How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

OC school district to offer Calif.'s 1st Vietnamese-English immersion program

Preserving Vietnamese Heritage

Elaine Thompson/AP

The Westminster School District plans to launch the first Vietnamese-English language immersion program at a California public school in fall 2015. It joins a handful of other school districts across the country with these programs, including Seattle's pictured here.

The Westminster School District in Orange County is launching California's first Vietnamese-English immersion program in the fall of 2015.

The inaugural class will include up to 100 kindergarten students at DeMille Elementary School in Midway City, according to school board member Jamison Power.

Power said families in the heavily-Vietnamese district, which also operates schools in Garden Grove and Huntington Beach, have been asking for an immersion program for years. The city of Westminster alone, is more than 40 percent Vietnamese, according to latest census figures.

"Being bilingual in today's globalized society makes our students more competitive in the job market," said Power, who plans to enroll his half-Vietnamese son in the immersion program when he becomes old enough in several years.


Executive action: Top immigration official predicts 'significant' challenges to implementation

New York Immigrant Groups Rally To Celebrate Obama Announcement On Immigration

John Moore/Getty Images

Immigrants rights activists gathered to celebrate President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration policy on November 21, 2014 in New York City. Millions of immigrants stand to benefit from Obama's executive order, but there will be “significant challenges” to implementing it, a top administration official said in Los Angeles on Monday.

Millions of immigrants stand to benefit from President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration, but there will be “significant challenges” to implementing it, according to a top administration official speaking at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“The first is that we need people to know that these programs exist,” said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Leon Gutierrez, speaking on Monday at the the site of a weekend workshop  that drew more than 1,300 immigrants seeking details on the new immigration plan.

Obama's executive order could allow as many as five million immigrants to obtain temporary relief from deportation and work permits, among them parents of U.S. citizens who have spent more than five years in the country and immigrants who arrived as minors.


In immigration news: Executive action backlash, feds want immigration lawsuit dismissed, border checkpoints, more

Obama Immigration speech

Stuart Palley/ KPCC

Onlookers watch as President Obama is shown on a projector near the intersection of Alameda St. and the 101 freeway in downtown Los Angeles last month, when he addressed the nation on his new immigration plan that could provide temporary legal status and work permits for millions. His executive order has already brought strong backlash from the right, but there's also pressure from the left to do more.

Obama braces for immigration battle with GOP - Washington Post President Obama's recent executive action on immigration has already brought political and legal backlash from the right. In addition, "as he seeks to rally support against the anticipated assault, a lingering frustration among some Latinos could mean renewed pressure on him to do even more to protect illegal immigrants."

Government Urges Dismissal of Lawsuit Over Immigration - Associated Press The Department of Justice is calling "meritless" a lawsuit brought by Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who seeks to dismantle President Obama's recent immigration order that could protect as many as 5 million immigrants from deportation. The lawsuit "contends that President Barack Obama's program serves as a magnet for more illegal entries into the U.S. Arpaio says the new arrivals will commit crimes and thus burden his law enforcement resources."


In immigration news: Immigrants seek executive action details, nonprofit lawyers in demand, a long wait for family visas, more

Executive Action Workshop

Josie Huang/KPCC

More than 1,300 turned out for a Sunday workshop on Obama's immigration order. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles hosted the event at the LA Convention Center.

Seeking help on White House orders, immigrants come to workshop in L.A.- Southern California Public Radio More than 1,300 immigrants seeking details about President Obama's new immigration plan crowded the Los Angeles Convention Center for an information workshop on Sunday. Although exact details are still scarce, it's anticipated that about 5 million immigrants - including people who arrived as minors and certain parents of U.S. citizens - will be eligible for relief from deportation.

Obama’s Immigration Move Benefits Democrats Where It Counts - New York Times From the story: "A Pew Research poll conducted last week showed that 81 percent of Hispanics supported the immigration action, as did 64 percent in a Gallup poll conducted between Nov. 24 and Dec. 8. That large majorities of Hispanic adults support Mr. Obama’s decision isn’t at all surprising. What is more telling is the extent to which Mr. Obama’s approval rating among Hispanic voters seems to have improved."


Sony hack, 'Exodus,' heighten calls for diversity in Hollywood at immigration event

23rd Annual Imagen Awards - Show

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Writer- producer Ligiah Villalobos said it was her job to call out Hollywood heavies "on why the hiring has not changed in Hollywood or why the stories have not changed in Hollywood."

"LIVES with Meredith Vieira" Launch Party

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'Orange is the New Black' actress Diane Guerrero said Hollywood needed to do a better job of casting people of color.

The film industry came under fire for sidelining and belittling entertainers of color during a national immigration conference in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Writer-producer Ligiah Villalobos said that recently-hacked Sony Pictures e-mails "give you insight into why the hiring has not changed in Hollywood or why the stories have not changed in Hollywood."

Villalobos cited an e-mail exchange between Sony executive Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin in which they jokingly list off movies that President Obama would like, all featuring African-Americans such as comedic actor Kevin Hart.  Villalobos also slammed Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper for referring to Hart as "a whore" in another leaked e-mail about marketing budgets.

"I will not get hired by any of these people but I think it's important to call them out on it," Villalobos said, to applause.