How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Five ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: The meat edition

Photo by Manogamo/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Last week, Multi-American delved once more into that culinary landscape where some diners fear to tread, the territory of the unsung ethnic delicacy.

These are the dishes that don't necessarily sound good, look good or or even smell good, but are worth trying because they are unexpectedly delicious.

Our first series in March covered a range of foods, from drinks like the Vietnamese avocado milkshake to main dishes like arroz con calamares en su tinta, a particularly unattractive squid dish served in several Latin American countries.

The series last week focused on meat dishes, cooked, raw and canned. True to form, none sound like anything one would rush out to try, but don't be put off. For any carnivores who might have missed these treats, here they are in a convenient list. Dig in.


The California Dream Act, part two: What it entails

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Earlier this month, the California state Assembly approved one of two bills referred to as the California Dream Act. While neither proposes legal status for undocumented students, as does the similarly named federal proposal, both aim to make it easier for them to pay for college.

The bill that recently cleared the Assembly was AB 130, which would allow for undocumented students who already meet the residency criteria for California in-state tuition to obtain scholarships that are not derived from state funds.

Today, the more contentious of the two bills, known as AB 131, passed 12 to 5 through the Assembly Appropriations Committee. A full Assembly vote is expected next week.

AB 131 faces slimmer odds of passage than its companion bill, which like this one is sponsored by Gil Cedillo, a Democratic Assembly member from Los Angeles. The reason: Unlike AB 130, it would allow undocumented students access to publicly-funded financial aid, including Cal Grants state grants and other financial assistance.


What does a Latin jazz protest sound like?

What does it sound like when some of Los Angeles' best-known Latin jazz musicians, upset over plans to exclude their category from the Grammy Awards, pick up their instruments to stage a musical protest? For starters, expect a nice horn rendition of "Sabor a Mí."

About a dozen protesters, led by the veteran bandleader and percussionist Bobby Matos, picketed yesterday with their instruments outside the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, where members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences were holding a meeting. The musicians are protesting the recording academy’s plan to eliminate Latin jazz from the annual awards contest, along with 30 other categories.

Here's what Matos said to KPCC's Corey Moore:

“We’re about diversity. This country is about diversity. We are not all one race. We are not all from England. We’re from every part of the world. And yes, a lot of this music was created by immigrants but we’re all the children of immigrants and diversity is what’s important here and should be reflected," he said.


In the news this morning: California Dream Act bill up for vote, 'extraordinary rendition' case, a proposal to legalize military families, m

Dream Act could provide public funds for college - Fresno Bee Members of the state Assembly will vote Friday on a bill that could fling open the doors to higher education for undocumented students by offering them public money for college.

Alleged CIA operative criticizes 'extraordinary rendition' of Islamic cleric - Los Angeles Times A messy case involving a 2003 CIA operation to snatch an Islamic cleric from the streets of Milan and secretly deliver him to an Egyptian prison continues to haunt the U.S. government in federal court.

Salvadorans now fourth largest Latino group in U.S. - San Jose Mercury News Salvadoran-Americans are now the fourth-largest Latino group in the United States, according to 2010 census figures. About 35 percent live in California.

US gov't to promote citizenship in ad campaign - San Francisco Chronicle The federal government will run a national advertising campaign between May 30 and Labor Day to encourage more immigrants to become American citizens.


Will California opt out of Secure Communities, and can it?

Art by José Luís Agapito/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The California Assembly passed a bill 43-22 today that challenges the embattled federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities. If the bill becomes law, it would allow the state to renegotiate its contract with the Homeland Security department, allowing local jurisdictions to opt out of what is now a mandatory fingerprint-sharing program. The state could choose to opt out altogether as well.

The bill, which now goes on to the senate, has been dubbed the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools Act, or “TRUST Act.”

The text of the California bill was posted on Multi-American late last month. Shortly afterward, the governor of Illinois announced plans to withdraw the state from the program. His decision was challenged by Department of Homeland Security officials, who said the department would not allow Illinois law enforcement to opt out of sharing information with immigration authorities.