How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Political lines drawn in border crisis, minors and immigration courts, activist gets stuck on border in Texas, more

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Political Chatter: Battle lines are drawn in immigration debate - CNN President Obama has asked Congress for emergency funding to help deal with the wave of unaccompanied minors and families arriving from Central America, and to modify a 2008 law that would allow them to be deported more quickly. But he may not get enough support for such a plan: "The path to a solution, however, doesn't appear easy. Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided on both the causes of the problem and the ways to solve it."

Backlogged Immigration Courts Brace For New Deluge Of Children - Associated Press From the story: "The court system is so overwhelmed that it can currently take three years to get a hearing, and many believe the delays will only get worse in the months ahead. For many immigrants, the delays in the court system work in their favor because they know they have so long before their cases are resolved."

Fate for most kids who cross the border? Staying in the U.S. - NBC News A look inside an immigration court in New York where minors' cases were being heard: "On this morning, most appearances lasted only a matter of minutes. After some brief judicial banter, and official business, (Judge Douglas) Schoppert instructed just about every defendant to try to find a lawyer, and report back to court in February. He essentially put the 'removal process,' on hold, and allowed these young migrants to get on with their new lives in America."

Trapped on the Border - Politico Jose Antonio Vargas, the former Washington Post reporter who turned activist after revealing he lacks legal immigration status, writes about visiting the border in Texas. He learned after arriving last week that because of strict checkpoints, he would have trouble leaving: "I do not have a single U.S. government-issued ID. Like most of our country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, I do not have a driver’s license—not yet, at least."

On Texas border, volunteers get to work to help flood of immigrants - Los Angeles Times On the volunteers who are helping the unaccompanied minors and families arriving at the border in Texas: "The estimated 800 volunteers at the hastily organized immigrant relief center are retirees and businessmen, stay-at-home moms and students from nearby University of Texas-Pan American. Organizers from Catholic Charities have been joined by the Salvation Army, by Baptists, Methodists and Episcopalians. "

Relics Of The Patron Saint Of Immigrants Take A Pilgrimage - NPR A statue of Saint Toribio Romo, the patron saint of immigrants, that contains holy relics has been touring several Catholic churches in Southern California. The statue typically resides in the saint's Mexican hometown. Romo, who was born in 1900, was a priest who was killed during an anti-government religious uprising in 1928.

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