How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Deportations drop, reform and the coming year, Noche Buena, Muslim kids and bullying, more

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Deportations drop for first time since start of Obama administration - Southern California Public Radio Federal immigration officials announced Thursday that in fiscal year 2013, which ended Sept. 30, they removed 368,644 immigrants from the United States. That's fewer than the 369,221 people removed in fiscal year 2008, before President Barack Obama took office. Deportations since then have hit record highs, with more than 1.9 million immigrants removed from the U.S. since 2009.

GOP congressman: Immigration reform can happen in 2014 - The Hill Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) has indicated that "if Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) secures several legislative wins early next year, an immigration bill could clear the lower chamber by next summer." But he made clear that other issues, such as another debt ceiling battle, "could shape whether the House acts on immigration reform in early 2014. "

For some Latino families, Christmas comes a day early - Los Angeles Times It's called Noche Buena, the night before Christmas. And in Latin American tradition, this is when the celebrating - the family get-togethers, the feasting, the opening of presents - takes place.

'It is just a joke': Muslim children, teens report bullying in California schools - Southern California Public Radio In a survey organized by a Muslim civil rights group, half of Muslim children and teens surveyed said they'd been subject to some form of social bullying, and 10 percent said they'd been bullied physically. Many still reported a healthy school environment, but report authors warn that many kids internalize the pain and don't report incidents.

Christie agrees to in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants - New York Times State lawmakers in New Jersey have approved legislation that will allow college students who are in the country illegally to pay in-state tuition. A spokesman for Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who has been criticized for going back and forth on the issue, said he plans to sign it Friday.

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