How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news today: Immigration is top issue for Latinos, another round of Muslim hearings, replacing farm workers with convicts, more

Immigration Replaces Economy as Top Latino Issue - Wall Street Journal Latino voters in a national poll placed immigration as a top policy issue, above the economy and jobs.

Georgia sends criminals to replace undocumented immigrants - Politico With a restrictive immigration law about to kick in, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is calling on the state’s commissioners of labor, corrections and agriculture to connect unemployed probationers with an agriculture industry now desperate for workers.

Peter King defends Muslim hearings - Politico Rep. Peter King is defending his controversial hearings on the growing “radicalization” of American Muslims. The House Homeland Security Committee prepares to hold its second hearing on the issue this week.

Texas Immigration Bill Could Hamper Law Enforcement, Say Police - Fox News Latino Police officials from Houston and Dallas have told state legislators that a proposed bill meant to crack down on illegal immigration by opposing so-called "sanctuary city" policies could hamper public safety.

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The cultural mashup dictionary: Tweecanos

Photo by TexasT/Flickr (Creative Commons)


I've never met @xicano007, but a tweet from this East L.A. blogger and sports card collector brings us yet another entry for our evolving dictionary of cultural mashup terms: tweecanas and tweecanos.

Here's how it was used, in a tweet from yesterday mentioning an upcoming performance by Aztlan Underground:

RT @xicano007: Next Saturday at the BLVD in BOYLE HEIGHTS join @Aztlanug @laloalcaraz & some tweecanas/tweecanos for a night of rebeldia

It's perfect. Not sure if @xicano007 coined it, but who cares? Plus it sounds like a great show.

Multi-American's cultural mashup dictionary kicked off this spring. It's a collection of occasional entries, bits and pieces of the evolving lexicon of words, terms and phrases coined as immigrants and their descendants influence the English language, and it influences them.

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Obama and immigration: More details from a poll of Latino voters

Source: impreMedia-Latino Decisions Tracking Poll, June 9, 2011

The results of a nationwide poll of Latino voters released last week found immigration to be a personal issue for many. Among other things, out of a sample of 500 registered voters in 21 states, 53 percent said they knew someone who is undocumented, and one-fourth said they knew a person or family who has faced immigrant detention or deportation.

Today, the polling firm Latino Decisions and impreMedia, parent company of the Spanish-language Los Angeles newspaper La Opinión, announced more detailed results from their most recent joint tracking poll.

These provided a sampling of Latino voters' opinions of President Obama, in particular their opinions of his handling of immigration issues.

From a summary of the results, some highlights:

48% approve of Obama's handling of immigration issue; 38% disapprove

48% say Democrats are doing a good job of outreach to Hispanics; 31% say Democrats don't care too much; 7% say Dems are being hostile

12% say Republicans are doing a good job of outreach to Hispanics; 49% say GOP doesn't care too much; 23% say GOP is being hostile

46% think the lack of immigration reform since '08 is understandable given all the issues facing the country; 42% say Obama should have pushed harder to pass reform

50% think immigration reform has not passed because Republicans are blocking passage; 33% think it has not passed because Obama did not push hard enough

51% think the President's recent outreach on immigration is a serious attempt to pass reform; 41% think the President is just saying what Latinos want to hear because the election is approaching

55% say Republican calls for increased border security is an excuse to block immigration reform; 30% think increasing border security is a legitimate concern

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In the news this morning: Latinos and redistricting, convicted BART officer released, a difficult decade for American Muslims, more

California redistricting: Latinos fret over redrawn map of California congressional districts - Los Angeles Times The executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials calls the proposed new maps of congressional districts the "worst-case scenario for Latinos in California.’’

Johannes Mehserle, former BART officer, was released from L.A. County Jail - Los Angeles Times A white former San Francisco Bay area transit officer convicted of the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man on an Oakland train station platform was released after serving 11 months of a two-year sentence. The incident and his trial sparked racial tension and protests in the Bay Area.

Martinez name the Smith of Hispanics - El Paso Times Even with people giving up land telephone lines and switching to cell phones, the El Paso phone directory still lists more than 2,200 Martinezes.

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Zebra print? Masks? The quinceañera has come a long way

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC


Last Sunday I attended a quinceañera expo in Garden Grove for KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show, interviewing a few of the dozens of vendors who were there catering to parents of teenage girls preparing for the ultimate Latin American coming-of-age ritual.

It was in some ways a blast from the past for me, an L.A.-bred Latina of a certain age. I spent many of my childhood and early teen years attending quinceañeras. At the same time the expo, set up by the industry hub Quinceañera.com, made me nostalgic for the simple days of pastel pink hoop dresses and cheap tiaras with the number "15" at the top.

Hawking their services in a hotel ballroom, the vendors forming part what's become a multi-million dollar industry ranged from dress designers and banquet facilities to DJs and makeup artists. Among other things, I learned that the hot fashion ticket this year is zebra print. And Venetian-style masks. And elaborate themes, like "Phantom of the Opera." It doesn't stop there.

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