How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: New detention center proposed, feds say no border ISIS threat, deportations slow, more

Female detainees stand at the fence in t


Female detainees stand at the fence in the exercise yard inside Homeland Security's Willacy Detention Center in Raymondville, Texas, May 10, 2007. Federal officials are proposing a new immigrant detention center in South Texas, one that would house families, in response to the recent Central American migrant crisis at the border. The government was sued over inhumane conditions at a different family detention center in Texas in 2007.

Federal officials propose Texas immigration lockup - Associated Press On a proposal to build a new immigrant detention center in South Texas that would house families. From the story: "Immigration and Customs Enforcement is proposing a residential center in the town of Dilley, about 70 miles southwest of San Antonio...The plan is being decried by advocacy groups, who point to the fraught history of a past Texas family immigration lockup." Federal officials were sued over conditions at the T. Don Hutto family detention center in 2007.

DHS Doesn't Think ISIS Is Plotting Attack Through U.S.-Mexico Border - Huffington Post Department of Homeland Security officials said during a Senate hearing Wednesday that there's no evidence of the Islamic State terrorist organization planning to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, as some reports have claimed. From the story: “'At present, DHS is unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland from ISIL,' DHS Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis Francis Taylor said, according to a transcript."


In immigration news: Deportations down, church sanctuaries, migrant influx at schools

American Wife Reunites With Deported Husband In Mexico

John Moore/Getty Images

U.S. citizen Lace Rodriguez reunites with her husband Javier Guerrero, who was deported home to Mexico.

Report: US Sharply Cutting Deportations - Associated Press This year is shaping up to have the fewest deportations since at least 2007.  The AP found that the Homeland Security Department removed under 259,000 between the 2013-2014 budget year, compared to about 320 people over the same period last year. That's a drop of nearly 20 percent. Over the course of the Obama administration, more than 2.1 million immigrants were sent home. Possible reason for the decline: the Obama administration switched its focus to deporting criminals, so others facing deportation are instead having their cases pend through immigration court. Also, the recent surge of migrants over the summer has led immigration officials to "release many people into the U.S. interior with instructions to report back to authorities later."


Coachella Valley High settles on new 'Mighty Arabs' mascot

Coachella Valley Mascot

The new face of the 'Mighty Arabs' (l.) replaces the retired 'Arab' mascot that triggered complaints by Arab-Americans.

Coachella Valley mascot

Coachella Valley High School

A physical education uniform available for $15 through Coachella Valley High School's web store shows "The Arab" mascot, which has become the center of a controversy over demeaning stereotypes.


Yager 91/Flickr Creative Commons

An image of the Coachella Valley Arab mascot.


Michele Sabatier/Flickr Creative Commons

A view of Coachella Valley High School in Thermal. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee say the image of the Arab mascot on a carpet with a woman is an example of "gross stereotyping."

Out with the sneering, hook-nosed 'Arab' mascot of old.

In with the new face of the "Mighty Arabs" — an ethnically ambiguous-looking man sporting a manicured beard and a kaffiyeh, the traditional Arab headscarf.

"The new mascot is a distinguished-looking Arab gentleman in historical dress," Superintendent Darryl Adams Coachella of the Valley Unified School District told KPCC. "It's a stoic figure but a very classy figure. It symbolizes pride and leadership for the football team, or just the school in general." 

The district's Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the new mascot and name in a 5-0 vote.

The decision comes nearly a year after the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee protested the mascot in a Nov. 2013 letter, bringing national attention to an area best known for date farming and hosting the Coachella music festival.


Reports of anti-South Asian bias, violence higher in California

sikh temple

Courtesy SALDEF

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department is looking for whoever vandalized a Sikh temple in Riverside with the word 'terrorist.'

California trails only New York when it comes to the number of suspected hate crimes against South Asians, Muslims and Arabs, according to a new report from a civil rights group.

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) has tallied 76 reports of violence and harassment against members of these communities between 2011 and April 2014.

Thirteen of those reported incidents occurred in California — a surprise to executive director Suman Raghunathan given the state’s diverse make-up which includes one of the largest South Asian populations in the country.

She was also taken aback that some of the incidents took place in “long-standing South Asian communities such as Ontario, Fresno, Stockton, Hayward.”

They ranged from beating deaths to verbal threats and graffiti.

“It instills a profound sense of fear, lack of security and instability,” Raghunathan said.


In immigration news: Reform on backburner, Latinos sour on Obama, midterm elections

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (center) speaks to members of the media Saturday, alongside Sens. Mark Udall (left) and Michael Bennet, after touring flood-damaged areas by army helicopter.

Brennan Linsley/AP

Sens. Mark Udall (left) and Michael Bennet (right) are less likely than other Democratic candidates to benefit from Obama's decision to postpone executive action. Here they're pictured with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (center).

Immigration reform just went from extremely unlikely to impossible - Washington Post A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 27 percent of Americans strongly oppose "a new path to citizenship for illegal immigrants" — topping the 21 percent who "strongly support" such a path. This is close to the reverse of survey results taken in April 2013. What's changed? From the story: "...the recent controversy over the southern border and Obama's delayed executive action appear to have only made real reform less possible."

NBC/WSJ/Telemundo Poll: Latino Voters More Sour On Country, Obama - NBC News  Pollsters for NBC/WSJ also found that a growing number of Latino voters "think the country is headed in the wrong direction" and are growing disillusioned with Obama — 47 percent approve of his performance, compared to 62 percent in April 2013. Latinos remain the only group in which a majority "favor legislation or executive action to change the current laws and policies."