How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: DHS chief talks immigration and values, immigrants preparing for CA licenses, higher graduation rates, a folk-hero smuggler, more

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Homeland Security Chief Stresses Families in Immigration - Wall Street Journal In a television interview this weekend, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson discussed his agency's review of deportation policies and how immigration policies should embrace "American values." From the story: “And one of those American values is respect for human dignity,” Mr. Johnson said on ABC News’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “I also believe one of those American values is respect for the sanctity of the family unit.”

Months ahead, immigrants study for California driver's license - Associated Press Next January is the target date for when unauthorized immigrants may begin applying for a special driver's license under a new California law, but many are already preparing. From the story: "A Mexican consulate is hosting monthly driver's license test preparation classes. A community college is designing a 15-hour course to help immigrants prepare. And the state's Department of Motor Vehicles has put together new audio materials in Spanish with months to go before the new licenses are issued."

Increase In Latino High School Grads Helps U.S. Reach Milestone - NBC News According to a new report: "For the first time, the nation has an over 80 percent high school graduation rate, with four out of five of the nation's students graduating." This is due in part to higher graduation rates among black and Latino students: "From 2006 to 2012, there was a 15-percentage point increase in Hispanic graduation rates and a 9-percentage point increase among black students."

A Smuggler of Immigrants Dies in Prison, but Is Praised in Chinatown - New York Times Cheng Chui Ping, who died in federal prison last week at 65, was the “mother of all snakeheads” to federal authorities, who knew her as a ruthless and vindictive smuggler. But in New York's Chinatown, where some regarded her as a folk hero, immigrants who arrived with her aid and knew her as "kindly Sister Ping" have been mourning her passing.

Healthcare options for undocumented immigrants - Los Angeles Times Unauthorized immigrants are generally barred from obtaining health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act. But some may be able to access care through alternative means, such as Medi-Cal, which in California is available to those who have temporary legal status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Immigration Reform-Supporting Republican Allegedly Employed Undocumented Workers - Huffington Post According to a federal indictment, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) "oversaw a health food restaurant that allegedly employed undocumented workers before his time in Congress...Grimm allegedly paid a significant portion of employee wages in cash, with some employees receiving all of their wages that way." Grimm allegedly helped conceal more than a million dollars in revenue.

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