How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Executive action said not to be final, Oregon driver cards, federal detainers, more

Measure 88 Oregon

Don Ryan/AP

A crowd of Measure 88 supporters wave signs during a rally in Portland, Ore. Measure 88 would require the Oregon Department of Transportation to issue driver cards to Oregon residents meeting specified eligibility, without requiring proof of legal presence in United States.

White House says immigration plans not final yet - Associated Press White House spokesman Josh Earnest warned reporters Wednesday not to make assumptions about what kind of unilateral action the president might take on immigration. Speculation about executive action bubbled up over a government contract proposal from the Homeland Security Department that called for a vendor who could "make as many as 34 million immigrant work permits and residency cards over the next five years."

Oregon driver cards: Rural voters could decide divisive immigration issue - The Oregonian Polls show voters in Oregon are torn over whether to approve Measure 88, which would allow immigrants in the country illegally to apply for state drivers' licenses. One political analyst predicts that urbanites will vote in support of the measure, suburbanites will oppose it, leaving its fate in the hands of rural voters.


In immigration news: The diverse 'second great wave' of immigrants, executive action, Hawaii's Latino population, more

Mercer 18532

Kevin Moloney/Getty Images

Immigrant rights demonstrators on the steps of the Colorado state Capitol. As immigrant networks have spread out in recent decades, parts of the U.S. far beyond urban centers and traditional receiving states have become increasingly diverse.

Second immigration wave lifts diversity to record high - USA Today As immigrant networks have spread out, "racial and ethnic diversity is spreading far beyond the coasts and into surprising places across the USA, rapidly changing how Americans live, learn, work and worship together." Immigrant communities have long spread beyond traditional urban centers and into small metropolitan and rural areas. These networks have branched out in the wake of what's referred to as "second great wave" of immigration that began around 1970.

Feds Getting Ready for Executive Action on Immigration - NBC News U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is expected to be at the forefront if and when PresidentObama announces executive action on immigration; Obama has indicated this could happen after the midterm elections, but by the end of the year: “Our agency will be shouldering the primary responsibility for executing whatever it is," said agency director León Rodríguez.


Get-out-the-vote, LA style: Phone bank operators work in 17 Asian languages

Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Volunteers at a phone bank organized by Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Los Angeles are trying to reach voters in 17 different languages.

In an office building near downtown Los Angeles, a couple dozen volunteers recently worked their way through lists of Asian American registered voters – young voters, newly registered voters, and voters who have a poor track record of participation. They wanted to know if people on the list planned to vote in November and took the opportunity to urge them to get to the polls.

In one corner of the room, a volunteer spoke Mandarin, in another, a young woman offered to speak Urdu to the voter on the line. From a room down the hall, Vietnamese and Tagalog could be heard. 

“We’re actually doing one of the largest phone bank operations, not necessarily in voter numbers, but in language numbers,” said Tanzila Ahmed, one of the organizers and voter engagement manager for Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a local civil rights and civic engagement group that’s coordinating the effort.


In immigration news: Fewer immigration holds, new detention center for families, more

ICE Holds Immigrants At Adelanto Detention Facility

John Moore/Getty Images

A growing number of police agencies are denying federal requests for immigration holds on immigrants in their custody; immigration officials say some agencies have released people with previous criminal convictions.

Thousands Released After Immigration Holds Denied - Associated Press From the story: "Immigration officials say local authorities across the U.S. released thousands of immigrants from jails this year despite efforts to take them into federal custody, including more than 3,000 with previous felony charges or convictions. The numbers are the first time federal immigration authorities have publicly detailed how many times local agencies have refused to comply with their requests." A growing number of local agencies are denying requests for federal immigration holds on immigrants in their custody.

Texas Center Part Of New Effort To Detain Illegal Immigrants - NPR On the new 2,400-bed detention center for immigrant families being built in Dilley, Texas: "It's actually a detention camp. But it's going to be family-friendly because they're going to obviously be detaining the children, too. So they're will be playrooms and snacks and drinks, basketball court, soccer field. But it's surrounded by a fence and locked gates, so they can't leave."


In immigration news: Haitian family reunification, Kansas election battle, unaccompanied minors, more

Mercer 2566

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Haitian earthquake victims swarm around a relief truck to collect food in Leogan in 2010 after a massive quake shattered the country.

Obama administration to allow thousands of Haitians to legally enter United States - Miami Herald The Department of Homeland Security is allowing thousands of Haitians to reunite with family in the US up to two years sooner than many expected. The announcement applies to Haitians who already have been approved for family-based immigrant visas, and is timed to the upcoming fifth anniversary of the massive Jan. 2010 earthquake that devastated the country. But some advocates said the Obama administration could do more. The new initiative doesn't "immediately the approximately 100,000 Haitians whose I-130 visas have already been approved for a potential green card." 

Democrats target an immigration warrior in Kansas - Politico Democrats, with the help of some moderate Republicans are trying to take back Kansas, and may have GOP Sec. of State Kris Kobach in their cross-hairs. Kobach is a hero of the right on immigration, having helped craft the "the highly contentious Arizona immigration law, urged Mitt Romney to advocate for “self-deportation” and has been the driving force behind Kansas’ far-reaching voter ID law, which requires not just identification but also proof of citizenship." A recent poll put Kobach ahead of his Democratic rival by six percentage points.