The Citizen (2012) Movie Script

I don't want to go.
I say now.
All rise.
Please be seated.
Mr. Winston, you may
cross-examine the witness.
Good morning.
Prior to your arrival in 2001,
had you made any other visits
to this country?
Did your duties as an auto
mechanic in any way...
necessitate a relocation
to the United States?
Would you please
repeat the question?
What brought you to
this country, Mr. Jarrah?
Why are you here?
So what brings you
to the States?
I won the lottery.
Well, congratulations,
Mr. Jarrah.
How long have you been applying
for the Green Card Lottery?
Twelve years.
Well, you're a lucky man.
I've never been lucky before.
You know, you speak pretty good English.
Do you understand me okay?
Yes, sir.
I will understand more when
I go to school here. Okay.
Now, I believe I have all
of your paperwork, correct?
No, I have something
very important.
One second.
That's the congratulation
All right,
I'll have a look at that.
Well, right now we're gonna
go over some of the details...
so you have a clear understanding
of the arrangement, okay?
You have been granted a visa through the
International Green Card Lottery system.
Now that means you'll have an opportunity
to become an American citizen.
Now, in order
to gain citizenship,
you're going to have to meet
certain eligibility requirements,
maintain a good standing
with the U.S. government.
If you meet all of these requirements,
after a period of about five years,
well, then, you'll be eligible
to take the citizenship test.
- Is that understood?
- Yes, sir.
Now I see here you moved from Beirut,
Lebanon, to Aleppo, Syria,
- when you were a teenager.
- Yes.
Why is that?
Because of the civil war
in Lebanon, you know.
So then, why did you move
from Syria to Kuwait in 1990?
I mean, Kuwait wasn't exactly a
peaceful place in the early '90s.
You know, the economy
was so bad in Syria,
I couldn't find a job,
and I found a job in Kuwait.
Four months later,
Saddam invaded.
This is usually
how my luck goes.
No. But I will find work because
I have a business degree. Okay.
What about your living
I'll stay with my cousin,
and he's outside waiting for me.
- What is your cousin's name?
- Rashad.
Everything is written down here.
Yes, I see it.
How did your cousin
end up here?
Sorry, sir,
I don't know this.
You don't know?
Well, I'd like to speak to him.
No problem.
I go outside,
and I bring him here.
- All right, that'll be fine.
- I go?
Yes. Just follow the officer.
He'll help you find your cousin.
I cannot find him.
Can I make a phone call,
- You have reached Rashad.
- Please leave a message.
Okay, cousin. Okay. Okay, see you tomorrow.
Sounds good. Bye-bye.
Did you find him?
I'm sorry, sir,
my information is not right.
He's not coming today.
He's coming tomorrow.
What about tonight?
Actually, he paid for me for a motel
to stay till he comes to the city.
Your paperwork...
is being processed.
You'll find the rest of your
luggage out in the hallway.
Welcome to America.
Thank you, sir.
I'm sorry. I don't have
an address here.
Oh, don't worry.
Just fill in the rest.
Thanks for calling.
Where is he?
Thank you.
Here's your key.
Room 310.
Take the elevator to the third floor, make
a right, and it's on your right-hand side.
Thank you.
Goddamn it!
This whole time?
I just don't get it!
You swore that you
were done with this shit!
What the hell do you think you're doing?
Get back here!
Get in!
What? What? What?
- Get back here!
- Open up!
Come out!
- Goddamn it!
- Get out of here right now!
That means now!
Who are you
and who this crazy man?
He's my boyfriend.
Go on, get outta here.
Get your hands off me, now!
Get outta here!
You want water?
Thank you.
Have a seat.
Thank you.
where you from?
- I'm from Lebanon.
- Like Gadhafi, right?
No. Gadhafi means Libya.
So you speak Persian?
This would be Iran.
Okay, um,
welcome to New York.
Thank you.
Just arrived from overseas.
Oh, nice.
So, like, fresh off the boat. Boat?
No. I came on an aeroplane.
Yeah. Um...
what's your name?
I'm Diane.
You want, um...
Oh, sure.
What is that?
Mella... what?
Lebanese candy.
You like it?
Yeah, it's great.
I can't get enough of it.
Have many as you like.
You know, I'm gonna go. I'm... sorry.
I'll let you get settled.
No, no, no, no.
Thank you for everything.
Just stay for more...
few minutes...
till we make sure
that your friend has left.
It's no problem.
Have a seat.
I don't get it. I mean, I'm a complete
stranger to you. Why are you helping me?
Because you need help.
You know what?
My father used to tell me...
How can I say it in English?
He'd tell me, "Brahim, to reach
your dreams plant your good deeds."
That's really pretty,
but I doubt a strategy like that...
is gonna help you
in the big city.
You might try it one day.
Have a seat.
No problem.
So what brings you here?
Many things.
I want to have a family and have
a business, become a citizen.
Well, it's America.
Anything's possible, right?
It's not because it's possible.
It's because I decided.
Oh. You decided.
You know what?
Let me...
Let me take you on a tour of the city,
show you around.
You're sure? Now?
Yeah, it'll be fun.
- Come on.
- I would love to. I, um, take my camera?
Yeah, bring your camera.
Sorry, room 310,
there is no answer.
Yeah, would you
like to leave a message?
Rashad Batar.
You're his cousin, right?
Wrong airport?
You went to Newark?
The sun returns the heat
Burns the soles of my feet
I wasn't trying
to escape the sun
All I knew was I had to run
And so to find some shade
I grabbed all that I made
The wind is blowing
towards the west
My heart was beating
through my chest
Searching for a sky
Not too wet, not too dry
Wide and open, spacious
Free of the clouds
and not too sheltering
True joy,
balance, love
All you look for
from above
Let the rains
come down
I worried
I would drown
The taste of water,
strange and sweet
- Running down my tongue
and cheeks - That works.
