Members of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry during a visit by former Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano.
Obama Orders Immigration Enforcement Review Amid Pressure - Bloomberg Coming under harsh criticism for a record number of deportations under his administration, President Obama has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to review its immigration policy and see if there are ways to make it more humane. Immigration advocates say current enforcement of laws tear families apart. According to a White House statement released after the president met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Wednesday night: “The president emphasized his deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system."
"Bring Them Home": Activists fight for return of longtime illegal immigrants - San Jose Mercury News A new activist campaign called "Bring Them Home" was behind 30 people marching to the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego County and asking US border patrol for asylum. Those currently being detained pending a decision by an immigration judge include, according to the story, "a Honduran national from San Jose and a Mexican wife and mother from San Pablo who has been separated from her family for nearly three years -- including her son, a San Jose State student."
Young Ahn of the LA County Department of Mental Health works with clergy and pastors on talking mental health with their flock.
In immigrant circles, depression and other mental health issues often carry heavy stigma. Those in crisis may forgo treatment and instead seek help from one of the most trusted people in the community: the local clergy member.
But church leaders lack the training to treat mental health, and the help they provide is often restricted to the spiritual.
“They just say only, “Let’s pray.' And that’s about it," said Young Ahn, a mental health services coordinator for Los Angeles County.
To better equip faith leaders in immigrant communities, the county's Department of Mental Health this year officially launched a program called 'Clergy Academy.' Pastors and clergy who go through the 12 courses earn a certificate.
More than 30 clergy and community members showed up at the agency's Koreatown offices Thursday for a lesson on how to talk to people struggling with stress and mental health issues.
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Hopeful applicants for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals line up outside the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles offices to apply on August 15, 2012, the day the federal program kicked off. A GOP-backed House bill aims to dismantle the program, which has granted temporary legal status to hundreds of thousands of young people who arrived in the U.S. as minors under 16.
House GOP Passes Immigration-Related Bill That Goes After Dreamers - Huffington Post House Republicans have passed an immigration-related bill called the "ENFORCE Act," which would allow Congress to sue the executive branch and could potentially force an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Deferred action, as it's known, has since 2012 offered temporary legal status to young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors under age 16.
Immigration Doesn’t Have the Votes Yet, Ryan Says - Roll Call From the story: "House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan told his local newspaper that Republican leaders do not have the votes yet to pass a rewrite of the nation’s immigration system. 'We don’t have the votes right now,' the Wisconsin Republican told his local newspaper, the Janesville Gazette, in an interview Monday."
At the Cotter Church Supplies store near downtown Los Angeles, 26-year-old Danielle Decea tucked a few things into her shopping basket as she browsed the aisles.
“Just prayer books, candles, just little knickknacks here and there," said Decea, a freelance illustrator from Thousand Oaks. "Just to aid the spiritual life. Just like a few tools, you know, to take along the way.”
Decea grew up Catholic, but lost interest in the church years ago. Until recently, when she came back – in part, she said, because of Pope Francis.
“When I found out about him, I was really encouraged, and that is when the wheels started turning for me," she said. "I love his emphasis on social justice, the central gospel message with the poor, so that influenced me a lot."
RELATED: Take Two: Popularity of Pope Francis revives interest in his saintly namesake
Laurel Directo thinks students should be judged by merit. At the same time, she recognizes she had an advantage as the daughter of engineers who valued education and sent her to good schools.
Laurel Directo was just 4-years-old when race-conscious admissions were banned from California’s public universities in 1998.
Now 20, and attending UCLA, Directo doesn't think schools should go back to using affirmative action.
"I would hope they would admit us on based on our merit and achievements, and not, you know, our race," Directo said. Still, she recognizes the advantage she had as the daughter of Filipino engineers who sent her to good schools in Irvine.
"Is that necessarily fair?" Directo wondered aloud. "I don’t know."
Directo's opinion is just one of many you'll hear from Asian-American students now that affirmative action has re-entered the campus dialogue.
State legislators are considering putting a question on the statewide ballot that asks voters whether they want affirmative action back in higher education. Supporters of the SCA 5 legislation sponsored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, say this would allow schools to freely recruit talented students from underrepresented groups such as African-Americans, American Indians and Latinos.