It is the moment that gave birth to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an agency, that since its inception, has used discriminatory tactics to surveil and target immigrants including Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern and South Asian communities as well as other communities of color,” said ILRC’s Policy Director Sameera Hafiz. 

“As we observe the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and continue to mourn and seek healing, the Biden Harris administration and Congress must take the opportunity to change course.  History continues to teach us that structures and policies, like immigration enforcement, surveillance and detention, created to target communities based on their race, religion or national origin are wrong,” Hafiz added. “Our policy makers must change course and reject discriminatory practices.  Our country deserves a new way forward guided by compassion, fairness, anti-racism and focused on healing.”