It's good.
He's not for us!
He will never be for us!
The cowboy sittin' in the office at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.,
is not my president,
he is not your president.
He is not the candidate that was voted
for by the majority of U.S. citizens.
Do you think that
we should stay here?
They are saying very bad things
about the president.
No, it's freedom of speech.
But it's now time for us to push him out!
He must go!
- He is a fraud!
- He must go!
He must go!
He must go!
He must go!
Now I can say I am New Yorker?
Not so fast.
I haven't even shown you
Battery Park yet.
It's my neighborhood.
Um... give me a call...
if you want
another tour.
Your number?
They fly through Canada,
the United States and Mexico,
across Central America...
Uh, Laura, what can you tell
us about what you saw?
I got up to my window. I live in Battery
Park City, right next to the Twin Towers,
and I looked up and the side of the north
building of the World Trade Center exploded...
right when I looked up,
and, uh, at that point...
This is Ibrahim from yesterday.
Yes. What's going on there?
Are you okay?
Uh... Oh, my God...
Diane? part.
People are running up...
Um, we are getting
word that perhaps a second plane...
Good Lord. I don't
know if you... you can see the plane,
if that too
was a passenger plane or...
Perhaps some type of navigating
system or some type of, uh...
uh... electronics,
would it put two planes into
the World Trade Center within...
it looks like about 18 minutes
of each other?
...word now that President Bush
is going to be coming on...
and is going to have
comments, uh, momentarily.
- We understand...
- My brother is down there.
He owns a kiosk
at the bottom of the tower.
What the hell
am I supposed to do?
...we understand.
Again, it is too early to know who
bears responsibility for these acts.
He'll never make it
out of there.
But Islamic
fundamentalist Osama bin Laden...
has been mentioned as someone
who is determined...
I'm sorry.
I-I have to close.
You said he's at
the bottom of the tower.
I'm sure he escaped already.
He will return safe.
What the hell do you know?
What if those assholes strike again?
- What if he's injured?
- If he's hurt, someone will help.
You have to wake up, buddy. The people
flying those planes, they look like us.
No one's going to
help my brother.
No, I'm sure he will return.
You'll see.
- - Terrorist sand
niggers! Go back to your own country!
What the hell?
What did I tell you?
This is just the beginning. Get in.
I know
that you're scared, and this is normal.
nothing will happen. This is America.
How long have you
been in this country?
One day.
One day?
Yeah... World Trade Center
in New York appears...
- What makes you an expert on how this country works?
- I never said I'm an expert.
And not a single day has passed that
someone hasn't given me a dirty look...
because of the way
that I look.
What happened today is just
going to make things worse.
If I were you,
I'd keep a low profile.
I'm so sad for what
they have done.
But I'm not going to hide because
I-I haven't done anything wrong.
Do you even realize
what happened today?
Do you have any idea
how huge this is?
You're living in a fantasy world if you
feel you won't be affected by this.
I can't believe
what you're saying.
You're an American,
but you don't act like a real citizen.
- And how does a real citizen act?
- I don't know, it's just...
You're a part of this country.
You should help, not hide.
...Vice President Cheney has
entered an underground bunker.
I'm not the only one
The New York City Port Authority orders all
bridges and tunnels in New York City closed.
What if he doesn't
come back?
I'm so sorry.
I don't know
what to say.
You know what?
You should come with me.
I've got to stay.
Watch your back.
People are crazy out there.
God shed His grace
on thee
Time for blood drive.
Are you coming with me?
Yeah. I'm just gonna go downstairs
and have a smoke first.
I'll wait for you here.
Federal agents! Get down!
Get down! Police!
Federal agents!
Get down!
Stay down!
Guys, I didn't do anything.
I didn't do anything.
Shut up!
- Who are you?
- Come on!
I hear you have
a bit of a sweet tooth.
Oh, yeah.
The handcuffs.
I can make those go away.
All you have to do
is change your mind.
About what?
He's your first cousin.
Your only relative
in the U.S.,
and you have no idea
where he is?
He... He was supposed to
pick me up.
I'm not asking you where
he's supposed to be.
I'm asking you
where he is now.
I don't know.
You don't know.
That's too bad.
We'll give you a little time
to think it over.
Please, sir.
I need to know
what's going on.
Please, I didn't do it.
I-I'm sorry.
What was his name again?
How many times do I have to tell you?
It's Ibrahim Jarrah.
Please write it down.
I'm sorry, ma'am. I don't have
any arrest records for him.
All I know is that a bunch of guys in
official uniforms, they threw him in a van.
It's the last time I saw him.
Look, I'm sorry.
Americans are asking,
"Why do they hate us?"
They hate our freedoms...
our freedom of religion,
our freedom of speech,
our freedom to vote and assemble
and disagree with each other.
So you show up at JFK
one day before 9/11.
You've got the same last name
as one of the hijackers,
who's actually from
the same country as you.
You lie about some cousin
who's supposed to pick you up.
You want me to see this
as all...
one big, fat coincidence?
I don't know.
- Who trained you?
- Trained me for what?
How long have you been planning this
with Ziad before you showed up?
I know nothing.
Then why did you make up some
bullshit lie about your cousin?
May I speak to a lawyer,
Terrorists don't get lawyers.
I was just wondering if there was an
update on Ibrahim Jarrah's status.
Still no record?
Okay, thank you,
When was the last time
you spoke to Ziad Jarrah?
I swear I don't know.
I've never heard of someone named...
The same country that's smaller than
Connecticut, but you've never heard of him?
- Son of a bitch.
- He's not family.
I know nothing about him.
You're free to go.
You'll be escorted out in the morning.
