How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Five things to read on the one-year anniversary of SB 1070

Photo by mattlocks923/Flickr (Creative Commons)


A year ago Saturday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the controversial measure known as SB 1070. Among other things, this stringent anti-illegal immigration law was to empower local police to check the immigration status of people they stopped if there was "reasonable suspicion" to believe they were in the country illegally, make it necessary for immigrants to carry their documents, and made it difficult to hire or work as a day laborer.

Numerous parties filed suit, including the federal government on the grounds that the measure was pre-empted by federal law. The law's most contested provisions were blocked by a federal judge on the eve of its implementation last July 29, though many provisions - including the day labor portion - still went into effect. People protested and an economic boycott of the state ensued. Still, even as parts of SB 1070 remained hung up in court, it could be said that the law set the stage for the tone of immigration politics during the year that followed.

Read More...

The cultural mashup dictionary: Twittear and Feisbuk

Photo by TexasT/Flickr (Creative Commons)


A recent post on the neologism Googlear has inspired two related entries to Multi-American's evolving cultural mashup dictionary: The social media mashup terms Twittear and Feisbuk.

First, the Wiktionary definition of twittear:

Etymology

From the online microblogging website, Twitter.

Verb

twittear (first-person singular present twitteo, first-person singular preterite twitteé, past participle twitteado)

1. (Internet) to tweet


I've used and heard "twittear" among Spanish-English bilinguals for quite a while, but there's also this adaptation below, as posted in the comments under the "googlear" post by ar2ro:
more than likely i see "el twitter" being used more in time than "twittear."

ex: ya mandaste el tweet? (did you send the tweet?)
mire tu mesaje en el twitter. (i saw you message on twitter)
me gusta el twitter (i like twitter)

twittear somehow does not sound right. even googlear sounds a bit funky, but does roll off the tongue in spanish rather well.

Read More...

In the news this morning: A year of SB 1070, Secure Communities controversy continues, O.C. solidarity protest for Syria, more

SB1070 one year later: Debate rages on - KTAR.com Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law was signed into law April 23 of last year. The state remains bitterly divided over the measure, which is tied up in the courts with its major provisions not yet in effect.

Legislator: Feds lied on immigration - UPI Rep. Zoe Lofgren is calling for an investigation after the release of e-mails indicating that federal immigration officials knew that the Secure Communities enforcement program was mandatory, as some jurisdictions which believed it to be optional were trying to opt out of it.

Secure Communities, illegal immigration, deportation: Federal deportation program sweeps up noncriminals and low-level offenders - Los Angeles Times The enforcement program, which involves cooperation from local authorities, was to net deportable immigrants with criminal records. But in practice it casts a much wider net.

Read More...

'Dreamers' and social media: It's not your parents’ immigrant support network

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A student's bold statement, December 8, 2010

On Wednesday, a young woman who is a law student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. tweeted this message:

My name is Prerna Preshika Lal. I'm alien number 203-128-987. I've never committed a crime. But I'm being deported away from my family.

It was a wrenchingly personal tweet from the Fijian-born 26-year-old, who for the past few years has been an outspoken advocate for legalizing undocumented youths brought here as minors, as she was at age 13. The message is also an example of one facet of a growing movement as more young people go public with their immigration status, relying on social media to build a network of support - and, in some cases, to help them stay in the country.

The day before Lal sent out her tweet, the social media website Mashable posted a piece on how student immigrant advocates have fought deportations with the help of social media, and won. The piece told the stories of a few young people who, through a network of advocacy groups and websites that grew around the Dream Act (including one spearheaded by Lal) have managed to stave off deportation, at least temporarily.

Read More...

'Why don't you date people of your color?' A male perspective

Photo by qthomasbower/Flickr (Creative Commons)

In a popular post last week, guest blogger and KPCC's OnCentral blog editor Kim Bui took on a particularly thorny question among the many that surround interracial dating: "Why do you only date white men?"

In the post, she wrote:

I don’t exclusively dated white men. I’ve dated several Asian men.

I grew up in the Midwest, which probably adds to my preference.

My response to the question “why do you only date white men” is usually that I’m second-generation, and I have a hard time identifying with Asian men who grew up outside of the United States. Although I love my culture and speak Vietnamese, I am mostly American in my values. And values are where it counts in relationships.

I am hard-headed, ambitious and probably a little too honest to fit the mold of a traditional Vietnamese wife. I find that Caucasian men tend to understand this a little bit better.

Read More...