New York Voices; 204
New York boy science is made possible by the members of 13 additional funding provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. And Horace W. Goldsmith foundation. If somebody from the United States lives in another country and their views it's why we were not expecting picked up and put in jail. They should be charged with a crime they should be given an opportunity to defend themselves. They should be given access to attorneys or they should be deported. We need to make sure that we have tracked down every possible lead and are not letting people back out into the world to try and destroy this country. So I just have a different outlook on life and just start to see things and have different priorities and say like OK stuff like this can really happen now I think that hopefully like. This generation will learn from what has happened and like can be concerned more concerned with politics. New York. One voice at a. Time. New York voiced this.
Hello I'm Rafael pre-Roman. We focus on two topics in this edition of YOUR VOICES. With college campuses in the middle of commencement season we'll ask how the events of September 11th changing people's world view will not live and shape their lives in the same way that Vietnam Watergate or the Kennedy assassination shaped the lives of earlier generations. We'll also look at the debate over the people being held in detention centers since September 11th. We start on the streets of Brooklyn. Protesters have been gathering on Saturday mornings at a prison holding detainees. We now have mutual friends and you know in a way it's kind of created a bit New York where everybody is so busy having a vigil every Saturday. You know if that's the kind of anti-flu that we connect I'm here because. I think it's disgraceful that people. Will be held for mines I think it's disgraceful. Amnesty International which you can get into
jails all over the third world in the most repressive places cannot get into filleting here. Nothing. Like many people of my generation. I With involved in. Anti-war activism during the Vietnam period and social justice issues and civil rights problem parents for peace. Initially a group of neighborhood people whose kids were all in the same nursery school. We have a large Arab population that has been here for certainly as long as I've been here. There have always been friendly relationships. There has never been to my knowledge overt tension of any kind. In the aftermath of September 11th the Arab American Family Support Center called the vigils hundreds and hundreds of people who are not Arab or Muslim from these neighborhoods and joined them. And came the promise not to carry a candle. Not just to express sadness about what had happened. I think there was an awareness from the beginning that our Arab neighbors were actually
suddenly terribly vulnerable. Right now we're on Fifth Avenue and. We. Were marching toward the detention center. Where a large number of Middle Eastern people are being detained and nobody knows her name right. Nobody knows why they're being held. Supposedly it's in a quest for homeland security. What is that. Hi. Great to hear your daughter go along in an event like this. It's a wonderful feeling to know that she is doing things that may. Help. Other people. There are thousands and thousands of people in you know whose lives have expired in United States and they don't get arrested and held in detention for a month I mean. After something. That. We need to. Think about. What's going to happen to my. Shame that I'm trying to hide my face is going to. Knock my door in the middle of the
night. And that's why. I'm joining the protest. Here. Doesn't matter you have. To leave. We. Have to fight against the Taliban. Going to be. That. If somebody from the United States is in another country. And Visa reason why we would not expect them to be picked up and put in jail because they must have the help of our public officials in doing this. Parents for Peace and other groups that are part of this coalition are as well meeting with legislators and asking them to become involved in this mission. For more about the status of the detainees in New York City we turn to Amnesty International which recently released a report on the detainees. I'm here with William Schulz the executive director of Amnesty International. Mr. Schultz thank you very much for letting us come here.
Mr. Shields First of all what is your current understanding of the situation with the people being detained who is being detained and why. Well there are between 20 and 40 who are being detained in Brooklyn. Around 300 overall apparently these are individuals who were taken into custody post-9 11. They have been charged if charged with anything with minor visa violations. What kind of visa violations are we talking about in some of the cases that we've documented. We're talking about such things as overstaying their visas by a certain period of time some cases just a matter of weeks some cases perhaps months. We're talking about cases of individuals whose visas required that they take a certain number of college courses while they were here and they took fewer courses than their visa required. These violations are modest violations and normally someone who is found to be in violation of their visa will either be deported or will be given
an opportunity to apply for an extension of their visa. But it is highly unusual that they would be detained and certainly not detained for the length of time that these individuals for these are unusual times are they not. Some people claim that it was because of the INS is lax enforcement of visa policy before September 11th that September 11th happened. Well that's just to find out if indeed any of these people are suspected of having a connection with either 9/11 or any other kind of terrorism than they should be told that they should be charged with a crime. They should be given an opportunity to defend themselves. They should be given access to attorneys or they should be deported. In some cases they have been dismissed by the FBI as an object of interest within days of their having first been taken into custody and yet they are still being held in custody. But if they do have some connection to terrorists isn't it better to hold them than to report them to perhaps have them act again outside of the country. Well that's very well and good. You don't have to deport them if you actually have
some reason to believe that they may have a connection with terrorism. Then you have to charge them with a crime. What you can't do is to detain them indefinitely without charge beyond a visa violation. That is simply a violation of international standards. But more importantly it's a violation of the INS his own procedures. So is it basically your belief that this was a blind sweep of non-citizen Arabs and Muslims. Look there are tens of thousands of people in this country illegally who are violating their visas this very moment. There are only 300 of them who are in custody. They all happen to be people of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent. They all happen to be people who have not been charged with anything other than visa violations. I think one can draw conclusions at least it's worthy of of asking the question. The government doesn't have a right to violate the most fundamental principles of international due process when it relates to those individuals whether it is racial profiling or not.