Hello. Diane.
Who is this?
This is Ibrahim.
Oh, my God, Ibrahim.
Where... Where are you? Are you okay?
Come on in. Um, sorry it's a mess.
I wasn't expecting company.
Um, just sit anywhere.
Uh, so they held you in a prison
for six months, questioning you...
and didn't even tell you why?
So why did they let you go?
Couldn't find anything against me.
That's horrible.
I'm sorry.
Um, I kept your things...
your luggage and stuff.
Oh, thank you.
I ate all your, um...
your candies, those...
They, uh... They helped me
quit smoking, so thank you.
I'm happy to hear that.
Really happy.
Yeah, I had to move away
from Battery Park.
It was... The air was terrible,
and it was too close to
Ground Zero, and I just...
I'm sorry.
I'm rambling.
No, no, no.
I'm gonna get you a pillow.
You know, I tried to call the police
a few times to try to find you,
but they kept telling me that
they didn't know anything, and...
I don't understand
how they could...
Every nation in every
region now has a decision to make.
Either you are with us...
or you are
with the terrorists.
Did he ask
for your number?
Oh, you gotta
go out with him.
Yeah, it'll be great.
No, wear the brown ones.
I'll give you an emergency
call 20 minutes in.
No biggie.
Hang on.
Excuse me, I'm looking for a job.
Yeah, just file your application
over at the computer station.
Yeah, I'm back.
No, it'll be great!
Yeah, hold on.
If you can just please help me...
Look, the application is designed to
filter out those who are ineligible.
So if you can't figure
that out on your own,
you're not qualified to work
for a temp agency.
Thank you.
Thank you for your time.
Yeah, I'm back.
Some guy lookin' for a job.
There's always tomorrow.
I've been
fixing cars since I was a kid.
I was fixing my uncle's car,
and when I moved to Kuwait, I did the same.
And this is what I know,
and this is what I want to do.
This is my whole life.
Look, habibi,
I'd love if I could help
a fellow Lebanese,
but in this economy, you think
I can hire somebody else?
I can't.
Thank you.
So what'd they say?
You know what?
It's their loss.
I thought the economy
was bad in the Middle East.
Come on.
You know what?
You've been doing everything you can.
Hey, you know what? I'm gonna stop and
grab a drink. Can you chill for a sec?
Um... relax.
Okay. Okay.
That'll be 2.50, please.
Hey, don't I know you?
I don't think so.
No, we...
I got it.
We... met on that horrible day. Um...
Oh, yeah, I-I think
I remember you now.
How is your friend,
uh, Ibrahim?
It's funny you should ask.
Hey, you're never gonna believe it.
I got you a job.
Hey, Ibrahim.
I thought you owned
the mini-mart?
That's my brother's mini-mart. I cover
for him sometimes. This is my business.
I own this place.
You start tomorrow at
8:00 a.m. Don't be late.
No way.
Thank you, man.
Thank you.
Thank you.
8:00 a.m. You should be here behind
the counter, not at the door.
I'm sorry.
Okay. Listen to me.
Please, be very careful.
Put the bottles in gently,
one at a time.
But, uh, make sure not to push
too hard because they will break.
Okay, got it.
Ooh! Wow, wow, wow!
I should be able to contact you at all
times to make sure the shifts are covered.
You will pick up all the little things
with experience, but you should remember...
Just this one?
The most important rule
of all...
He did not pay!
Under no circumstances should you
ever leave the store unsupervised.
See, I need to catch the bus,
and my wallet... my wallet is...
You're not gonna take my money, are you?
You just seen too many movies if you think
every black man you see is gonna rob you.
Hey! What'd I tell you about
disturbing my customers?
He work here! He ain't no customer!
Neither are you. Now, get lost.
By the way, you're late.
Why? You said 8:00.
It's 7:45.
Well, I meant 7:00.
Now hurry up.
The land of...
the free...
the home...
of the brave.
So what does that
mean to you guys?
9.25, sir.
Have a good day.
Hey, Ibrahim, don't leave
the money on the counter.
Listen, you can't let these guys bother you,
otherwise you won't get through the day.
It's just part of the job.
Now, uh, go have lunch.
Oh, man.
You really hooked me up.
I was starting to feel
light-headed there for a minute.
No problem.
You know what?
During the Gulf War,
I was in Kuwait.
And to escape the violence,
I had to drive to the edge of the country.
I lived out of my car.
No food.
No drink.
For a while, man.
What is this, some kind
of lame-ass hunger contest?
I get it, man.
You've been hungry before too.
Least you up outta that now.
Least you ain't gotta sleep
out here on these streets.
I don't care
what country you from.
These streets,
they'll tear you apart.
What I'm trying to say is,
it's possible to change your life.
You can succeed
anywhere, man.
You have to decide.
Well, that's great advice coming from
a guy who works at a gas station.
I didn't mean that, man.
I'm sorry.
No problem.
That's just my pride talking.
I used to have a career.
Keeping books.
And what happened?
You know.
Little bit of gambling,
little bit of drinking...
and a whole lot of bad luck.
Pretty much downhill
after that.
I ain't had a place to stay
in years.
Hello. Ibrahim.
- All right, I'm gettin' up.
- Whoa!
- Who the hell are you?
- Diane, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
This is Mickey, my friend. He just needs a
place to stay while he's looking for a job.
I'll be responsible.
I'll be for him to stay here, okay?
Does this look like
a halfway house to you?
I can't have some bum
off the street on my couch.
I'm not a bum.
I've got a name.
It's Mickey.
Nice to meet you.
He's going to find a job.
I will help him. Please. Please.
She's feisty.
I like that.
Hey, kids.
Oh, how are you?
How are you, Rajiv?
Good. How are you doing?
Good, good.
Is my brother ready?
