How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

How Mexican is Mitt? It's complicated (Audio)

Photo by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

Mitt Romney, March 2010

So just how Mexican is Mitt Romney? In terms of where the paternal side of his family comes from, no question about it, though it's complicated. Culturally, not so much.

It's long been reported, though not widely until recently, that Romney's Mormon ancestors crossed the border heading south from the U.S. in the late 1800s seeking religious freedom from American anti-polygamy laws. They settled in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, where Mitt's grandfather and father were born, and where descendants of the original Romney clan still live today.

Have Romney's Mexican roots won the GOP presidential front-runner the support of Latino voters? Another not-so-much, given his hardline stance on immigration, something on which even some conservative Latinos draw the line. However a Twitter meme, the parody @MexicanMitt, is winning followers left and right.


'I feel so sad:' More from the lottery visa 22,000

Screen shot from "22,000 Tears" Facebook page

A post earlier this week on how the Diversity Visa Lottery Program is under fire following a computer-glitch fiasco last May has yielded, perhaps not surprisingly, some emotional comments on this website from people describing themselves as would-be winners.

Roughly 22,000 people in various countries, including some here on other visas, were informed in May that they had won the federal green card lottery, which makes up to 55,000 immigrant visas available to winners each year. Soon afterward, they learned from the U.S. State Department that there had been an error and the results would be voided. Angry would-be immigrants mounted a social media campaign that included a Facebook page called "22,000 Tears." Some filed a class action lawsuit, but it was recently dismissed and a new drawing was held.


American snapshot: Garden Grove

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A convention of quinceañeras? Close, actually. These young ladies were among the dress models at a quinceañera expo last weekend in a Garden Grove hotel ballroom, where dozens of vendors catering to the parents of teenage girls preparing for the Latin American coming-of-age ritual set up booths hawking everything from DJ services to makeup and, of course, dresses. The expo was set up by Quinceañ, an online hub for the quinceañera industry.

I'll be talking about the expo, the industry, and "mis quince" - sort of - on KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show this Friday.