Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Posts of the week: May Day, mourning Junior Seau, very long waits for immigrant visas, a different kind of Cinco de Mayo list, more

An immigrant rights protester with "aliens" in downtown Los Angeles, May 1, 2012
An immigrant rights protester with "aliens" in downtown Los Angeles, May 1, 2012 Photo by Mae Ryan/KPCC

This week has brought us May Day and its accompanying immigrant rights and other marches, the death of a beloved football hero, and continued remembrances of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which began 20 years ago last Sunday and were just winding down about now, as life in L.A. began returning to semi-normal.

Oh, and today is Cinco de Mayo! There's a list for that. Read on.

If you missed any of this week's highlights, here they are:

Monday

Map reveals immigrant population growth and slowdown, state by state A new interactive census data map from the Migration Policy Institute reveals state by state the dramatic surge in migration of the late 20th century, and the more recent slowdown. For example, Arizona’s foreign-born population grew nearly 136 percent between 1999 and 2000; between 2000 and 2010, it grew just 30.6 percent.

Tuesday

Beyond May Day and marches, an evolving immigrant rights movement Tuesday was May 1, the traditional workers' holiday which in recent years has become synonymous with immigrant rights rallies. But the turnout in recent years hasn't come close to the record crowds of 2006, when comprehensive immigration reform seemed just around the corner. How has the immigrant rights movement changed since?

Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month? Each month, the U.S. State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin lists whose turn has come up to receive an immigrant visa after years of waiting. It's remarkable how long some people wait: For hopeful immigrants from the Philippines who are the siblings of U.S. citizens, and whose number came up this month, the paperwork to come to the U.S. legally was filed back in 1989. The line for those waiting in Mexico isn't much shorter.

Wednesday

‘Junior Seau meant so much to me and many other Samoan youth’ Football great Junior Seau was found dead in his home Wednesday after apparently taking his own life. Seau, who spent much of his career with the San Diego Chargers, was an icon not only in his hometown but among Samoan Americans. The post highlights a touching tweeted message from Troy Polamalu, a younger Samoan American football pro who called Seau 'a childhood hero of mine.'

Thursday

Do lower crowd counts at rallies equal a ‘weak immigration movement?’ A popular headline following Tuesday's May Day rallies read "May Day Protests Show Weak Immigration Movement." But in the years since the massive rallies of 2006, the immigrant rights movement has evolved into mini-movements that have had some moderate successes, with much organizing done online. In an era of virtual activism, is crowd count still the best indicator of the state of a movement?

Friday

Black, white, Latino, Asian, unknown: A list of victims from the 1992 Los Angeles riots NBC Southern California has been using the @RealTimeLARiots Twitter account to live-tweet the developments of the 1992 LA. riots as they happened then. Yesterday, it tweeted a 20-year-old list of 51 people then known to have died in the riots, originally published in the Los Angeles Times on May 4, 1992. The list serves as a sad reminder of a regional tragedy that left no one untouched.

Cinco curiosities for Cinco de Mayo You've seen all the Cinco de Mayo fact lists: It's not Mexican independence day, etc. You know that already. But there are some facets of how Cinco de Mayo is celebrated and used, commercially and otherwise, that you don't often read about (at least not neatly packaged into a list). Think avocados, politicians, and auto insurance.

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