I'll check for you. Okay.
Tip-off's in 15 minutes.
And I can't watch the Knicks
lose without him, okay? Okay.
Okay. Boys, you want some candy?
Okay, come on,
let's get some.
Kids, brother are waiting.
The game is about to start.
No, no. Too much work.
Tell Rajiv to take them without me.
Hey, man, you're working very hard.
Take a day off. I can't, okay?
If I don't get these logs filled or pay the
bills, you and I both will be out of a job.
What's wrong with you?
This is the same brother you
almost lost back in September.
You cried and said,
"I couldn't live without him."
And now you don't
have time for him?
Don't you dare talk to me
about my family.
And you'd better keep your mouth shut if you
want to keep working here. Do you understand?
I just...
wanted you to be happy.
Then leave me alone
so I can finish my work.
Legal. Legality.
Equal. Equality.
Civil. Civility.
Final. Finality.
I think
that's it for tonight.
Please drop off your papers
before you leave.
Excuse me. Do I look like
the teacher of the course?
Then why are you staring
at me the entire class?
I stop looking at you
if it's uncomfortable.
Well, I haven't decided yet.
- It's Baha.
- Ibrahim.
I just started the classes
for my degree, so I've been so busy.
Plus, I miss home.
It's hard being away from my family,
especially when my mother was so sick.
But... she's in remission now.
I understand.
Surely after my first semester
I can visit her again.
Tell me about your parents.
My parents? Um... Yes.
They must miss you so much.
They died in the civil war.
I'm so sorry.
No, it's okay.
This is why it's so important
for me to make a new family.
You know what I mean?
Oh. Look what time it is.
I should be going.
It was nice talking to you.
See you next week. Bye.
If you let me
take you to a dinner,
I'll stop looking at you
in the class.
Pick me up tomorrow
at 5:30.
Your number?
Damn, man!
How much of that stuff you gonna put on?
You got it smellin' like the lobby
of a department store up in here.
Too much, huh?
It's cool. I mean, hey,
whatever works for you.
We all gotta
get our mac on.
"Mac on"?
What does it mean, "mac on"?
Never mind, dawg.
You're good.
I want to thank you, man.
Thank you for everything you've done for me.
No, don't thank me.
Just help a little.
You have to help yourself.
And remember: Tomorrow morning,
we're going to find a job for you.
Tomorrow morning.
All right, I'll be ready. I'll be ready.
Have fun.
What's up?
This some damn good cereal you got here.
Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh.
What'd I do?
Easy, man, easy. Chill.
All right.
What do you want?
I'm sorry.
Our business here.
And here is money
for him to stay.
I want him gone.
One more day.
Just one day.
I will talk to Mo for him to work in
the gas station, sleep in the basement.
Plant your good deeds.
- Fine. One more day.
- Thank you.
Not an hour more, or I'm kicking both
your asses out. Do you understand?
Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Where are you going
after work?
Thank you, ma'am.
Have a good day.
Hey, Mo, I've got to change.
See you tomorrow.
Indian food in America
with a beautiful Lebanese girl.
It's nice.
I love tandoori.
Where did you
find this place?
I didn't find it actually.
It was recommended by my boss.
I wanted to take you to a Lebanese restaurant,
but I couldn't find a good one yet.
It's okay. It would just
make us miss home.
What does it mean?
This is home now.
Maybe for you.
How do you like your job
at the gas station?
I appreciate my work a lot.
I imagine myself without it,
it's... How good I have it.
Of course, this is not what
I came for here in America.
I have bigger plans.
I want to have my own business.
I know everything about cars.
I just need to know how
business works in this country,
and then I will open
my own shop.
Open your own business?
You're so Lebanese.
Why not?
Have you ever thought about
getting married?
You don't waste time, do you?
At all.
Oh. I have to
make a phone call.
And you think about my question
while I'm gone.
He's doing okay. But he wanted
me to let you know what was going on.
I'll be right there.
I'm so sorry, Baha.
I have to leave.
What's wrong?
Emergency at work.
I will get you a taxi.
Check, please.
Oh, my God.
It's my fault. I...
I should have watched them
more carefully.
Doctor says that you're
lucky they did not shoot.
Yeah, you're right.
Actually, I don't believe
in luck, you know this.
I will not let something like
this happen again. I promise you.
That is impossible.
You will not be coming back.
What do you mean?
- I am selling the gas station.
- No.
Please, my friend,
I mean, uh,
think about it later...
Don't think about it now.
I have thought about it.
It's all I ever think about.
You were right.
I need to spend
more time with my kids.
I need to see more
of my brother.
I've spent too many years hiding
from my life at that damn place.
My family deserves better
from me.
Good for you.
Good for you, my friend.
Sometimes you have to
know when to quit.
What happened here?
Where did all of the stuff go?
Why don't you ask
your friend Mickey?
I don't wanna hear it.
I know it's bad. I...
I will help you
replace everything.
You've been so helpful so far.
Just give me
the chance to fix it.
You know what would fix this,
is if you left.
I can't do this anymore.
Just grab the rest of your shit and go.
Give me my keys.
Diane, you don't know what
happened last night.
Do you think I care what happened
on your date last night?
What are you talk...
Are you talking about Baha?
You know what? Just shut up.
I can't do this anymore.
All this crap about planting
your good deeds is over.
If you don't leave in 15 minutes,
I'm calling the cops.
Give me the keys.
Good-bye, Diane.
I'm sorry for everything.
All is calm
All is bright
Round yon virgin
Mother and child
Hi, Diane.
I-I'm sorry to bother you.
Can I speak to Ibrahim?
He's not here.
What happened to you?
Are you okay? What's going on?
He didn't tell you?
Where is he?
He's gone.
I mean, he's not gone, gone.
He's around, but...
