How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Who had to wait the longest for a green card this month?

Source: Visa Bulletin for May 2011, U.S. Department of State

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed their petitions. (Source: Visa Bulletin for May 2011, U.S. Department of State)

Now that it's June, it's time for another look at the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin. Who has been waiting the longest time for an immigrant visa this month?

As is the norm, the line of people being sponsored by relatives to come to the United States legally has been inching along slowly. Like last month, those who have endured the longest wait are hopeful immigrants from the Philippines who filed their petitions back in the late 1980s.

Here's the breakdown of the top four categories who have endured the longest waits:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 23 years (petitions filed May 1, 1988).

2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed March 8, 1992)

3) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of close to 19 years (petitions filed August 22, 1992)

4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of close to 19 years (petitions filed November 15, 1992)


In the news this morning: California's in-state tuition law upheld, Massachusetts shuns Secure Communities, Utah 'hit list' case, more

Supreme Court ruling on tuition for immigrant students likely to bolster legislation nationwide - Los Angeles Times The U.S. Supreme Court decided yesterday that California may continue granting reduced in-state tuition to college students who are undocumented. The decision is expected to bolster similar proposals, as well as a California measure to that would allow these students access to public financial aid.

Two Plead Guilty In Utah Immigration 'Hit List' Case - NPR The charges stem from the distribution of an immigration "hit list" to reporters and law enforcement by Utah state employees, along with an anonymous demand that the people named be deported. The list included personal information, including social security numbers, birth dates and even due dates for pregnant women.

Illegal Immigration Focus Switches To Employers - NPR Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law that penalizes employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers. Many other states approved roughly similar legislation, and many more look set to follow.


Disappointed winners of scratched visa lottery cry '22,000 Tears'

Last month, when the U.S. State Department scratched the results of its 2012 green card lottery due to a computer glitch, thousands of hopeful immigrants who had thought they'd won a chance to live in the United States were crushed to learn they wouldn't be coming here after all.

So some of them took their disappointment online.

The members of a Facebook group of irked lottery winners called "22,000 Tears" have been rejoicing news that the federal government plans to investigate the visa lottery program, and have been taking some of the credit. The page is named for the roughly 22,000 people who were notified they had won the lottery before being told the results would be voided, and that they would have to enter the drawing once more.

The Facebook page was launched in protest, complete with several videos and a petition urging supporters to sign it "so the US Goverment can do something about it," as the petition page reads. After news stories of a planned investigation began appearing, members on the page today posted elated messages from their native countries:


In L.A.'s Boyle Heights, hyperlocal news comes in print

Photo by By the__photographer/Flickr (Creative Commons)

An interesting experiment in bilingual journalism is taking place east of the L.A. River in Boyle Heights, this one with a sweetly old-fashioned component: a print edition.

The Boyle Heights Beat, or El Pulso de Boyle Heights in Spanish, launched this weekend. It's a collaboration between the USC Annenberg journalism school and La Opinión and is reported by 14 neighborhood high school students, kids tapped from Roosevelt High School, the Mendez Learning Center, Puente Learning Center, and the Boyle Heights Technology Academy.

It's the second hyperlocal news site of this sort launched in less than a year by USC Annenberg, which last year launched the Alhambra Source, an online community newspaper in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

But the demographics are different in Boyle Heights, a longtime immigrant port of entry that for the last several decades has been predominantly Latino. While Latinos are active smartphone users, they generally have less Internet access than other groups, hence the old-fashioned distribution approach. A tabloid print edition in Spanish and English, delivered to residents this weekend by La Opinión, compliments an English-language online edition.


In the news this morning: Immigration and same-sex couples, a review of the green card lottery, Latinos going to federal prison, more

Same-sex marriage: U.S. immigration policies cause some same-sex couples to live abroad - Los Angeles Times While straight American citizens can obtain green cards for their spouses and fiances, the Defense of Marriage Act has precluded same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits.

U.S. Green-Card Lottery Scrutinized After Blunder - Wall Street Journal The State Department's Inspector General is reviewing the government's green-card lottery after this year's results were scratched due a computer glitch.

Why an Arizona Immigration Law Could Mean Trouble for Big Banks - CNBC A decision by the Supreme Court last week upholding an Arizona law imposing harsh penalties on businesses that hire undocumented immigrants could foreshadow a serious regulatory headache for national banks.

AP Enterprise: More Hispanics go to federal prison - Associated Press Statistics released this week revealed that Latinos now comprise nearly half of all people sentenced for federal felony crimes, a number swollen by immigration offenses. In comparison, Latinos last year made up 16 percent of the total U.S. population.