How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Reform debate hits Senate floor, binational couples await DOMA decision, the 'assimilation' debate, more

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Senate digs in for long battle on overhaul of immigration - New York Times The Senate debate is starting in earnest on the amended 867-page comprehensive immigration reform bill, a process that's expected to play out on the Senate floor over the coming weeks. A key vote to move forward with the bill - allowing amendment proposals to begin - is expected late Monday.

Same sex couple seeks immigration relief from high court - NPR The story of one binational lesbian couple anticipating a ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act in the U.S. Supreme Court. The law does not recognize same-sex marriages for immigration purposes, but this could change if the court rules against DOMA. Only straight married partners may now sponsor a foreign-born spouse for an immigrant visa.

'Assimilation' a flash point in immigration debate - Politico The Senate immigration bill contains provisions that would require unauthorized  immigrants to learn English and civics in order to become legal residents, but "conservatives are angry about the lack of emphasis on patriotic principles and the cost. They’re pushing for what they consider improvements to the bill’s language."

Trayvon Martin shooting: Race hangs over case as trial begins - Christian Science Monitor The story of how neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin in February of last year in Florida "continues to poke at uncomfortable truths in a not-so-post-racial America – including perceptions about profiling, interracial crime fears, drug use stereotypes, and vigilantism."

Asian groups, White House seek better race data - Associated Press From the story: "Taken together on paper, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders appear to be a high-achieving bunch with few of the challenges faced by other racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. when it comes to education. Break these populations down into their many ethnic groups, however, and stark disparities emerge." An effort is afoot to figure out how educational institutions can better address these gaps.

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