Won't you see him
at the gas station?
Actually I-I'm going
out of town for a while.
Well, what's gonna happen
with the gas station?
I... I decided to sell it.
Um, there was an incident.
I'm sure he'll explain it to you.
Can you make sure
to give this to him?
I should've given it
to him earlier.
I just, um... I just didn't.
Better late than never.
- I'll make sure he gets it.
- Thank you.
Merry Christmas, everybody.
God bless.
Happy Hanukkah, man.
- Let's go.
- Hey!
Maybe you didn't hear.
He said "Christmas," dipshit.
Yeah, I heard what he said. Are you
trying to make some kind of statement?
Settle down, bro.
- I got no beef with Christmas.
- Just let it go, Josh.
I don't want any trouble. Okay, guys?
Let's just forget the whole thing.
It's a little too late for that,
you dirty kike!
Oh, my God!
Please, somebody, help!
- Please!
- Cops! Cops!
Somebody, help, please!
Somebody, please!
Hey, you're awake.
Look, I know you're all
jacked up on pain meds,
but, uh, I gotta thank you.
I owe you my life.
Did they call Diane?
Excuse me. Hi.
I'm looking for Ibrahim Jarrah.
And get plenty of rest, okay?
Thank you, Doc.
All right.
Hi. I'll check back
on you later on.
What did you do this time?
He saved my ass
is what he did.
Still not sure why.
So, how's the baba ghanoush?
Ghanoush is great, for the first time.
And last time.
I want to show you something.
Um, watch this.
Everyone else on the
street looked the other way.
Ibrahim was the only person who
had the courage to step in.
And... if he hadn't
been there, then...
who knows what
would have happened to me?
You're a hero.
- Mm-hmm.
- You're also an idiot.
Of course.
I'm sorry for what happened.
Especially about Mickey.
Mickey was my fault too.
I shouldn't have
let you talk me into it.
- I'm sorry I kicked you out.
- I deserved it.
You didn't deserve it.
I mean, no one deserves
what happened to you.
I'm sorry.
Um, I almost forgot.
This is... is for you.
From your old boss.
That's a lot.
I need it.
Don't spend it all in one place.
That's really nice.
Just come here.
Here's something beautiful.
Oh, wow.
This is great.
It looks even better
than before Mickey.
Happy to hear that.
See? I have little money,
but I have taste.
Thank you.
And you get extra points
for the flowers and the card.
You don't thank me.
Once I find a job,
you will help me to create my apartment.
Have you worked in the
automotive field in the past,
or have you ever sold anything
in the United States?
Yes. When I was in Kuwait,
I worked as an auto mechanic.
And I worked in petroleum and
merchandise sales here in New York.
You know, we'll call you
if anything comes up.
Thank you.
On top of that,
I have years of experience in sales.
Mr. Ray, I promise
I will do my best.
- I'm sure you will. Very impressive credentials.
- Thank you.
- I just need to be honest with you about something.
- Please.
If you're serious
about being hired,
you're gonna have to
change your name.
- What?
- Take it from me.
Thank you, Mr. Raheem.
- So your boss was almost killed.
- Mm-hmm.
You lost your job.
And then you were beat up
by a bunch of racists?
It's not funny.
You need to be more careful.
Baha, I've seen worse
than this.
And everything happens
for a reason.
I don't know the reason yet.
I'm glad you're okay.
Are you okay?
What's wrong?
I spoke to my mother
last night.
Her cancer came back,
much worse than before.
I'm so sorry to hear this.
I fly to Beirut on Friday
to be with her.
Of course.
When are you coming back?
I can't come back, Brahim.
I have to stay there
with her.
What do you mean?
Just thinking that...
you and I could...
Maybe we could
have something.
But not here.
Why would you want
to stay here anyways?
Look how they treat you.
Are you asking me
to come with you?
I'm just asking you to think about
what you're giving up to be here.
- Is it really worth it?
- Yes. To me, it's worth it.
And you know this.
You're such a dreamer.
I'm not a quitter.
Well, I hope you find
what you're looking for here.
I'll pray for your mother.
Good-bye, Ibrahim.
- Josh!
- Ibrahim, it's good to see you again.
- What are you doing here?
- See you're still in one piece, huh?
Looking good, man.
Please, uh, meet my pops.
- David.
- Hi.
It's a pleasure.
I'm sorry I never got the chance to
thank you personally, so, uh, thank you.
Diane tells me you have
a business degree.
You used to sell cars.
Mark. Terry.
Want you to meet somebody.
Oh, Mark, Ibrahim.
Ibrahim, Mark. Nice to meet you.
Call me anytime.
Made for you, man.
Very suitable.
Drive safe.
Okay, you only named 10 of the
original colonies. I need three more.
Rhode Island...
and, um,
New York.
New York!
Okay, for the final question of the
citizenship exam for Mr. Ibrahim Jarrah,
why did the Pilgrims
come to America?
You've been in the country
the required amount of time.
We have your N-400 form,
your filing fee,
If you pass the background check,
we will provide you the date and
time for your citizenship test.
Thank you.
Diane. Hey.
So, guess what
I have for you.
No way.
Yes way.
Notice to appear.
"Mr. Jarrah,
based on evidence gathered by the
Department of Homeland Security,
you are being recommended for
deportation to your country of origin.
You are hereby summoned
to appear in court...
to respond to the charge
filed against you,
and either accept...
or contest
your deportation."
This cannot
be happening.
Nothing's happening yet.
It's just a letter telling you
that you have to go to court.
- So?
- So you go, you show up and you defend yourself.
You can beat this.
You just have to decide.
Those are your words.
Has been already decided.
It's obvious that you people
don't want me here.
What is that supposed to mean,
"you people"?
I need to be alone.
