On the surface, Sarfaraz (as he is known to friends and family) is like most American teenagers—studying for exams, balancing school, basketball and life, but underneath that exterior is a young man who faced a hard life lesson. Even though Sarfaraz had no ties to terrorism, he was singled out because of his undocumented status and his country of origin-Pakistan. Since Sarfaraz’s legal status was not resolved, his family believed that it was in Sarfaraz’s best interest to comply with the Special Registration requirement in the spring of 2003. After Sarfaraz registered, he was put into deportation proceedings with instructions to be sent back to Pakistan. In the film, Sarfaraz describes his experience of being interrogated as part of this program and what it was like to face deportation.
Hagar, wearing the traditional hijab or head covering, has dealt with racist slurs and prejudice since 9/11. Hager has been questioned about her faith, her spirituality and her identity because of her appearance. Since 9/11, Hager has spent her time providing workshops and fighting bias crimes in New York City. Hager’s commentary reflects a harsh environment for South Asians, Arabs and Muslims in post 9/11 America. She discusses her personal experience with bias to the rise of hate crimes against Muslims in New York City post 9/11, as well as ramifications of the U.S.A. PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act faced by immigrant communities.