How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In Immigration News: Latinos still searching for political clout, chances for reform in 2014, 'Anchorman' dog-eating joke

Escondido Latino vote

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

A family passes a sign that reads, 'Mexican things here,' in Escondido.

Latinos still face electoral hurdles in California - Associated Press  Even with Latinos poised to become California's largest ethnic group in 2014, they lack political clout in surprising places. The AP profiles the north San Diego suburb of Escondido, which has a population that is nearly 50 percent Latino but has a poor record of electing Hispanic politicians. The city's switch to "district voting" is being credited with getting more Latinos elected to posts such as the school board.

Wisconsin minority caucus invites white lawmakers - Associated Press  In Wisconsin, black and Latino legislators invited white lawmakers from mostly minority districts to their minority caucus meetings for the first time. Leaders of the minority caucus reasoned that they would like more people of color in office, but short of that they wanted to include legislators representing minorities  to look at issues "affecting minorities statewide, including unemployment, disproportionate racial incarceration rates, voting rights and education achievement gaps." The caucus, however, did not offer white lawmakers full membership with voting rights "for fear of weakening the voice of minority members," according to the report.  

Snapshot of the U.S. uninsured: Young, male, family working - UPI  A look at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's website  shows that many of the country's uninsured are Hispanic. In Califonia, for example,  50 percent of the uninsured are Hispanic, compared to 29 percent who are white, 12 percent who are Asian-American or Pacific Islander and 6 percent who are African-American.

Immigration issues to watch in 2014 - Southern California Public Radio Republican House Speaker John Boehner has indicated that he'll allow an immigration reform bill to hit the floor but it will likely come in a piecemeal form that contrasts starkly with the comprehensive reform plan passed by the Senate last summer.  According to UC Riverside political scientist Karthick Ramakrishnan, "we're likely to see bills that deal with specific components, like the Dream Act, high-skilled visas, and probably a bill that passes the House, or is at least proposed in the House, that would propose legalization for undocumented immigrants without a pathway to citizenship." 

‘Anchorman 2’ and the Normalization of an Ethnic Slur - Diverse Issues in Higher Education  Ron Burgundy, goofy protagonist of the 'Anchorman' movie, is known for saying the wrong things. But a joke about Filipinos eating cats and dogs has inflamed some Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. A columnist, Emil Guillermo writes "it’s a tasteless and unnecessary re-telling of an old ethnic slur." But Guillermo notes that other Filipino-Americans found the joke harmless.

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