How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning

Good morning. There are several interesting stories out there today, including some locally:

  • The Los Angeles Times has a follow-up to a story that recounted the memories of a 92-year-old child of Greek immigrants who grew up in South Los Angeles, when his neighbors were "German, Polish, all different nationalities." In an immigrant town, all that changes is where people come from.

  • has a short piece with video about a group of East Los Angeles residents proposing that the unincorporated community incorporate as a city.

  • 89.3 KPCC reports that a coalition of union, education and Latino leaders is planning a nine-city bus tour as part of a statewide Latino voter registration drive.

  • A piece of staff commentary in The Atlantic asks a question that has also been asked about the legacy of SB 1070: "Will the 14th Amendment Talk Cost the GOP More Hispanic Votes?"


In the news this morning

With Arizona and SB 1070 mostly off the radar for now, there's a little more variety this week in immigration-related news, and the debate over the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship is at the top of the list.

  • Politico has several reports on the movement to revise the 14th Amendment as more GOP lawmakers join in. Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce, who introduced SB 1070, in quoted in one story as saying, "it doesn’t take a constitutional amendment. It just takes a clarification.” In another story, Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal finds himself getting dragged into the debate on account of his own background as the U.S.-born child of Indian parents.

  • On the good-news front, Latino and Asian L.A. County residents can make a toast to health and long life: The Los Angeles Times has a story on a new county health report's findings that despite high numbers of uninsured, fewer county residents are succumbing to chronic illnesses. Among ethnic groups, Asians had the lowest death rate. Latinos had a lower death rate than black and white residents. A "Latino paradox" - in which less smoking and healthier eating (for the first generation, at least) outweigh low income and lack of insurance - is cited as a possible explanation.


Picketers target Meg Whitman's East L.A. campaign office


Photo by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Picketers outside Meg Whitman's new East L.A. campaign office

A crowd mobilized by labor unions picketed the opening today of gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's East L.A. campaign office, chanting "Meg, you're fake!" and criticizing the Republican candidate's tough stance on illegal immigration, 89.3 KPCC reports. Whitman discussed her plans to create jobs and other campaign details during the opening event.

The former eBay CEO, who has been courting Latino voters, has faced criticism from Latino and union groups for simultaneously campaigning on an immigration platform that includes tighter border security, a ban on admissions of undocumented students to state colleges and universities, and a stated opposition to bilingual education.

A Whitman ad targeting Latino voters, via YouTube:


Video exemplifies SB 1070 confusion: Police can and do alert immigration authorites, even in CA

This video taken yesterday in Arizona is making the Twitter rounds via YouTube.

The video shows the arrest of a motorist in Tucson, stopped for a traffic violation, on grounds of her immigration status with the statement that SB 1070 is "in FULL effect." And it's an example of just how complicated and confusing matters have become following last week's ruling by a federal judge blocking certain sections of the law, which was partially implemented last Thursday.

One of the sections blocked by last week's injunction was a requirement that police attempt to ascertain the immigration status of people stopped or detained during regular law enforcement activity. However, just because there is no longer a requirement, there is nothing on the books preventing them from asking, either. A section of the law that was implemented last week allows the state to ban so-called "sanctuary" policies by law enforcement agencies or jurisdictions, i.e. policies that limit local officers' enforcement of federal immigration laws. The law as implemented also allows citizens to sue agencies that adopt such a policy.