How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Executive action lawsuit, foreign-born cops, US immigration history chart, more

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More law enforcement agencies are moving toward letting foreign-born legal residents join their ranks as officers.

States ask court to keep block on Obama immigration orders - Politico On Monday, the plaintiffs in a 26-state lawsuit aimed at stopping President Obama's executive immigration plan urged an appeals court judge to keep the temporary block on the plan in place. They argued that the government's motion for a stay "can be denied on that basis alone: such a questionable policy should not be implemented unilaterally before judicial review." The immigration plan would give temporary legal status and work permits to millions of immigrants.

Police departments hiring immigrants as officers - USA Today More law enforcement agencies are hiring officers who are legal U.S. residents. From the story: "Most agencies in the country require officers or deputies to be U.S. citizens, but some are allowing immigrants who are legally in the country to wear the badge. From Hawaii to Vermont, agencies are allowing green-card holders and legal immigrants with work permits to join their ranks."


In immigration news: GOP immigrant tax bill, five years after SB 1070, court no-shows on rise, more

While equal rights occupy a large part of the debate over same-sex marriage, federal taxes are also also a concern for gay couples. Experts say repealing the Defense of Marriage Act will affect some same-sex couples when they file their taxes.


Republican-backed legislation aims to prevent immigrants who would obtain temporary legal status under President Obama's immigration plan from being eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit for past years.

GOP to attack immigration order through taxes - USA Today Republican-backed legislation in the Senate aims to prevent immigrants who would obtain temporary legal status under President Obama's immigration plan from being eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit for past years. From the story: "Their legislation would save the government $2.1 billion, according to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation."

Five years after SB 1070, Arizona immigrants defy climate of intimidation - Al Jazeera America From the story: "In 2010, Maricopa County was seen as the hotbed of anti-immigrant sentiment after the Arizona legislature passed SB 1070, a measure that required local police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspected to be in the United States illegally, a measure that opponents argued would inevitably invite racial profiling...But the crackdown in Arizona has not quite worked as intended."


Unsolved disappearance of students in Mexico hits uncomfortably close for LA immigrants

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Angel Neri de La Cruz, center, describes to an audience at Cal State Northridge what he witnessed the night fellow that fellow students from his teacher training college went missing in the Mexican city of Iguala, last September 26.

In a crowded auditorium at Cal State Northrige, Angel Neri De La Cruz talked about the night of September 26. That’s when he says he narrowly escaped being killed by gunmen who attacked his fellow students.

"That night, being out on the streets of Iguala was like a death sentence," he said in Spanish.

The students, from a teacher training college in the state of Guerrero, went missing last year after they traveled to Iguala to protest what they said were discriminatory hiring practices for teachers. There, they clashed with police.

Speaking through a translator on Thursday, Neri described how he and others later saw a bloodied and bullet-riddled bus that some students had been traveling in.

"When we tried to enter the bus, from the steps was when we saw all the bloodstains, and blood all over the aisles," he said.


In immigration news: Executive action in court, high-skilled worker visas, AB 60 organ donors, more

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In a hearing set for Thursday in Brownsville, Texas, federal Justice Department officials are to answer questions about claims that they made misleading statements related to President Obama executive immigration plan. The hearing is part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by 26 states against Obama's executive order; a federal judge's decision on the case last month put the immigration plan temporarily on hold.

Hearing Set on Allegations in Immigration Lawsuit - Associated Press In a planned hearing Thursday in Texas, federal Justice Department officials are to answer questions about "claims that they misled a judge about when part of President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration was implemented." It's part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by 26 states against Obama's executive order. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen put the plan on hold last month. The claim is that U.S. officials told Hanen that the order had not been implemented, while some Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients had already been processed.

Republicans Ask Court To Keep Obama Immigration Programs Stalled - Huffington Post From the story: "Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and Reps. Bob Goodlatte (Va.) and Lamar Smith (Texas) -- along with the the American Center for Law and Justice filed an amicus brief on Wednesday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking it not to lift an injunction on President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions as courts consider a case from 26 states aiming to block the programs." The Obama administration has asked that the court lift the injunction, so that its immigration plan which could grant temporary legal status to millions can proceed. 


In immigration news: 'Specialized' worker visas denied, Cambodian Americans and education, LA County joins executive action lawsuit, more

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Photo by Michael Lockner

Immigration officials are reportedly turning down a growing number of visa requests by U.S. employers for foreign workers with 'specialized knowledge' in their fields. The majority of workers denied have been Indian nationals.

Feds deny more visas for 'specialized' foreign workers - USA Today A growing number of visas for workers with special skills are being turned down. From the story: "About 35% of petitions by American companies to bring to the U.S. employees working overseas who have a 'specialized knowledge' in their fields were denied in 2014 by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the fourth straight year that figure has risen. The denial rate for those visas, known as L-1B visas, was as low as 6% in 2006," according to a report. The majority of workers denied have been from India. 

For younger Cambodian Americans, a narrowing education gap - Southern California Public Radio Cambodian Americans have long struggled with an education gap that puts them, along with a few other subgroups, behind the Asian American mainstream. But while their overall high school graduation rates remain low, this is changing as the second generation comes of age. High school graduation rates for U.S.-born Cambodian Americans are above the California state average.