How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Obama urges House to pass reform bill, policy change weighed for detainees, vigil for Korean ferry victims, more

Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (D-LA)

Kitty Felde/KPCC

House Democrats, including Rep. Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles, are hoping to force a vote on a House immigration reform bill using a procedural tactic known as a discharge petition. But with insufficient Republican signatures so far, the petition may not work. In a statement Wednesday, President Obama urged the GOP-led House to act on an immigration overhaul.

Obama urges GOP House to pass immigration bill - USA Today On Wednesday, President Obama urged the Republican-run House to act on immigration. From the story: "An overhaul of the immigration system 'would boost our economy, strengthen our security, and live up to our most closely-held values as a society,' Obama said in a written statement." House Democrats are pushing a petition that would force a vote on a House immigration reform bill.

Obama weighs bond hearings for detained immigrants - Los Angeles Times From the story: "Obama administration officials are considering allowing bond hearings for immigrants in prolonged detention, officials said, a shift that could slow the pace of deportations because immigration courts expedite cases of incarcerated immigrants." This could represent the release of several thousand immigrants from detention.


In immigration news: Executive action not part of Obama's plan, NYPD drops Muslim spying unit, 'Border Guards,' more



Activists rally outside the White House on March 12, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Both the White House and faith leaders who met with President Obama on Wednesday are saying there are currently no plans for Obama to take executive action on immigration, something that many immigrant advocates have been pushing for as they wait for Congress to act.

No Executive Action on Immigration Overhaul for Now - ABC News Faith leaders who met with President Obama on Wednesday said they learned that taking executive action to reform immigration, as many activists have hoped, is not part of his plan. Obama has asked the director of Homeland Security to review deportation practices, but a White House spokesman says this "is different from implementing immigration overhaul on his own."

Jeb Bush Won't Be an Outlier on Immigration by 2016 - U.S. News & World Report Former Florida governor and possible 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has not backed down from recent statements in which he expressed sympathy for immigrants who come illegally to the U.S. One possible reason why? From the story: "Part of his gamble is the assumption that the Republican primary of 2016 is not going to look like 2012. Bush might face a backlash early on, but he is hardly sunk if he decides to dive into the race."


In immigration news: Latest on House discharge petition, tax scammers target immigrants, more

Proposals that would simplify the filing process for many Americans are under fire from tax-preparation company TurboTax. Here, a 2013 IRS Estimated Tax form.

Damian Dovarganes/AP

In time for tax day, the Internal Revenue Service is warning people to watch out for tax-related phone scams targeting consumers, especially those who are recent immigrants. Some scammers threaten their victims with deportation.

House Democrats need 27 signatures to force vote on comprehensive immigration reform bill - Washington Post The latest on House Democrats' discharge petition, a procedural effort to force a vote on a House immigration reform bill: "House Democrats say they currently have 191 signatures — all Democrats — on the petition, and that they will recommit to pressure Republican lawmakers who have said previously that they would support comprehensive immigration reform. The petition must get 218 signatures to force a vote on the legislation."

IRS sounds warning on aggressive scam - Dallas Morning News In time for tax day, the Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers "to guard against sophisticated and aggressive phone scams targeting consumers, particularly recent immigrants." Targeted individuals are told they are entitled to big refunds or that they owe money immediately, and are "threatened with deportation, arrest, having their utilities shut off or having their driver’s licenses revoked."


In immigration news: Race and reform, immigration and the GOP in 2016, deportation ruling for Salvadoran ex-general, more

May Day March for Immigration Reform

Justin Valas/flickr Creative Commons

Is race a roadblock to immigration reform in Congress? Some critics in recent days have suggested that it is.

Is race holding up immigration reform? - CNN Candy Crowley interviews Rep. Steve Israel (D-New York) and Rep. Greg Walden  (R-Oregon) on topics that include the issue of race as a factor in the immigration reform stalemate. Says Israel: “To a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism. And that’s unfortunate.” Says Walden: "It's both wrong and unfortunate."

Will immigration undermine Republicans in 2016? - CBS News From the story: "A weekend cattle call of many of the party's prospective nominees showed that, like 2012, the GOP's base may still reward the candidate who seen as the biggest hard-liner on the issue, even though there may be a price to pay among Hispanic voters." This comes after former Florida governor Jeb Bush's recent comment about the decision to come to the U.S. illegally being an "act of love" for many families, which drew scorn from fellow conservatives.


In immigration news: Asylum seekers at the border, Jeb Bush defends 'act of love' immigration comment, more

Fronteras Rio Grande

Monica Ortiz Uribe

A grandfather and grandson hug after being apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in Hidalgo, Texas. Authorities along the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas have seen growing migrant traffic from Central America, with many people seeking asylum as they flee poverty and gang violence back home.

Hoping for Asylum, Migrants Strain U.S. Border - New York Times Border crossing apprehensions in Texas' Rio Grande Valley are up, but Mexican migrants no longer make up the majority. They've been replaced by migrants from Central America, and many arrive seeking asylum, fleeing not only poverty but gang violence in their native countries. Without enough space to hold them, authorities have had to release some into the U.S. temporarily, and the message has made it back home "that those who make it to American soil have a good chance of staying."

White House may slow immigration deportations unless Congress acts - Los Angeles Times From the story: "After meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus voiced confidence Wednesday that if the Republican-led House fails to undertake immigration reform this year, the administration will act by executive action. Last month, President Obama promised Latino leaders that his administration would review its deportation policy and enforce laws 'more humanely.' "