Project of the Skyline College /North San Mateo County Online Oral History Archives, Skyline College Library
Student project for
LSCI 110 – Digital Oral Research Project, Skyline College

  Transitioning to a new life: Erlinda Valencia

By: Rizza May Valencia

Click here to read the research essay,” To Reach Out and Speak”, by Rizza Valencia

Click on the links below to hear audio segments from a November 3, 2004 interview by Rizza Valencia with her mother Erlinda Valencia who is transitioning to a new life in the U.S.

Erlinda, former airport screener.



1.      Family Origins

2.      Being a teacher

3.      Going to the United States

4.      Being a single parent

5.      Occupation in the US

6.      Working at the airport

7.      9/11 Impact on airport employees

8.      Citizenship

9.      Reapplying

10.  Union Assistance and Airport tests

11.  Discrimination

12.  Life without a job

13.  Speech samples




Family Origins

*   She introduces her family and spoke where she is from.  Then she gave us an introduction of what was her occupation in the Philippines.



Being a teacher

*   Erlinda spoke about her self-being a teacher and what kind of activities or club she had participated in school.



Going to the United States

*    The Erlinda Valencia’s family went to the United States to reunite with her husband but ending in a bad note. Looking for a better opportunity then home.



Being a single parent

*   Erlinda spoke about how many kids she is managing to take care of as a single parent and what she had done to be able to take care of them.  Erlinda also talked about how she was able to get a job to support her children.



Occupation in the US

*   She introduces that working in the airport is her occupation.  She gave how long she has been loyal and patient working in different companies of the airport. She briefly explained what she did in the time of duty and how much she was paid.



Working at the airport

*   She gave some reasons why she liked working in the airport.



9/11 Impact on airport employees

*   After the 9/11 the airport employees where all laid off.  Erlinda explains and ask why where they to blame if the tragedy did not occur in their end.




*   The airport screeners who are not citizens had to apply to become an American citizen, which she had done so that they can try to get their jobs back.




*   After she received her citizenship she would have to reapply to South San Francisco Airport thinking that she would get her job back.



Union Assistance and Airport tests

*   Erlinda decides to join the union so that they can help her keep her job.  The Union had been an assistance to the laid off airport screeners.  Though they didn’t get to help them keep their job they had given them a hand to find other jobs or they would give them temporary jobs so that they would get some kind of income.  Then Erlinda mentioned that after she reapplied they had told her and other laid off screeners, who became citizens that they would have to take an airport test. They were segregated from laid off screeners to new employees and she felt that it was a set up for the test.




*   Not so many of the laid off screener got their job back and Erlinda will be talking about how the new employee’s who has not had the experience she had got a job. 



Life without a job

*   Erlinda, had gone through so much after the 9/11 she still kept fighting to help her and her fellow immigrants to keep there job in the airport.  Besides that, the union kept her busy by providing her temporary jobs.  She also spoke about other activities to keep her going.  While she is laid off, she also got the chance to travel to make speeches to people how immigrants are being discriminated on.  She is the one that the press looks forward to in interviewing because she shows so much passion on her job that she had been dedicated to.



Speech samples

*   In her speeches, she fought for the rights of a person.  She said it wasn’t there fault about the tragedy of 9/11; it was some other airport’s flaw.  She gave examples about an American citizen who had fought against America.



Links to web pages and articles that provide additional information:

*   Caught in the Backlash: Erlinda Valencia, Pacifica Open this result in new window

* Bay News: Screeners Speak Out at Airport Commission Meeting




*These audio files may be played with Windows Media Player or Real Player.
To download a free copy of Windows MediaPlayer, click here.
Todownload a free copy of Real Player, click here.



last revised:  1-21-05
by Eric Brenner, Skyline College, San Bruno, CA
These materials may be used for educational purposes if you inform and credit the author and cite the source as:
Skyline College/North San Mateo County Online Oral History Archives, Skyline College Library.
All commercial rights are reserved. To contact the author, or send comments or suggestions email: Eric Brenner at: