How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: Census lawsuit, more minority children, another anti-birthright citizenship bill, Dream Act protest, more

Group sues over census: Mexican-American caucus says count missed Hispanics - El Paso Times A group of Latino lawmakers in has filed suit in Texas, alleging an undercount of the state's Latino population, particularly those who live in colonias along the border.

Mexico under siege: Two Americans fatally shot at the border had moved to Mexico for economic reasons, boss says - Los Angeles Times Sergio Luna and Kevin Romero were making an early-morning commute to work in the U.S., as many do, when they were shot, their employer says. They had moved to the Mexican side of the border to save money, as other Americans have.

Census Shows Hispanic, Asian Children Surging - Wall Street Journal In 10 states, white children are now a minority among their peers. In 23 states, minorities now make up more than 40% of the child population.

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The hunt for Red Tapatío Chips, concluded

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Empty bag, chips gone

So the hunt for Tapatío hot sauce flavored Doritos that I embarked on last week has come to a happy conclusion. Over the past few days, several gracious readers shared chip-sighting locations that ranged from a gas station in Los Feliz to the Superior supermarket in Lynwood.

And in the end, the day before I planned to hit the Lynwood store, I found them during a weekend trip to San Diego at a gas station. Just like that.

So how were they? The chips had a fair amount of heat, to start with, which is a good thing. The powdery coating was the right shade of Tapatío red-orange. And the taste did have that distinctive vinegary Tapatío tang (even though vinegar isn't a listed ingredient in the sauce).

There was also an oddly familiar taste that had nothing to do with Tapatío, and I realized why after reading a Frito-Lay press release today, which explains that the "distinct Tapatío taste is added to top-selling Doritos Nacho Cheese flavored tortilla chips to make Doritos Tapatío." Aha, that's the taste - Nacho Cheese. Not bad, but it distracts the palate a bit from the Tapatío-fest.

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What is your most awkward language moment?

It's been well documented by now that growing up bilingual can be good for you. But getting there? Survivors of an English-learner upbringing can attest that it's not always an easy road, and that the bumps along it - some amusing, some awkward - continue well into adulthood.

I began learning English in kindergarten, learning it at the same time my immigrant parents did. Because I was so young, I quickly mastered the American accent, as did my immigrant peers. But one of the pitfalls of growing up in a household where everyone is learning English is that along the way, you pick up many of the mispronunciations common to English learners.

These mispronunciations vary depending on who is learning the language. For Spanish and Tagalog speakers, for example, the double "ee" of "sheep" is often pronounced like the "i" in "ship," and so forth. I got over the obvious mistakes fairly quickly.

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Is coming to America bad for your mental health?

Photo by Craig Dennis/Flickr (Creative Commons)


A new report from a mental health study of Mexican immigrants has found that immigrants to the United States face more than four times the risk of depression as those who don't immigrate, and that in general, coming to the U.S. increases their risk of depression, anxiety and other problems.

Yesterday the Archives of General Psychiatry published the results of a cross-national study conducted by UC Davis and Mexico's National Institute of Psychiatry. The study analyzed data from interviews with approximately 550 male and female Mexican-born immigrants and approximately 2,500 peers who remained in Mexico, comparing the U.S. group with same-aged, non-immigrant relatives. From the UC Davis website:

It found that during the period following arrival in the United States, Mexican migrants were nearly twice as likely (odds ratio of 1.8) to experience a first-onset depressive or anxiety disorder as their nonmigrant peers. However, the elevated risk among migrants occurred almost entirely in the two youngest migrant groups, those between 18 and 25 years old and those between 26 and 35 at the time of the study.

The greatest risk was experienced by the youngest migrants, who were 18-to-25 years old at the time of the study. Their odds of suffering from any depressive disorder relative to non-migrants was 4.4 — or nearly four-and-one-half times greater — compared with 1.2 in the entire sample.

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In the news this morning: Dream Act return in the works, multiethnic support for Japan, News Corp. goes after Latinos, benefits of bilingual

Sen. Durbin Is Set To Revive DREAM Act Fight in This Congress - ColorLines The office of Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin has confirmed plans to reintroduce the bill this session. It would allow conditional legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or join the military.

Support for Japan Crosses Ethnic Lines, Historical Divides - AsianWeek Recent headlines from ethnic media convey how efforts to provide aid to earthquake and tsunami-devastated Japan have cut across ethnic lines, and in some cases deep historical divides.

2nd child accused in NYC attack on Muslim - Wall Street Journal A 13-year-old girl has been arrested on hate crime charges and is accused, along with a 12-year-old boy, of helping bully and attack a Muslim girl at their school.

News Corp. Launches Fox Hispanic Media - The Hollywood Reporter In its continuing efforts to reach the Latino market, News Corp. has unveiled Fox Hispanic Media, which will include the existing Spanish-language sports network Fox Deportes and a women's lifestyle channel.

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