How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

What we talk about when we talk about profiling people in airports

Photo by amrufm/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A cheery group of travelers, the women in Muslim head scarves, or hijab, walks through an airport. April, 2009

Most of the reader comments that have flooded news sites since NPR's dismissal of news analyst Juan Williams last week, following a remark he made about Muslims during an appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," have been either about his comment or the network's decision to fire him.

But some people have taken Williams' remark - about becoming nervous when he got on a plane and saw people in "Muslim garb" - and provided their own opinions about the profiling of Muslims and others in airports. Some have posted comments about being profiled, others about doing the profiling. Here are a few excerpts from the past few days.

On the KPCC website under an audio clip from Friday's AirTalk program with Larry Mantle, which aired a segment Friday on the Williams incident, "Hargobind" posted:


Quote of the moment: Obama on immigration reform and the DREAM Act

"I am still holding out to see if we can get the DREAM Act passed and AgJOBS passed as part of a broader package so we allow ten to twelve million out there who are living in the shadows to come out and not live in fear.

"Obviously, the DREAM Act would be better than nothing."

- President Barack Obama, speaking on this morning's “Piolín por la Mañana" radio show in Los Angeles

The President's in-studio interview with popular Univision host Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo was taped Friday and aired today. Obama provided the above response as part of his answer when Sotelo asked about Obama's support of the DREAM Act, reintroduced as a stand-alone bill in the Senate after a defense bill it was attached to failed to win enough votes. The proposed legislation would provide a path to legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or enlist in the military.


In the news this morning: Obama on the 'Piolín' show, an 'anti-jihad' industry, veterans facing deportation, more

Obama: Fate of immigration reform hinges on election - The Hill Some highlights of President Obama's in-studio interview with L.A.'s "Piolín por la Mañana" host Eddie Sotelo. The interview was taped Friday and aired this morning.

Naturalization docs add security features - USA Today New naturalization certificates will have features to prevent tampering and forgery.

Anti-Muslim crusaders make millions spreading fear - The Tennessean A report on a multi-million-dollar "anti-jihad" industry that employs self-proclaimed experts.

Tony Blair's sister-in-law converts to Islam - AFP The former British prime minister's sister-in-law Lauren Booth converted recently following a visit to Iran.

Whitman loses ground with Latinos, poll finds - San Francisco Chronicle Whitman's firing of her undocumented maid, and her handling of the resulting controversy, has damaged her standing among Latinos in the governor's race.


Poll: Majority of CA voters say immigrants working here illegally should be able to stay

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

An undocumented housekeeper on her cleaning rounds, mopping a Los Angeles apartment, October 2010

A story in yesterday's Los Angeles Times reported the results of a new LAT/University of Southern California poll that found most California voters to hold a positive view of immigrants, as well as a lenient attitude toward those here illegally.

Among a random sample of 1,501 California voters, 48 percent of those likely to cast ballots in November said that immigrants were a benefit to the state as opposed to a burden, according to the poll. A majority also felt that those contributing to the economy should be allowed to stay.

From the story:

Separately, 59% of likely voters said that an illegal immigrant who had lived and worked in the United States for at least two years should be allowed to remain here if discovered. More than 2 in 5 voters said they felt strongly that such an option should be available. Only 30% of likely voters thought the illegal immigrant should be deported, and only 19% backed that option strongly.


Quotes of the moment: Muslims on NPR's Williams incident as a teachable moment

Photo by HORIZON/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The interior of a mosque in Ishafan, Iran, May 2006

"We need to use this moment as a catalyst to open a national debate about the grievous misconceptions, fear and suspicion about Islam and Muslims. This discussion needs to be elevated to ethical discourse beyond biases and prejudices."

- Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, on NPR's dismissal of Juan Williams

The reaction from Muslim civil rights groups to the network's firing of veteran journalist and news analyst Williams last week - and his comment about Muslims that led up to it - has been varied, with some taking a more forgiving attitude than others.

Williams remarked last week during an appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" that getting on a plane and seeing people in "Muslim garb" made him nervous. In reaction, the national Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement calling on called on Muslim Americans and the general public to contact NPR and "take appropriate action."