You mean people like me, who let you
live on my couch when you were broke?
And people like Mo and Josh's father,
who gave you a job?
Yeah, we're all busting our asses to help
you, but secretly, we want you to fail.
You have no idea what it's like to struggle your
whole life and have nothing to show for it.
What did you expect?
You were gonna come to New York,
and magically
all your problems are gone?
I thought I could find
a new home,
a place who will judge me by my action,
not by my skin color.
Don't give me that "skin color" crap.
Save that for the judge.
You know what?
I don't care anymore.
They can send me
wherever they want. Okay?
I'm tired of fighting.
They can...
I don't want it.
Hi, Ibrahim.
This is Diane.
We need you here.
- Good to see you, my friend.
- Good to see you, brother.
Want you to meet someone...
highly recommended immigration attorney.
Earl Miller.
You ready for the fight
of your life?
Why don't you stop by my office sometime?
We can have a little chat.
Ah, Mr. "Jarruh,"
thank you for coming.
- Thank you. Jarrah.
- Oh, Jarrah. Beg your pardon.
Please, have a seat.
Thank you.
Would you like a cup of coffee?
I just brewed some.
It's a hazelnut blend from Sumatra or
something. It's actually quite tasty.
- I'm good, thank you.
- No?
Did you get a chance to review
and sign that document...
I sent over
to your apartment?
Yes. I'm not sure that
I fully understand it.
Don't worry. It's mostly
legal mumbo jumbo anyway.
Essentially it says that, uh, we have 90
days to file a motion on your behalf...
and that you're retaining
my services.
I think there must be
a mistake in it.
It doesn't say anything
about the payment.
- That won't be necessary.
- No, no, Mr. Miller.
- You don't have to do that.
- Ibrahim, please.
These kinds of cases can
usually be very expensive.
And it's ones like yours that remind
me why the hell I even do this work.
Don't know how to thank you.
Thank me when the trial is over.
Do you really think
that we have a chance?
Well, probably
won't be a home run.
The odds are
a hundred-to-one against us,
but we'll certainly
give it our best shot.
You do have something
in your favor...
Even as a resident alien,
you have certain rights,
and we're gonna get the government
to clarify precisely what those are.
But I won't lie to you.
We have a lot of work to do.
We need a public trial.
If it's private, it's over.
And the only way it'll go public is if
we can get some buzz. You understand?
Yes, understand.
Hmm. First of all,
I need you to tell me everything about you.
- Of course.
- Everything.
Yeah. Hey, Jennifer, do me a favor.
Get me Mike at Channel 10.
I'm calling with some breaking
developments on the Ibrahim Jarrah story.
No, this is not just
another deportation case.
We're talking about a guy
who saved American lives.
You said you could get me 50 people for the
courthouse steps. Can we make it a hundred?
What is your goal here
with this protest?
We want to make sure
that justice is served...
and that Ibrahim Jarrah becomes
a citizen of the United States.
We want him to know that there
are people who care about him...
And who know the truth.
And we're here for him,
and we want him here.
Ibrahim Jarrah plans to contest
what his lawyers call...
an unjust and un-American...
violation of
his civil rights.
Officials are seeking to deport Jarrah
to Lebanon, his country of origin.
Good afternoon. I'm here outside
the immigration courthouse...
with some supporters
of Ibrahim Jarrah,
who are very vocal,
to say the least.
Here I have in the crowd, uh,
Mickey Johnston,
a formerly homeless bookkeeper
who Ibrahim befriended...
and supported financially
back in 2002.
Mr. Johnston,
what do you have to say about Mr. Jarrah?
I owe him my life.
I took advantage
of his friendship.
And I want to apologize for it.
- Here.
- Yeah.
In front of everybody.
Ibrahim, if you're
out there listenin',
I'm sorry, man.
I don't understand why people
want to hate on you so tough...
after all you did
just to get into this country.
And I'll tell you,
they ain't gonna shut up about you...
until you become...
an American citizen.
And that's the story
from the immigration courthouse.
Back to you in the studio.
I'll talk to Ron
at his radio station.
It's not like we're asking him to write
the story, just send us a reporter.
That way you
can tell him in your own words.
Let me call you back.
just came from the courthouse.
We have a public hearing.
As you can see behind me,
it's not quiet out here though.
A crowd has started to gather.
There are supporters of Jarrah
here on one side.
There are also people
holding signs that say...
All rise.
Please be seated.
In the matter of Ibrahim
Jarrah's removal proceeding,
we will begin with
the government's presentation.
Thank you, Your Honor.
I am here today because I care
deeply about this country,
its citizens
and its safety.
I intend
to demonstrate to you...
that Ibrahim Jarrah,
who ironically has become an icon...
for many unknowing
civil libertarians,
poses a threat to
our national security...
and should therefore
be deported.
He has lied about his reasons for being
here, from the very moment he arrived.
On September 10, 2001,
a concerned immigration agent at JFK
phoned the U.S. Department of State.
He believed that Ibrahim's
uniquely fragmented background...
and contradictory answers to routine
questions raised a red flag.
The U.S. acted decisively
upon that suspicion,
and Ibrahim was detained immediately
after the September 11 attacks.
Today, Mr. Miller will
cite unfounded anecdotes...
to make you believe that Ibrahim
is a misunderstood hero.
Each moving story that
you'll hear about Ibrahim...
is a fabrication,
designed to mask the true Ibrahim Jarrah,
a man who has known
connections to the people...
who helped plan and execute
the 9/11 attacks,
a man who actually
filmed himself...
attending a hateful
anti-American rally...
within 24 hours of his
arriving in New York City,
a man who for six months
evaded questions...
about his connection to enemy
combatants when detained in Brooklyn,
a man who still has the audacity
to deny his connection...
to a 9/11 hijacker with the same last name,
from the same country,
who arrived in this country
at almost the same time.
