PRA hosts Tram Nguyen, Author of We Are All Suspects

On September 21, PRA hosted a book tour event for Tram Nguyen, a research colleague at Colorlines Magazine and the author of We Are All Supects: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities after 9/11 (Beacon Press.) The event was co-sponsored by Applied Research Center, Beacon Press, the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, and Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change.

A standing room only crowd of 50 guests listened intently as Tram Nguyen described the heart-wrenching stories of immigrants systematically being detained, deported, or having their basic human rights violated, post-9/11. One such story detailed how a Muslim refugee, who fled Somali's civil war, became mired in the nightmarish U. S. criminal justice system and immigration courts fighting deportation as America escalated its domestic war on terror. In this post-9/11 environment,
Photo credit:
Anh Dao Kolbe
Tram says, "the nexus of racism and national security" has exacerbated an already worsening situation for immigrants, particularly for people of color, as policies of racial profiling, suspicion, and fear-mongering mount. She warns that "the war on terror has become a politically expedient way for law enforcement to institutionalize racial profiling of communities of color."

To counter these policies, she insists that we need to form multi-racial coalitional efforts to increase public awareness of these policies, while at the same time challenge the prevailing frame of "national security" and "homeland security" by asking "what is true security?" and "security for whom?"

(For We Are All Suspects ordering information, check out Beacon Press's website.)

Tom Louie, PRAccess Editor

Fall/Winter 2005

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