The iconic Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights has already seen its share of changes. Decades ago, there was little more than a hotel and a donut shop. Outside, musicians gathered waiting for work. Five years ago, a Metro Gold Line station opened, bringing foot traffic - and talk of creeping gentrification - as nearby downtown development took off.
Now the plaza could be further transformed, if the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board approves plans for approximately 120,000 square feet of retail and office space surrounding it.
Long-dormant plans by the MTA to develop the plaza - stemming from the days before the real estate bust and recession - were revived late last year. Now they are taking shape, with a proposed site plan unveiled last week.
The MTA’s planning committee recommended earlier this week that the board approve an agreement with a developer to build 70,000 square feet of retail space surrounding the plaza, along with 50,000 square feet of medical offices.
Students at Orange County's Mexican consulate study the California Driver Handbook. With AB-60, California joins 10 other states in allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses.
Under proposed new rules, immigrants in the country illegally will be offered multiple ways to prove their identity when applying for a driver's license.
The most simple path for applicants is to provide the California Department of Motor Vehicles with traditional forms of ID. For example, Mexican immigrants need only show a Mexican passport or a Mexican consular card. The DMV says that both can be electronically verified with the Mexican government.
But if applicants are missing those documents, it's not a deal-breaker. They will still be able to apply if they provide multiple documents proving both identification and residency.
Acceptable documents range from birth certificates to marriage licenses and mortgage bills. Officials provided a form listing all of the options to meet the identity and California residency requirements.
Sergio Lopez, a member of the Caolition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, testifies before state officials on a law that allows immigrants without legal status to apply for driver's licenses.
Corker hits fellow Republicans over immigration - Associated Press Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker on Thursday took his own party to task for its stance on immigration. He said some GOP members had launched "political attacks against those trying to overhaul immigration laws," according to the story. Corker spoke in Columbia, S.C.: "I just hope that we don’t let demagogues prevail, and that we finally deal with this issue and put it behind us." Like other Republicans such as House Speaker Boehner, Corker was highly critical, however, of President Obama taking executive action on immigration.
Immigrants eager for presidential action on deportations - Boston Globe Immigrants like Moises Herrera, an immigrant from El Salvador, live under the constant threat of deportation. From the story: "The minivan-driving father from El Salvador has no criminal record, but for years he has cycled in and out of detention for civil immigration violations, including last month, when he was in Suffolk County jail instead of the delivery room where his son was born." But Herrera's hopeful that his life will change if the president issues an executive order.
Robert Aguilos, a nursing manager from Cerritos, flew back to the Philippines to surprise his father on his 85th birthday. He ended up arriving a day after one of history's deadliest storms made landfall.
Desperate to find his parents, he and a brother hitched a ride on a military plane from Manila to his hometown of Tacloban. They walked for hours, and saw children playing in debris. People huddled over fires. Corpses, scattered afield. Finally, he spotted his parents' house — its roof ripped off – but there was a light.
"A candelight," Aguilos said, his voice wavering. "The brightest candle I ever saw. One candle illumined the place. And I saw the silhouette of my dad."
His family, his roots — they’re in the Philippines. So while the memory of the typhoon has ebbed from the world's consciousness a year later, Aguilos and other members of Southern California's Filipino-American community — the country's largest — have kept up relief efforts.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders are warning President Obama of consequences if Obama takes solo action on immigration.
Boehner warns Obama will ‘burn himself’ with exec action on immigration - Fox News House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders are warning President Obama to back away from taking executive action on immigration. Boehner reportedly told Obama on Thursday 'that he's 'going to burn himself' and 'poison the well' if he goes down that path. The warning comes ahead of a major summit at the White House where Obama will meet Friday with congressional leaders of both parties."
Orange County Senate, Assembly victories could signal shift in GOP's relationship with Asian-Americans - Southern California Public Radio The victories of Janet Nguyen in the 34th state Senate District and Young Kim in the 65th Assembly District over Democratic rivals could signal a shift in the Orange County political landscape – and more broadly, in the GOP’s relationship with Asian-Americans, who as recently as 2012 were seen as moving steadily left.