How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Report: Native-born workers not harmed by legalizing unauthorized competition

Photo by jphilipg/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Construction signs, August 2008

According to a UC Riverside study out today, granting legal status to undocumented workers would help get them into jobs that are better suited to their skills and increase their wages, while not having an adverse effect on the wages of native-born workers.

From the executive summary:

We find that a legalization program would increase immigrant wages by more than 20 percent. We also find that most of this effect can be attributed to immigrants switching into higher paying occupations after legalization, rather than receiving higher wages in the jobs they previously held.

These results, combined with other studies, suggest that a path to legal status will likely: a) help immigrants by improving their earnings, b) increase U.S. economic productivity by allowing immigrants to find jobs better matched to their skills, and c) have a negligible impact on the wages of native-born workers.

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In the news this morning: Religious leaders oppose Muslim hearings in Congress, ICE detainee dies, drivers targeted in Bell, more

Religious leaders express concern over Muslim hearings in congress - 89.3 KPCC More than a hundred Southern California religious leaders have signed a letter urging Congress to cancel hearings on the “radicalization” of Muslims in the U.S. The letter is addressed to Rep. Peter King, the New York Republican who has called the hearings.

Lawsuit: Company sought to hire illegal immigrants - BusinessWeek Immigration agents detained about 600 unauthorized workers at Howard Industries' plant in Laurel, Miss., in 2008. The company pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to violate immigration laws, and was fined $2.5 million.

ICE detainee passes away at Lock Haven Hospital - Justice.gov Detainee Qi Gen Guo died of an apparent suicide Feb. 23. A Chinese national, he was being processed for deportation after being arrested Feb. 11. He is the sixth U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee to die in custody since last Oct. 1.

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American snapshot: Boyle Heights

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

The Velez Ice Cream truck, February 28, 2011

No, this is not a gourmet taco truck, just a striking rolling canvas that sells plain old ice cream. The truck was parking for the night in a lot shared with other ice cream vendors.

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Thanks for the kites and the love, Banksy

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A memorial where Banksy's parody of the migrant family freeway sign - flying a kite - was cut out of the wall at First and Soto Streets, February 28, 2011

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A memorial where Banksy's parody of the migrant family freeway sign - flying a kite - was cut out of the wall at First and Soto Streets, February 28, 2011

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A memorial where Banksy's parody of the migrant family freeway sign - flying a kite - was cut out of the wall at First and Soto Streets, February 28, 2011


This morning I went in search of what I'd hoped might be a remaining version of British guerilla street artist Banksy's stencil nicknamed "Caution," a parody of the famous migrant family freeway sign that for years was a fixture of the drive between Los Angeles and San Diego on Interstate 5. But no luck. Like the better-known stencil at First and Soto streets, the image that was briefly captured on the bridge at Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Pleasant Avenue - and which may or may not have been Banksy's - is also gone.

Banksy art began popping up throughout L.A. in the days leading up to yesterday's Academy Awards ceremony as the elusive artist, a best-documentary nominee for his film "Exit Through the Gift Shop," made the rounds of the town. The "Caution" stencil portrayed the familiar running migrant family, only flying a kite instead of making a harrowing sprint across the freeway.

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Will the Dream Act matter to Latino voters in 2012?

Source: impreMedia and Latino Decisions

Will the failure of the Dream Act in Congress last December matter to voters in the 2012 election? The polling firm Latino Decisions has published the results of a tracking poll, conducted with the publishing company impreMedia, whose findings indicate that it well could.

From the report released today:

We broke out support for the DREAM Act by intended vote choice in 2012 and found regardless of how Latinos will vote, a very strong majority support the DREAM Act. Among Obama voters, 79% strongly support and 14% somewhat support the DREAM Act – that’s 93% support for seeing this bill passed among the President’s Latino base. Further, among those who say they are undecided 62% strongly support DREAM with 23% somewhat support, all told 85% in favor.

Even among those who plan to vote for a GOP candidate in 2012, Republican contenders should take note, that Republican leaning Latinos also supported the DREAM Act by a big margin: 52% strongly support and 23% somewhat support, totaling to 75% approval of the bill.

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