How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning

Buenos días. Here are some of the top immigration-related stories this morning, along with a couple of other good reads.


  • The Associated Press reports that $600 million border security bill, which had been temporarily put on hold due to a procedural glitch, is now is on its way to President Obama's desk after the Senate convened a special session.



  • In addition to spending on border security, the Obama administration also continues to deport record numbers of people, the Christian Science Monitor reports.



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In the news this morning

Good morning. Here are a few of the top immigration stories from the weekend and for today.


  • The New York Times reported on the resistance to various planned mosques around the country, including in Temecula. Great story.



  • The NYT also reports on how amid an increase in deportations, students who came to the United States illegally as children are being spared.



  • In a related story, the Arizona Daily Star reports on the case of Marlen Moreno Peralta, a young mother whose case had become a cause célèbre among DREAM Act supporters and who has been granted a last-minute reprieve from deportation.



  • USA Today visits Apache Junction, Ariz., a border town where the arguments over the newly implemented state anti-illegal immigration law SB 1070, as viewed by residents, aren't so simple.



  • In this interesting item in The Huffington Post, a North Carolina sociologist debunks myths about birthright citizenship, and also discusses a fascinating Supreme Court decision from 1898 regarding the 14th Amendment as applied to a San Francisco-born son of Chinese immigrants.

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Emotional rally ends DREAM Act hunger strike

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC


Students who participated in DREAM Act hunger strike at closing rally in Westwood


A two-week hunger strike by supporters of the DREAM Act ended tonight in Westwood, where a crowd of more than 100 gathered outside the Los Angeles office of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Educators, clergy, parents, and classmates of the undergraduate and graduate college students who participated in the strike attended an emotional candlelight rally in which strikers and supporters shared their stories. One young man who assisted the strikers with security said he'd become involved in immigration-reform efforts after his parents were deported two years ago; a woman whose son participated in the strike cried when she spoke of another son who was deported.

Jeff Kim, an undocumented graduate student who arrived from South Korea when he was 10, was one of several hunger strikers who spoke.

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DREAM Act hunger strikers decide to quit

The students who began a hunger strike two weeks ago today outside California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office in Westwood have announced plans to end their strike with a vigil there tonight.

In a statement, the group that organized the hunger strike said, "Californians have been calling Senator Feinstein's office every day, and over 300 people visited the hunger strikers to show their support. The immigrant rights community has shown incredible solidarity with DREAM youth and they are ready to take the next steps forward."

The strikers' stated goal had been to convince Feinstein, already a supporter of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, to champion the legislation as a separate bill and push it toward a vote. The DREAM Act would create a path to citizenship for qualifying 1.5 generation undocumented immigrants who were brought here as minors if they attend college or join the military.

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DREAM Act hunger strike continues, entering third week

dreamact hands

Photo by DreamActivist/Flickr (Creative Commons)


DREAM Act supporters


Almost two weeks after they started, several students on a hunger strike in support of legislation known as the DREAM Act remain camped out in front of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood.

Five hunger strikers remain, only three of them original ones. "Obviously they have lost a few pounds, but they are hanging in there," said Vanessa Castillo, a graduate student and U.S. citizen acting as a spokesperson for the strikers, a combination of undergraduate and graduate students who have been sleeping in a tent just outside the office.

Castillo said their goal is to convince Feinstein, already a supporter of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, to champion the legislation as a separate bill and push it toward a vote. The DREAM Act would create a path to citizenship for qualifying 1.5 generation undocumented immigrants who were brought here as minors. Those who qualify must have arrived in the United States before age 16, have been here continuously for five years, and must attend college or join the military. They must be between 12 and 35 at the time they apply.

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