Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In Immigration News: bishops at the border, education gap, unlicensed drivers

Protesters hold a news conference in Hollywood October 2013 to ask the Governor to speed up the process for unlicensed drivers to apply for driver's licenses in California.
Protesters hold a news conference in Hollywood October 2013 to ask the Governor to speed up the process for unlicensed drivers to apply for driver's licenses in California.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Bishops seek immigration reform during border trip - Associated Press  Roman Catholic bishops are visiting the U.S-Mexico border today, "for an early morning walk in the desert along the border, followed by a Mass at the fence separating the two countries in southern Arizona," according to the story. The goal of the visit is to pressure Washington to act on immigration, and also to memorialize the dozens of immigrants who perish each year during ill-fated attempts to cross the desert into the US.  The delegation's visit follows President Obama's meeting with the Pope last week, during which he said there was still a chance to get a law passed.

Map: The education gap between Asians and other minorities is huge in every state - The Washington Post  A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that Asian-American students scored the highest across the country, followed by whites. "Latinos were a distant third, followed by American Indians and blacks," according to the story. The report's authors looked at 12 measures including early-childhood enrollment, test scores and poverty.

Lending Circles Help Latinas Pay Bills And Invest - NPR  A tanda is a rotating savings and credit association or as one participant says, "it's like a no-interest loan with your friends." Most popular among women, it works like this, according to the story: "Ten friends, family or co-workers get together, and each agrees to give $100 every two weeks to the group's organizer. One person ends up with the whole pot at the end of the month: $2,000. This goes on for 10 months until everyone gets the pot." Fans of tandas say it's an alternative to payday lenders who charge stratospheric interest rates.

Protests rise as Santa Maria refuses to halt immigrant center - Los Angeles Times Plans are on to build a new center in Santa Maria, where  immigration enforcement agents would process people who are in the country without legal status and could be deported.  But activists in the Central Coast, which is heavily Latino and dependent on immigrant labor, say they will not stop fighting a development that will only create a "culture of fear," according to one opponent. Last week, more than 1,000 people flooded city council chambers in Santa Maria to make their case against the development.

Immigrant groups call for moratorium on impounding cars from unlicensed drivers - Southern California Public Radio Activists are kicking off a week of rallies to pressure city officials to put a stop to the impounding of cars owned by unlicensed immigrants. California law allows police to impound cars for up to 30 days but it's not required. Activists will be targeting officials in Los Angeles, Lancaster, Long Beach, Bakersfield, Fresno and Sacramento.

Immigration officials mount campaign against marriage fraud - Southern California Public Radio  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is attempting to raise awareness about marriage fraud with a sign campaign in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York.  Two signs went up in downtown Los Angeles on Monday near the federal building. ICE says that Americans who marry virtual strangers who want a green card, may see themselves as doing a favor, while making some extra cash. But Arnold says that marriage fraud undermines the immigration system, and has given rise to marriage fraud crime rings.