politician detained in Los Angeles airport
Pakistani-born member of an Australian State government was set and
aside and questioned by US immigration officials asking how she was
issued an Australian passport and where she was “originally from”.
Faruqi is a Greens member for the New South Wales legislative
council and was detained at the Los Angeles airport in what she
describes as “racial profiling”.
said she had presented her passport and been fingerprinted by
officials at the airport before being asked “how we got Australian
said it was because we lived there and they asked where we were
originally from,” Faruqi said. “When we said Pakistan we were
told that someone would be escorting us to the interview room.”
and her husband were then taken to the interview room.
interview was along the same lines: why are you here, do you have a
Pakistani passport, have you been to Pakistan, what do you do there,”
has been an Australian citizen for over 22 years.
be asked how I got an Australian passport is ridiculous on one level
and heart-wrenching at another,” she said. “You don’t expect
it, you know you haven’t done anything. It’s a little bit
said her case might be noticed because she held a public office but
“I know that people are treated this way every day”.
concern for me is that the political debate about racism and
Islamophobia is at a very low level at the moment and it feeds into
this sort of thing,” she said.