"The kids haven't seen Ali for 17 months...and that
is a lifetime to a child."
Life or Liberty (lifeorliberty.org) is a nonprofit multimedia project producing documentaries and short videos to enhance the outreach, and organizing campaigns of the organizations involved in protecting the human rights of immigrants.
The post-9/11 era aggravated racial and anti-immigrant attitudes long entrenched in our legal system, immigration authorities, and law enforcement agencies. Homeland Security's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to inflict untold suffering on individuals, families and communities through a vast expansion of enforcement, subjecting hundreds of thousands of immigrants to deportation and detention.
Life or Liberty emerged through director Konrad Aderer's involvement in immigrants' rights issues since October 2001, and from the successful campaign for the release of Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti in 2002-2003.
In that campaign, a 6-minute video which included a prison interview with Farouk was used to organize events across the country, to spread awareness of Farouk's situation, and to bring in donations and other support for his needs.
In 2004, as the Republican National Convention approached, Life or Liberty documented the life of a Bangladeshi American family facing the deportation of a father and husband as the result of Special Registration, a massive act of national security profiling which targeted 80,000 immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries.
The resulting short documentary, Rising Up: The Alams became a valued outreach tool highlighting the work of South Asian community organization Desis Rising Up and Moving, and was screened internationally at venues including Museum of Modern Art's Documentary Fortnight.
In 2009, Life or Liberty will complete its first feature length project, Enemy Alien.