"You change the names and you change the accents, it's exactly where America was in 2002 when we got started on this," Mehri said in a telephone interview. "It's kind of like there's a poison, a poisonous tree, a species, that's been planted on two different continents having the same results."
"This is a make-or-break issue for young people. It's like a poison that goes out into society and it sends a message when people see discrimination play out in front of their eyes. That's very demoralizing," Mehri said. "If you create a situation where there's fair competition for jobs and it's a merit-based system, then all of a sudden, that's a message of empowerment and hope."