How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Obama in Nashville, refugee program for children, how executive action could change communities, more

US President Barack Obama boards Air For


President Barack Obama boards Air Force One at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland in October 2011. Obama visits Nashville, Tenn. on Tuesday to drum up support for his new immigration plan.

Why Nashville is the backdrop for Obama’s immigration pitch- Washington Post The explanation for why Nashville, Tenn. was chosen: "The city has one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in the United States, including Mexicans, Burmese, and as many as 11,000 Kurds lured by the modest cost of living, job opportunities and an international community. One out of every eight people in Nashville was born abroad and 16 percent of the city’s residents speak another language at home, according to the 2010 U.S. Census." President Obama speaks there Tuesday about his immigration plan.

New Entry Program Reunites Some Immigrants With Their Children - NPR A new State Department program will allow parents who are in the U.S. legally and have children living in Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala to request that their children be able to join then as refugees. Arriving as refugees would allow the children to live in the U.S. legally and eventually be able to apply for citizenship.


In immigration news: Federal profiling rules, LA detainees eligible for bond, executive action hiring, more

ICE Holds Immigrants At Adelanto Detention Facility

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A guard sits in the "segregation block" at the Adelanto Detention Facility on November 15, 2013 in Adelanto, California. According to a report released Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union, more than two-thirds of immigrants detained for more than six months in the Los Angeles area were deemed to be eligible for bond once they received a hearing before a judge.

Feds release new profiling restriction - USA Today New guidelines for federal law enforcement released by the Department of Justice reportedly include bans on profiling related to gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. However,  "the long-criticized investigative tactic of profiling will still be permitted during screening of commercial airline passengers, border inspections and during protective functions initiated by the U.S. Secret Service."

Immigration detainees win bond after lawsuit - Associated Press According to a report released Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union,  more than two-thirds of immigrants who were detained for more than six months in the Los Angeles area "were deemed eligible for bond once they eventually got a proper hearing before an immigration judge...more than 1,100 out of 1,680 immigration detainees covered by a lawsuit were granted bond once a judge heard their request." The data was obtained after the ACLU sued immigration officials. 


Pasadena church welcomes home couple freed from Qatar

Matthew and Grace Huang

Josie Huang/KPCC

Matthew and Grace Huang chose to make their first public appearance at the Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena.

Mideast Qatar Adoption Case

Osama Faisal/AP

American couple Grace, center, and Matthew Huang, left, speak with U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, Dana Shell Smith, right, at the Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. An American couple cleared of charges in their adopted daughter’s death passed through passport control Wednesday and are set to leave Qatar. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

Church members stood and cheered for Matthew and Grace Huang as the couple made their first public appearance in the U.S. since a Qatari appeals court exonerated them in the 2013 death of their adopted daughter.

A smiling Matthew Huang briefly thanked more than 1,000 congregants at the Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena for their prayers. The couple was accused by Qatari authorities of starving their adopted daughter, 8-year-old Gloria, to death. The Huangs maintained their daughter had died from complications of an eating disorder she acquired growing up in an orphanage in Ghana.

"The situation these past two years has been extremely difficult," said Huang, flanked by his wife and their adopted sons, Emmanuel and Josiah. "It's taught us a lot about patience and trusting God."

The Huangs returned to the U.S. on Wednesday, after Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. ambassador to Qatar urged the government to lift the travel ban on the couple.


Before Koreatown: The origins of Korean migration to LA

Riot Anniversary-Koreatown


Korean migration to LA started decades before Koreatown became established as an ethnic enclave, according to a new report.

Koreatown in Los Angeles made its name as an ethnic enclave during the 1970's, as more Koreans settled there after the United States relaxed immigration restrictions. Today it’s a cultural hub for the Korean diaspora of metropolitan L.A., estimated at about a quarter million people, according to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute.

But the report’s author points out that Koreans began arriving in L.A. much earlier - around the turn of the 20th century - just in very small numbers. 

“There was a lot of entrepreneurialism back in the first couple decades of the 20th century," said Jeanne Batalova, a senior policy analyst at the institute.

“People were engaged in a variety of small businesses — having barber shops and grocery stores and renting houses to non-white residents of Los Angeles,” she said.

Korean migration at a glance


In immigration news: GOP border legislation in the works, Latino voters and immigration, fewer deportations, more

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Photo by Nathan Gibbs via Flickr Creative Commons

A new bipartisan poll finds immigration to be a "threshold issue" for most Latino voters.

Exclusive: Republicans prepare 2015 immigration legislation - Reuters GOP lawmakers reportedly plan to introduce border security legislation in 2015, part of the backlash to the Obama administration's recent executive order on immigration that would grant temporary protection from deportation to millions. From the story: "The move, likely to come early next year according to House Republican leadership aides, may lead to other steps the House of Representatives could contemplate to repair parts of U.S. immigration law."

Hispanic Voters Think Opposing Immigration is Disqualifier, Poll Says - TIME A new bipartisan poll finds immigration to be a "threshold issue" for most Latino voters. The poll "confirms many Republicans’ worst fears, including the party’s own autopsy into the 2012 election results which warned that the GOP 'must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform' in order to win national elections. "