How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Executive action, a school for newcomers, Border Patrol shootings, more

A boys shows a US flag as President Bara


A boys holds a U.S. flag as President Barack Obama speaks on immigration at the Chamizal National Memorial on May 10, 2011 in El Paso, Texas. Lawmakers, advocates, experts, lobbyists and business leaders hope to have a stake in what kind of executive action on immigration comes out of the White House in the near future.

Behind Closed Doors, Obama Crafts Executive Actions - New York Times Lobbyists and interest groups have been making their cases privately to President Obama, who stated earlier this summer that he would take action on immigration in the near future. From the story: "White House officials say Mr. Obama has been inclusive as he looks to wield his authority, reaching out to an array of lawmakers, experts and business leaders for a wide range of perspectives to inform his plans for executive actions."

GOPers take on different immigration strategies to woo voters - MSNBC On how Republican candidates might handle immigration as the midterm elections approach. From the story: "A strict stance will still likely play well with the conservative base. But it goes against the GOP’s autopsy report following Mitt Romney’s loss in 2012, and the party’s acknowledgement that it needed to be more inclusive of minorities – particularly Latinos – if it wants to increase its chances of a Republican win in 2016."


As fewer child migrants arrive, Ventura County emergency shelter closes — for now

Central Americans Freed By Border Patrol Depart For Destinations Around The U.S.

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A Salvadoran family waits at a Greyhound bus station for their trip to Houston on July 25, 2014 in McAllen, Texas. After a surge in recent months, the number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America has dropped sharply, and emergency shelters set up on military bases have closed for the time being. It's unclear if more child migrants will arrive after the summer.

Just two months after it opened, an emergency shelter for unaccompanied child migrants on a naval base in Port Hueneme has closed, at least for the time being.

The 600-bed shelter for minors over age 12 closed Aug. 7, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many of its occupants have already been reunited with relatives. Those left were placed at existing HHS shelters, said Kenneth Wolfe, a department spokesman.

"We were able to take this step because we have proactively expanded capacity to care for children in standard shelters, which are significantly less costly facilities," Wolfe wrote in an email. "At the same time, we have seen a decrease in the number of children crossing the southwest border."

Ana Garcia of the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles said that she and other service providers recently met with HHS officials, and was told the majority of the kids at the shelter had been placed with family, with relatively few being transferred to other shelters.


In immigration news: White House talks with biz leaders, border militias, ag labor shortages, more

Work Visa Immigration Paperwork File

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A stack of work visas await processing. White House officials are reportedly in talks with business leaders that could affect what kind of executive action President Obama takes on immigration, as is expected in the coming weeks.

Exclusive: White House meets with big biz on immigration - Politico White House officials are reportedly in talks with business leaders that "could expand the executive actions President Barack Obama takes on immigration...Representatives for high-tech, agriculture and construction interests have put forward a range of fixes, from recapturing unused green cards to tweaking existing work authorization programs."

Militias Complicate Situation on Texas Border - ABC News The presence of civilian militias on the busy South Texas border is complicating enforcement efforts, border officials say. From the story: "'How do they identify themselves? Do they have badges? How do we know who they are?' asked J.P. Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office. 'If they're all just dressed in camos, it's kind of hard to distinguish whether they're law enforcement or not... There's a lot of potential for stuff to go wrong.' "


In immigration news: Two years of DACA, 'suspect' border shootings, detained child a US citizen, more

Young people wait in line to enter the o


Young immigrants line on up August 15, 2012 outside the office of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In the two years since, more than 560,000 young people have obtained temporary legal status and work permits via the federal program.

2 years after the start of DACA, haves and have-nots - Southern California Public Radio The federal program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals kicked off two years ago today, providing more than 560,000 young immigrants so far with temporary legal status and work permits. But among the 10 million immigrants that the program doesn't cover are young people who narrowly missed eligibility. Since 2012, their lives have taken different paths.

Immigration rights groups pressure Dems to stick with Obama - Politico In a letter, a coalition of immigrant rights groups has warned Senate Democrats "not to back away from demands that President Barack Obama act on immigration before the midterm elections. The letter is a response to growing concern among the groups that the Senate leadership will pressure the administration to hold off on taking some of the boldest action until after November." Some Democrats have expressed concern about executive action on immigration affecting their reelection chances.


2 years after the start of DACA, haves and have-nots

DACA Ivan Ceja - 1

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Ivan Ceja, 22, first received approval for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in October 2012. Now, Ceja has a job working for George McKenna's campaign for school board.

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Ivan Ceja irons a dress shirt before work on Thursday, Aug. 7. Now that he has a social security number, Ceja was able to get a driver's license and credit card. "It's something concrete that's always going to be there for me," Ceja said of his social security number.

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Ceja prepares to apply to jobs on Thursday, Aug. 7 in his family's home in Compton. In addition to working on campaigns, Ivan Ceja is studying electrical engineering at Long Beach City College.

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Ivan Ceja is engaged and they hope to get married next year. If DACA is renewed, Ceja hopes to continue working for campaigns and would eventually like to start his own small business.

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Ivan Ceja, 22, watches an episode of "House of Cards" before going to work as an office manager, field coordinator and data manager for George McKenna's campaign for school board.

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Ceja finishes a bowl of cereal before work on Thursday, Aug. 7. Ivan Ceja lives at home with his parents. With his new campaigning job, he is able to help with bills and rent.

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Ceja has two brothers. This fall, he plans to help pay for his little brother's tuition at Long Beach City College.

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If Ivan Ceja hadn't been approved for DACA, "I'd probably still be protesting out in the streets with friends and other organizers I met," he said. "I've realized my role in this moving forward, I want to be a resource."

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Ivan Ceja no longer has to take the bus to get to work and school. If he continues to have a stable income, he hopes to buy a new car soon.

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Ceja prepares cell phones for volunteer callers on Friday, Aug. 1 at George McKenna's campaign headquarters. Ivan Ceja previously worked at Subway, but it didn't provide the work experience he wanted.

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Ceja says that if he didn't receive approval for DACA, he imagines he would probably be doing construction with his dad. "It's really hard for me to say because there weren't any opportunities prior," he said.

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Josue Ruiz hopes to study engineering in college, or anything that has to do with math and science.

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With the help of the Central American Resource Center, Ruiz plans to re-apply for DACA with the necessary paperwork.

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A childhood photo of Josue Ruiz sits in the Ruiz family home. The sixteen-year-old will start his junior year this August at Torres High School in Boyle Heights.

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Brother Jaime, 12, left, father Alejandro and mother Flor Ruiz spend time together in their Boyle Heights home. August 15 marks the two-year anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

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Josue studies for his upcoming advanced placement world history class. His favorite subject is math.

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The Ruiz family home in Boyle Heights.

In a crisp white shirt and tie, Ivan Ceja looks every bit the political operative. One afternoon in early August, he fielded calls at the campaign office of George McKenna, who won a seat this week on the L.A. School Board.

Ivan worked as an office manager and field coordinator for the campaign. It's the second political job he's held so far since he obtained temporary legal status and a work permit almost two years ago, through a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

“If I hadn’t had DACA, I’d probably still be protesting in the streets, with a lot of my friends and organizers that I met," said Ceja, 22. "I wouldn’t be working here, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t have my license, so I would probably still be taking the bus. I’d probably still be working construction and, uh, being creative. I don’t know, it’s really hard for me to say.”