The decade after the 9/11 attacks reshaped many facets of life in America. Some changes were temporary — an immediate response out of concern for our safety — while some proved to be more lasting transformations in American life.
The American lexicon was one of the things that changed drastically in the months and years after the attack. Among the words or phrases (9/11 being one of them) that entered everyday language: al-Qaida, Taliban, ground zero, radicalism, extremism, anthrax and the Axis of Evil. Their usage dramatically increased and soon became part of Americans’ everyday lives.
With the 10th anniversary this week, we take a look at some of the other changes in American life:
Perhaps the most immediate and obvious changes after the attacks took place in U.S. airports. Two months after the attacks, Congress federalized airport security by passing the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which created the Transportation Security Administration. Prior to 9/11, security had been handled by each airport, which outsourced to private security companies.
The new TSA implemented procedures that included stricter guidelines on passenger and luggage screening. Only ticketed passengers could go through security, and an ever-changing array of machinery and procedures were introduced to scan for weapons and destructive items. As new threats were discovered after 9/11, new procedures were introduced, including removing shoes and banning liquids.
Airplanes themselves also underwent major overhauls: Fortified cockpit doors were introduced, and first-class cabin curtains were dropped by some airlines. Pilots can now apply to become a federal flight deck officer, allowing them to carry a loaded gun and act as a federal officer aboard the plane.
In order to offset the added security costs, a “Sept. 11 fee” was tacked onto passengers’ tickets, with the TSA collecting nearly $15 billion collected over nine years. Airlines also had to give some of their luggage screening budget to help offset costs as well. Air carrier fee collections amounted to $2.9 billion between 2002 and 2010.
While the Patriot Act may be the most recognizable piece of legislation relating to Sept. 11, more than 130 pieces of 9/11-related legislation were introduced in the 107th Congress in the year after the attacks, with 48 bills and resolutions approved or signed into law. Along with the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, they included the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, which required the State Department and Immigration to share visa and immigrant data with each other. Subsequent years brought the release of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which gave educational funding to soldiers, and the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, providing $4.2 billion for the health of people who worked at Ground Zero during and after the attacks.
Government agencies created after 9/11 include the Department of Homeland Security, which consolidated other agencies, including the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. According to The Washington Post, more than 263 government organizations were either created or reorganized following the attacks. The newspaper found that more than 1,200 government organizations and 1,900 private companies do work related to counter-terrorism, homeland security and intelligence. Budgets for defense-related agencies also rose. The Coast Guard, TSA and Border Patrol budgets have all more than doubled since 2001.
Immigration, Tourism and Deportations
The country with the most notable drop in visa issuance after 9/11 was Pakistan. In 2002, the number of tourist visas given to Pakistani citizens fell almost 70 percent and immigrant visas dropped more than 40 percent compared to 2001. It wasn’t until 2008 that Pakistani immigrant and tourist visas to reach pre-9/11 levels. Egypt and Morocco also saw sharp drops in visas issued in 2002, though both have rebounded since.
International tourism to America fell for three years after 2001. Starting in 2004, it began to increase again, surpassing pre-2001 numbers in 2007. In 2010, a record 60 million foreign tourists visited. The number of Americans who traveled internationally also declined after 9/11, the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries reports.
Deportations as a whole rose by 104 percent from 2001 to 2010, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security. The region with the highest deportation percentage was Central America, with a 430 percent increase, going from 14,452 deportees to 76,603. Asia saw a 34 percent rise in deportations, while Europe rose by 46 percent. Deportations for persons from Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan spiked in 2003, with Egypt showing the highest increase — 205 percent.
Anti-Islamic violence in America jumped after the attacks. According to the FBI, 28 hate crimes committed in 2000 were found to be anti-Islamic. In 2001, that number jumped to 481, and it remained above 100 in subsequent years.
Clinical psychologist Hisham Abu-Raiya of Tel Aviv University conducted extensive research on the aftereffects of 9/11 on American Muslims. Of those he surveyed, he found that a majority experienced negative events, such as verbal harassment and increased airport security checks.
We had much more on the ways 9/11 shaped America in the past decade on Sunday’s NewsHour special “America Remembers 9/11”:
Sources for Slideshow:
- Department of Homeland Security Discretionary Budget
Fiscal year 2004
Fiscal year 2005
Fiscal year 2006
Fiscal year 2007
Fiscal year 2008
Fiscal year 2009
Fiscal year 2010
Fiscal year 2011 and here
Fiscal year 2012
(same as Homeland Security Budgets)
Cleveland Plain Dealer and International Code Council
September 11 Changed Everything Essay
1046 Words5 Pages
“After 9/11, Everything Changed”
It’s true. Most of us have not only heard this said, but we have said it ourselves. After 9/11, everything changed. How so, you ask? Many of our attitudes towards people of different ethnic backgrounds and religions have changed. Many of us have changed where we stand on the issue of immigration. We, as a country, as Americans, have changed in ways we never thought possible. Certain questions I need to address in analyzing this issue are: Do we have a greater sense of unity as Americans now or not? Does this sense cross racial, ethnic, and gender boundaries? Also, I will analyze if being afraid has made us xenophobic (having a fear of anyone of foreign origin).
Since…show more content…
Petty fights resumed. And yes, our sense of unity did cross racial and ethnic boundaries. There are muslim Americans. What happened to them? They were tortured. They were beaten up. Some of them were even killed. It was hard for some people to remember that it was just a small group of Muslims who had attacked us so horribly. And the people they showed on television cheering? The one percentage. But it didn’t matter. These people who might have formerly been our friends, our coworkers, our bosses, were shunned. Anyone who even looked as though they might be Muslim was now suspicious in our eyes. So our sense of unity did cross those lines. We didn’t want to tolerate their religion, or their darker skin. We needed someone to blame, and they were it. Take for example the story of Abdul Hatifie, who hosts a weekly radio show cast to the Afghan community in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. This is from an article written by Tram Nguyen called Immigrant Families Condemn Racial Targeting. In it, Nguyen expresses her thoughts on “Public’s Truth” forums, which are planned to highlight the impact of the war on terrorism and national security, especially the lives of immigrants, refugees, and communities of color. But what really gets me in this article is what our government keeps from us. Are we so “unified” that our government can’t tell us that at least twelve hundred immigrants have been detained over the past two years? They won’t