As if this were not enough, the
government has gained secret evidence...
that links Ibrahim's cousin
Rashad to the 9/11 attacks.
While I'm not at liberty to disclose
the nature of this evidence,
there is more than enough supporting
evidence to justify Ibrahim's deportation.
He must be sent back
to his country of origin...
without delay.
Thank you.
Your Honor, I think the counsel for the
government's impassioned statement...
that he cares so deeply
about this country,
while commendable,
is hardly mutually exclusive.
In fact, I think it's fair to say that all
of us here care deeply about this country,
including my client,
which is why he's here today.
Now, as for the charges
against him,
I wish to state
for the record...
that Mr. Ibrahim Jarrah is not,
was not, and will never be...
a threat to the security
of this country.
Indeed, Mr. Jarrah
is a man who came here...
in search
of the American dream.
But instead,
he has been trapped...
in an unconstitutional
This man was detained
for six months...
six months, Your Honor...
without cause, without
the right to an attorney,
without even being explicitly
told why he was being detained.
And after six months of being held
against his will without explanation,
he was suddenly released.
And why?
I'll tell you why.
Because the U.S.
government admitted...
and I'm quoting here...
"There is no
credible evidence...
that Mr. Jarrah played a role
in the 9/11 attacks."
Now, all of a sudden the
government is changing its tune,
he shoul be deported.
And why is that?
Is it because of some
new damning discovery,
or because he... he...
he violated some law?
Absolutely not.
The government
wants him deported...
because of some allegations
against his cousin,
- supported by... by... by some...
- "secret evidence."
Now, leaving aside the fact that his
cousin is not on trial here today,
let us examine that phrase
"secret evidence," shall we?
A secret is something
that is hidden from view.
Now evidence,
on the other hand,
is something that is,
by definition, visible.
So how can something that is
a secret also be evident?
Well, the simple fact is,
it cannot, Your Honor.
It defies all legal logic.
Your Honor, the phrase "secret
evidence" is an oxymoron.
It is a false construct that
provides a platform for xenophobia,
the same xenophobia
that corrupted our country...
Japanese-Americans were...
were unfairly detained
during World War II.
By seeking to deport
Mr. Jarrah,
we are saying to him,
and legal aliens like him,
"You are not welcome here."
Your Honor,
if this man is deported,
it will quite simply be a
violation of his human rights.
It will also be inconsistent
with our values...
of fairness, equality
and justice.
The great thing about America...
is we have a rich history...
of reversing mistakes,
If you dismiss the fearmongering
endorsed by the prosecution today,
you can rest assured
that you also...
will be on
the right side of history.
Thank you.
Thank you, both,
for your statements.
Mr. Winston, this court cannot
draw any real conclusions...
based on evidence
that cannot be made known,
even if it does pertain
to a relative of Mr. Jarrah's.
Your Honor, the very nature of secret
evidence prohibits its public release,
so as not to pose a threat
to national security.
If you would like to know the specific
nature of the evidence against Rashad,
federal law stipulates that you
must request a special clearance.
Once you're granted
that special clearance,
I can freely share the evidence
with you in a private session.
In that case,
this court will reconvene...
once I've been given
special clearance...
and had an opportunity
to review the secret evidence...
against Rashad,
and, by proxy, Mr. Jarrah.
Court is adjourned.
- Thank you, Your Honor.
- All rise.
What is this
secret evidence?
How are we supposed
to fight that?
We can't get ahold of Rashad.
What could he have done?
I doubt very much
whether Winston even knows.
He's just... He's just going
for guilt by association.
Good night, Earl.
Good night, Joe.
You know what?
I have to defend myself, Earl.
You have to let me speak.
I've already told you
that would backfire.
Putting you on the stand will just
play right into Winston's hands.
He'll just eat you alive.
It's my life
he's trying to destroy here.
If the judge doesn't hear my voice,
he will believe all of his lies.
But... I don't think
you fully appreciate the risk...
You think
I don't understand risk?
Don't you think that
I took the huge risk already...
to be here in this country?
I know exactly what it is.
Come on.
This is not the time to be safe.
Come on.
If I lose without having
the chance to speak,
I will not be able
to live with myself.
Earl Miller.
Is this the attorney
representing Ibrahim Jarrah?
Yes. Who is this?
This is Ibrahim's cousin,
The story is
all over the news,
and I don't know how
to get ahold of Ibrahim.
You have to hear me out.
Yes, please go ahead.
A judge will
soon decide the fate of Mr. Jarrah.
We cannot have cameras
inside the courtroom,
so we're not sure
exactly what's going on.
But I can tell you,
things are certainly starting to get ugly.
Ibrahim Jarrah has been
in the country for quite some time...
as a student and as a worker.
He won the...
I want to talk to you
about something,
and I want you to be
totally honest with me, okay?
Is there anything else about this case
that's pertinent that I should be aware of?
Of course not.
I told you everything. Why?
Well, this case is already
getting very complicated,
and I don't want
any more surprises.
So if there's something
you want to tell me, just...
What are you talking about?
I got a call
from your cousin this morning.
- Rashad?
- Mm-hmm.
What did he say?
Well, it's not good.
Rashad let someone stay in his
apartment a few days before...
a few days before 9/11.
A friend of a friend apparently.
Rashad said he didn't
know it at the time, but...
turns out this guy
helped plan the attacks.
Why didn't he call me?
I asked him the same thing.
He says as soon as he found out,
But he never mentioned anything to
you about this guy, nothing at all?
Mention what? He did not even bother
to pick me up from the airport.
Well, he said he did,
but he went to the wrong one.
What kind of excuse?
He should have called me.
I told him where I was staying.
He did. But that's not important now.