Or do you think you're being denied access. I suspect that the government knows very well that it doesn't have a case that it can bring against these people for anything other than visa violations that it is in deed in violation of international standards and of the INS its own procedures and they do not want publicity. Now when you say in violation of wryness standards and international policies are they in violation of American law. Well the problem here of course is that these are foreign nationals. These are not U.S. citizens and therefore they don't have the same rights that are accorded to United States citizens. Therefore they have to appeal to international law. These are international standards and they do need to apply to these individuals just as indeed if an American was overseas and was taken into custody in another country we wouldn't necessarily be concerned whether that country was abiding by its own laws because its own laws might well not be guaranteeing of the highest standards but we would be concerned that they abide by international law. And so naturally the countries from which these
people come are concerned about that as well. Now how do you respond to those people who say that it's the government responsibility to make sure that these terrorists can't use our liberties as their main weapon to attack those liberties. It is not true to say that by allowing people to have their rights we make ourselves automatically vulnerable. That simply isn't an equation that works. The fact is that we have plenty of ways in which we can protect ourselves while at the same time protecting and respecting other people's human rights and by respecting those human rights. We in fact build great alliances around the world. We appeal to moderates and the moderates are the ones who are going to determine whether this battle against terrorism is won or lost. Thank you very much Mr. Shields. Thank you for another view. My colleague John Dean totally turned to the Manhattan Institute a think tank in midtown. Not all new york voices are opposing the current policy on detainees. I'm here with Heather McDonald of the
Manhattan Institute. She's written extensively about this subject. Let me ask you. Amnesty International has said that with regard to the 40 detainees that they believe are in the Brooklyn prison and that they're principally there because of their ethnic background their Arabic background. Is that justified. It's certainly not justified to hold somebody for their ethnic background. But there's absolutely no evidence that amnesty is provided or anybody else that that is what's going on. Two main problems with the Amnesty report. It makes sweeping allegations of international and constitutional human rights violations without providing any evidence for them. And. Amnesty appears not to have grasped that 9/11 really did occur. Throughout the report. It puts the word terrorist in scare quotes. To indicate it's ironic detachment from the phrase. Well if amnestic can't get itself to understand that terrorism is a reality not simply a construct of the U.S. government. There are
many things about the terrorist investigations which it won't understand it won't understand the fact that. I and that immigration violators. Have been picked up and detained even though they don't have criminal records. This is one of its main complaints. Well Mohamed Atta didn't have a criminal record nor did his code terrorist on September 11th. On that point given the security threat currently in the United States is the immigration visa policy something that needs to be really radically changed. Absolutely. I think we've been extremely naive in this country about people's willingness to follow our immigration laws. And many terrorists in the past for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing as well had immigration violations in their background. So I think you know the willingness to break the law in the first place is an
initial place to start. Again though it is not the case that there has been concerted racial profiling going on. After 9/11 the INS was specifically told not to pick up Arabs for immigration violations unless the FBI had specifically requested them to do so. In fact what the FBI is doing is following leads they are following leads and where those leads take them to is going to be overwhelmingly people from Muslim countries people with fanatical Islamic backgrounds that are pursuing a vicious and I would say probably distorted notion of Islam. But again al Qaeda defines itself by religious and religious and regional interests. It's it's absurd to think that we're going to have a proportional representation of terrorists when we're doing our investigations. Is it really acceptable to hold people for months without access to lawyers is what makes that acceptable.
