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Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser (L), president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Melvin Bledsoe (2nd L), Abdirizak Bihi (2nd R), director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, and Leroy Baca (R), Sheriff of Los Angeles County, testify before the Committee on Homeland Security holds the first in a series of hearings on radicalization in the American Muslim community, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 10, 2011.
In the post-9/11 backlash against the Muslim-American community, Sheriff Baca made a name for himself as an advocate of outreach and understanding towards members of the Muslim community. While his newly announced retirement has brought with it a slew of issues, Baca’s aid for American followers of Islam has been a relatively strong point. What does his retirement mean for the Muslim-American community?
As for some sectors of the Latino community, Baca's resignation is being applauded. "Sheriff Baca leaves behind a terrible record on immigration," says Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. That organization is critical of LA County's deportations under the federal Secure Communities program. How will the current political conversation about immigration play into the coming campaign for LA Sheriff?
Salam Al-Marayati, Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council
Chris Newman, Legal Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network