What's important is that...
we discuss this
before I put you on the stand.
You will?
I thought about what you said, and...
I realized it was inevitable.
So, look, I want you
to defend yourself.
Don't try to play the hero.
Just keep your answers
simple and to the point,
because I don't want that little weasel in
there twisting your words around, okay?
Just follow my lead.
All right, come on.
Mr. Jarrah,
kindly tell the court,
in your own words,
how long have you dreamt
of being an American citizen?
Since I was 12 years old.
And what happened to you
when you were 12?
At that time
Lebanese civil war was so bad...
we had to live
in a shelter.
So many bombs.
Too much shooting.
My father made sure that
we sleep on the kitchen floor,
away from the windows,
so the missiles
could not hit us at night.
Although I managed to stay safe,
one morning
our house was bombed,
and both my parents
were killed.
I knew this was no way to live,
so I began to study
a lot at school...
so I could move away.
I see.
And how did you feel...
when you learned that the country that you
fought so hard to become a citizen of...
sought to deport you?
I was devastated,
and confused.
Can you elaborate, please?
Even after being detained for
a crime that I did not commit,
I still wanted to stay here
and become a citizen.
I thought to myself,
"This country's just
going through a crisis,
and one day I will have my
freedoms like everyone else."
And now they say,
"You hate all freedoms."
Why would I spend my whole life
dreaming about freedoms that I hate?
And what would you
say to those Americans...
who think that you should be sent
back to Lebanon immediately?
I would just ask them
to remember...
what they had to go through
to become an American citizen.
What I want to say...
I respect the laws of this country
in a way that only an immigrant can.
Thank you, Mr. Jarrah.
No further questions,
Your Honor.
Mr. Winston,
you may cross-examine the witness.
Good morning.
Prior to your arrival
in 2001,
had you made any other
visits to this country?
Did your duties as an auto
mechanic in any way necessitate...
a relocation
to the United States?
Would you please
repeat the question?
What brought you
to this country?
Mr. Jarrah,
why are you here?
I wanted to become an American.
I see.
So you thought you could
reverse a lifetime...
of personal failures
by starting over in America.
Well, isn't it true...
that you were unable
to earn a decent wage...
in Lebanon,
Syria or Kuwait...
despite having earned
a business degree?
What made you think you would be
guaranteed a better life in America?
What made the Pilgrims think
they would have a better life...
when they came here in 1621?
What made the immigrants from nearly
every country in Europe and Asia...
come here to Ellis Island?
They knew there were no guarantees.
They came anyway.
And now 40% of
the United States population...
can be traced back
to these immigrants.
Thank you for that fascinating
history lesson, Mr. Jarrah.
But let's return to
the 21st century for a moment.
On the morning you arrived,
did you not attend
an antigovernment rally?
Yes, I did.
Considering your nationality,
and the fact that you were
shouting anti-American rhetoric...
on the streets of New York
the day before September 11,
why should
God-fearing Americans believe...
that someone like you
wishes no harm to their country?
Would you please clarify?
When you say "anti-American,"
do you mean that criticizing the president means
that someone doesn't care about this country?
What I mean...
And when you say
someone like me,
do you mean someone from a part
of the world that you fear...
because simply you do not
wish to understand?
What I mean is...
And when you say
"God-fearing Americans,"
do you mean that I worship
an inferior god to yours?
I never said that.
And when you say "the day before 9/11,"
do you mean that I'm somehow
connected to this event?
Mr. Jarrah,
there are lingering
questions about you.
Based on your question,
you have gone against freedom of speech,
freedom of religion...
and the process of law
at the same time.
I cannot answer such
an un-American question...
because I am here in
the United States of America,
where the Bill of Rights
must be respected,
where anyone can be president,
regardless of his color.
Perhaps you should read up
on the Constitution...
before you come up
with your next question.
- Your Honor.
- Mr. Jarrah,
just answer the questions
as they are asked.
Yes, Your Honor.
Upon arrival in New York,
were you not planning to stay
with your cousin Rashad?
Yes, his family.
But when I got to America,
he was not there.
He went to another airport.
Well, that's interesting.
Isn't it bizarre...
that a close relative would
make such a dumb mistake?
Yes, but this
is what happened...
Mr. Jarrah, isn't it true
that you lied...
to a federal agent about where
you were planning to stay...
on the night you arrived
in this country?
Well, you said your cousin
had arranged a hotel for you.
But these records indicate...
that Rashad never even called
the Brooklyn Express Motel...
before September 10, 2001.
Objection, Your Honor.
How is this relevant?
- Overruled.
- And isn't it true...
you have a family member,
Ziad Jarrah,
who actually hijacked United
Flight 93 on September 11?
He's not family.
He's not family,
and I know nothing about him.
No further questions,
Your Honor.
Mr. Jarrah, thank you.
You may step down.
Thank you.
Mr. Jarrah,
will you please rise?
This court finds
that Ibrahim Jarrah...
is no a security threat...
to the United States of America.
In addition,
this court is recommending...
that Mr. Jarrah's application
for citizenship be expedited...
so that no other impediments...
bar him from completing
the requirements...
necessary to become
a United States citizen.
The sun returns the heat
Burns the soles of my feet
I wasn't trying
to escape the sun
All I knew was I had to run
And so to find some shade
Hey, boss.
Lovely choice.
The wind was blowing
towards the west
My heart was beating
through my chest
Searching for a sky
Not too wet, not too dry
Wide and open, spacious
Free of the clouds
and not too sheltering
True joy, balance, love
All you look for from above
There's no room to hide
Well, don't just do, decide
When the dark clouds clear
Blue skies free me
from my fears
So, go, there's much
to choose
To gain and still to lose
I'm here
Just want the clear and loud
Of standing on a cloud