There is no evidence that has gone on. Amnesty makes broad charges that that's happening. But every case that they discuss in specific it's very clear that the detainee has had access to habeas corpus proceedings if charges haven't been brought yet he can make a hideous claim and in fact there has been charges after that. The INS has the power. To detain people before deportation if there is a flight risk or a security risk. Now. What's happening at this point. The government is investigating people's backgrounds. How long do you think it would have taken to figure out again that Mohamed Atta was a terrorist. These are not people that go publicizing their terrorist activities in their home countries. The FBI can't do an internet search and figure out that this guy may be doing funding or providing intelligence for al Qaeda. It is going to take time to track down the leads that the FBI has or those people here on visas whether legal or illegal. Entitled to the constitutional protections that
citizens are they're not entitled to the full gamut of constitutional protections. But Amnesty is right to invoke an international standard and the most important standard is access to courts access to judicial review. Again these detainees have been granted that access they've been able to bring habeas petitions. So I think again as far as the legal protections afforded the detainees they've been granted what is a internationally recognized standard. What would you say to those new Yorkers who spend their Saturday mornings outside the jail in Brooklyn protesting. Are they misguided. I think that they are probably motivated by good intentions. But the fact of the matter is is that the government has been proceeding carefully. There may have been in the in the follow up to 9/11 of course there were possibly limited administrative mistakes. Does the INS do everything perfectly. Of course not. But. The fact is this government this country is facing an unprecedented
threat and we need to make sure that we have tracked down every possible lead and are not letting people back out into the world to try and destroy this country. We turn now to the voices from New York colleges during this unusual commencement season September 11th this generation's Vietnam and will forever change its views about our country the effects of September 11th resonated in all American college students that they came at a crossroads in their lives. We asked Rebecca Carroll author of sugar in the raw voices of young black girls in America to discuss how one day in the past can change your vision of the future. One I wanted to talk with you about. How. This conversation is about less about the planes crashing into the building. Which is a collective experience and more about. People's individual experiences.
I think they're taking on a new. Fascination because we saw the planes heading into the World Trade Center. It was on every news station for days and days and days and months. We've all experienced that. But I think people are starting to come to the area more to try to figure out what happened that day and put the pieces together. Yes. Planes into two towers. But there's also all the people on the ground who experienced it. I mean I think that like everyone has a different experience. I think that it affects people in different ways and it shouldn't be. I mean I think that you can relate to it maybe a little bit more if you are closer to it. Like if you're actually in a building opposed to Qantas but I think that the significance can be just as profound on any level. I mean. That's right. Q Do you agree with that point is that the whole world is affected by a light matter where you are. I don't think I have a story. So you know what I mean but I know that I lost my freedom that morning well with every single person in this country alone with every person in
that building. And. Like it was the worst feeling in the world to to wake up that morning and see that happen feel threatened like where you like your own freedom and your own just a sense of security feels threatened. And I think like with an experience like this it's just that not only did we not think this generation but we just thought that we wouldn't be attacked like this. The U.S. like it really and we wouldn't see it right here in our analysis. It's not across the world. Not it's not like they're fighting a war in another country like the center of the world. Do you think very differently about getting onto the subway or crossing a street or getting into a building. I mean. Something don't think twice can't what it's. Like. You can't live your life like. Just in a nutshell anyway. Because you can it's not realistic. And then they wait and wait until the terrorists win then they take you off to normalcy and then that's it. If you don't it's one thing if you want to do those things and you want to live that way. But if you don't and you're just
doing out of fear. Like. I'm like the way that I feel like things are going to happen regardless whether you don't take the A Train and you take the bus or you don't walk down 9th Avenue you walk down the lake you know things are going to happen. And if they're meant to happen they're going to. I felt I was completely paralyzed. You know like I was asleep. The phone rang. I knew it was my mom's and she said we're very concerned about what's going on in New York. And I was like what's going on in New York. You know and I know I'm here and I turned and I sat there on my couch you know and pulled this T-shirt over my knees and just really like felt like if I left my apartment that was going to be like if I didn't just keep doing what I was doing like I was going to break down like I felt like if it was like my natural instinct to just just keep doing what I'm doing. I felt guilty. Because. Like all my family and my closest friends were at home and experiencing this totally different. It was like it made me like I called home I called all my friends.
Looks like a million tons a day just to see what we've been wearing just as much about you. You also feel a little bit. Not jealous but like you should like I should be. I felt like I was letting them down. I was so confused about what to do with my life after that. Like I didn't know what to do till I was about to get. And like I'm like do I just not finish getting my degree and do I just go down you know like sign up and go to. Like I didn't know what to do and it was the first I never thought that I would want to fight in a war. I want to you like join the army but I like and have this feeling I'm going out and I'm still up and I'm still can. Like I still don't know. I'm a journalism major. This is a major advance. And instead of going out and. Trying to get all the stories and reporting on it I was trying to stay awake and get control of myself in an apartment in Chelsea. But it was something that I had to really think about and think like you know why am I not taking advantage of this opportunity. And it came to a point.
Somebody. Asked me on this school newspaper where I work how I was handling this and I said wow not well at all. I'm shaking and. They're looking at me and they go with this is what you did. Like how could I not handle this route. Nobody has told us you know is this is. The case especially in journalism where people would be reporting and supposed to be have that distance and that reporters distance and they were dropping their notepads and getting in there and helping people. So what does this make you what do you want to be a journalist. I want to be a journalist. I this was something that you know maybe I wasn't prepared for it. I don't think anybody was prepared for that. Jill what about you. You're still in the early. Years of college and so you've got some time but how has that made you feel differently. At first I felt very different. I was very I was very profoundly affected. But
as calamine something going on you know sort of like fainting. I mean not that it's ever gone. It's less real but it's sort of with. The more removed you are from it the less it seems like it has. It seems like history. You deal with age when you move on. That's how life goes. I just feel like I just think. I just you know I think I'll always be able to remember how I woke up that morning and what I saw. And all I think about is just like all those people the families of those people that died and all those five men like him like you know like all those black and purple flags of all the fire stations in my neighborhood and all my life. Know that's just the worst you're contemplating military. I'm not like I'm saying like you know like the first couple of months afterwards I was just like you know talk to my parents about it. You know I really think it's something I should do. And you know you felt then you don't get I don't know what I feel now to be honest with you. I feel I have to get a college degree. I can't go three and a half years and just say you know I feel I have to get a college degree
and I don't I don't like I want to see what's out there in this world. You know what do you all think about the flag the flag situation. It depends on the person and what. I mean we know what it is like it's symbolic of you know freedom liberty and all of that. But I mean I think that was it doesn't see it that way to you though when you were. No excuse don't know I'm going to get up and stand and you know you heard him say so what are what are your friends saying what are we. I mean do you sit and have discussions or warnings. I mean I think my friends because we were you know we were really close and a lot of us tend to be confused and I think that it made people start to look at things differently like one of my roommates was like really like all of a sudden her whole career path change my career path change. You know I went from wanting to work like in the entertainment industry for a record label to wanting to teach in inner city schools. And it really happens like September 13th you know to me like it really was like immediately like I never even considered teaching in my life. And it was like from this that I just.
Really looked at things I started to just have a different outlook on life and just started to see things and have different priorities and say like OK stuff like this can really happen now and my life can really change just that fast. Like make sure wants to make sure you're doing something like more profound and I think that hopefully like this generation will learn from what has happened and I could be concerned more concerned with politics I'm more concerned with like you know maybe now I'm going to go out and vote. And you know like maybe I'm going to do this and I'm not just going to say oh my vote doesn't count. Maybe now people will realize like it does and you should make your voice heard. I think we're a little more skeptical too and I think of the media even and the way that the media has portrayed this whole scenario and this whole event. I mean granted I'm not saying that they did a bad job by any means but I think that makes you I started to question things a lot more I started to question the media a lot more sort of question newspapers a lot more. You can't believe everything that you hear and you have to make your own judgments.
Do you think Lindsay when you were saying that your friends have more political conversations that you're reading more into more looking at more. I think one of the reasons we're all talking so much is because we're all trying to figure this out. And every time you have a conversation with somebody else it's another perspective and it's another way to piece things together. The fact that we don't always we don't all necessarily agree but we all have gone through it together. And so we had to take an experience and be able to look at it. From a lot of different perspectives. I mean I think that's what we need to do in all parts of my life not just when an experience happens when we stop talking we have to worry. On that note. We promise we'll keep the voices talking and we hope you'll keep joining us to listen. For your voices. I'm Rafael for your money. Thanks for watching. We'll see you next time. To.
You your voice is made possible by the members of 30. Additional funding provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Horace W. Goldsmith foundation
- New York Voices
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- Thirteen WNET
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- Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
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- This news footage covers the debate surrounding Arab immigrants who were detained in a Brooklyn jailhouse after 9/11 without named charges. The story centers on community activist Carolyn Eisenberg, who protests every week in front of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn with her group Brooklyn Parents for Peace. Director of Amnesty International USA, William Schulz, also speaks against the detainment of immigrants for months without charges. Opposing views on the issue are offered by William Schulz. Author Rebecca Carroll hosts a roundtable discussion with local college students, who share their thoughts on how September 11th will serve as a watershed moment for their generation. New York Voices is a news magazine made up of segments featuring profiles and interviews with New Yorkers talking about the issues affecting New York.
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- New York Voices is a news magazine made up of segments featuring profiles and interviews with New Yorkers talking about the issues affecting New York.
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Producing Organization: Thirteen WNET
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Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
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- Chicago: “New York Voices; 204,” 2002-04-26, Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 26, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-171vhp1s.
- MLA: “New York Voices; 204.” 2002-04-26. Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 26, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-171vhp1s>.
- APA: New York Voices; 204. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-171vhp1s