How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Migration and US demographic shifts, executive action poll, foreign-born residents in the Inland Empire, more

Mercer 2213

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A Metrolink passenger train car arrives at the downtown Riverside station. A recent analysis of census data shows that more than 41 percent of the population growth in Riverside County, and more than 53 percent of the population growth in San Bernardino County, in the last two decades has been due to an increase in foreign-born adult residents.

Immigration Is Driving Broad Demographic Shifts In U.S., Report Says - NPR A report from the Pew Charitable Trusts examines population trends, as migration to the U.S. is expected to become the main driver of population growth between 2027 and 2038. This includes shifts among states. From the report: "The percentage of immigrants in the 'gateways' of California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas, has decreased, while as a percentage of the population, they have increased in other states, including Nevada, North Carolina and Washington."

People like Obama’s immigration action. They also think he shouldn’t have done it. - Washington Post A new Washington Post-ABC News poll has 52 percent of Americans supporting President Obama's recent executive action on immigration, and 44 percent opposed. It's different from other polls, which have shows more people in opposition. From the story: "The reason? The policy is explained, in detail. The politics, though, are a different question -- both in the poll and in reality."

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Executive Action: LA officials warn of scams aimed at immigrants hoping for deportation protection

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer addresses reporters on Thursday to announce plans for a crack down on immigration scam artists. City and county officials are also engaging in outreach to warn immigrants who are eager to apply for deportation relief under President Obama's new immigration plan.

Less than a month ago, President Obama signed an executive immigration order that could spare millions from deportation. Like clockwork, scam artists are already trying to cash in on immigrants' hopes, according to Los Angeles city and county officials.

There are still no details about the application forms or the fees that immigrants will need to pay in order to seek temporary legal status under the new White House plan. On Thursday, officials said the lack of information is providing fraudulent notarios , fake lawyers and an array of scam artists with an opportunity to prey on eager would-be applicants.

"They are already being asked to come to an office, and complete a form, get in line, pay a fee so they get to the front to the line," said Rigo Reyes, chief of investigations at the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs. "Well, there is no line. Anyone who is charging for forms, who is making misrepresentations, clearly is lying to them because no such thing exists."

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In immigration news: Cuban Americans react to improving relations, immigration scams, driver's license lawsuit, more

View of the empty check-in desk of Cuban

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An empty Cuban airline check-in desk. The number of Cubans heading to the United States has soared since the island lifted travel restrictions; now, the U.S. and Cuba could begin the process of improving diplomatic and economic ties. Some Cuban Americans are supportive of the move, but others remain deeply skeptical.

Polls Show Cuban-American Views On U.S.-Cuba Relations Are Nuanced - NPR The U.S. government's announcement that it could ease diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba comes as attitudes among Cuban Americans have been evolving. From the story: "Florida International University in Miami has been polling Cuban-Americans since 1991. Back then, 87 percent of Cuban-Americans supported the embargo, but after President Obama was elected in 2008, that shifted completely. For the first time in the poll's history, most Cuban-Americans said they disapproved of the U.S. embargo."

Local Cuban Americans divided over changes in US-Cuba relations - Southern California Public Radio There are an estimated 86,000 Cuban Americans in California, many of them in the Los Angeles area. Yesterday, after news broke of the possibility that the U.S. may improve ties with the Cuban government, reaction was divided. Some were skeptical of how improved economic relations might help the average Cuban and opposed the move; others were optimistic.

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Will the New Year bring legalization to LA street vendors? City leaders say a new plan might work this time

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Delfino Flores has been a street fruit vendor in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles for 15 years.

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Delfino Flores cuts and prepares fruit outside his Highland Park home on Tuesday morning, Nov. 11, 2014.

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Every morning, Delfino Flores wakes up around 5 or 6 a.m. to buy fruit at a local produce market and commissary.

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Delfino Flores unloads his cart from a pickup truck on Tuesday morning, Nov. 11, 2014.

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Street vending is illegal in LA. Vendors can get county health permits, but they’re not allowed to sell on the street.

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They’ve arrested me three times, that I remember.... Even with a permit, they’ve thrown it away twice," Delfino Flores says.

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Delfino Flores prepares fresh fruit for customers Ana Ruiz and Armando Arizpe on Figueroa Street in Highland Park on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014.

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Delfina Flores puts chili powder and lime juice on fruit for a customer on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 on Figueroa Street in Highland Park.

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Six-year-old Valeria Valdez eats a bag of fresh fruit at Delfino Flores' fruit cart on Figueroa Street in Highland Park.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Delfino Flores' fruit cart has mangoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, cucumbers and oranges.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Mary Beltran has been a regular customer of Delfino Flores for 15 years.


Chopping fruit is how Delfino Flores always starts his day. Pineapples, mangoes, melons. He’s been a street vendor in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles for 15 years.

"Always, since I came to this country, this is what I’ve done. It’s what I learned how to do," said Flores, 32, who hails from the Mexican city of Puebla. "Being an entrepreneur is what I like. Most of us from Puebla, we like business, and it’s what we do.”

But street vending on public streets and sidewalks is illegal in Los Angeles. For decades, city officials have squabbled over how to legalize these micro-enterprises, mostly run by immigrants from Latin America, who sell everything from fruit and cornmeal pupusas, to clothing and electronic gadgets.

City officials are now weighing a plan to legalize street vending. It’s not the first time the idea has come up – but proponents say it might work this time, because the city and its economy have changed.

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In immigration news: Judge calls executive action unconstitutional, GOP and immigration, the meaning of 'hapa,' more

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A federal judge in Pennsylvania, ruling on a case that involves a deported Honduran immigrant, has issued an opinion that President Obama's recent executive action on immigration is unlawful.

Federal Judge Calls Obama’s Immigration Actions Unlawful - New York Times Judge Arthur J. Schwab, a federal judge in the Western District of Pennsylvania, has issued an opinion in a case involving a Honduran immigrant that President Obama's recent executive action on immigration is unconstitutional. While his decision has no immediate effect on Obama's immigration plan, "the judge found that the president had violated the separation of powers by creating a 'systematic and rigid process' for determining which immigrants would qualify, which he said 'crosses the line'  to constitute legislation."

Jeb Bush and the perils of immigration - CBS News Now that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is contemplating a presidential bid, his track record and evolving attitudes on immigration will be part of the discussion. From the story: "Immigration will likely generate a fair amount of debate in light of President Obama's recent executive action to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, a move that has infuriated many on the right."

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