How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: No 'birther bill' in Arizona, minorities in special education, an immigration reform summit, more

'Birther bill' vetoed by Arizona governor - CNN Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill late yesterday that would have required President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they were born in the United States before their names could be placed on the state ballot.

Too many minorities in special ed, state says - San Jose Mercury News According to the California Department of Education, a disproportionate number of ethnic minority students in a Bay Area school district have been identified for special education, suspended or expelled.

Law student faces immigration battle - The GW Hatchet The George Washington University campus newspaper reports on Prerna Lal, a 26-year-old FIjian-born immigrant rights advocate and law school student who has now been placed in deportation proceedings herself.

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The Pulitzer-winning reporter who could have been deported

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

On a window outside Bell City Hall, September 2010

A post in late March highlighted the story of Ruben Vives, a Los Angeles Times reporter who was once undocumented, brought here as a child from Guatemala by his mother.

Last month, Vives was a contender for a Pulitzer Prize for his work on uncovering the Bell political corruption scandal. Today, it was announced that he won.

Vives, 31, and veteran reporter Jeff Gottlieb were awarded the Pulitzer gold medal for public service for a series of stories exposing how politicians in the working-class, mostly Latino city of Bell were paying themselves extravagant six-figure salaries and manipulating records. Their reporting led to criminal charges against former city administrator Robert Rizzo and seven other current or former city officials, who were charged with multiple felonies and ordered to stand trial.

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Navigating the Armenian American supermarket

Photo by Lory Tatoulian

The produce section scene at the Super King in Glassell Park, April 2011

As Southern California's immigrant enclaves have grown and evolved, so have their grocery stores. The ethnic mega-supermarket is now part of the regional landscape, making it as easy to buy once hard-to-find products from around the world as it is to shop at Vons or Ralphs. Want banana leaves for Central American tamales? No need seek out a carnicería in Pico-Union any more. Southeast Asian sambal sauce? There are supermarkets that practically stock aisles of it.

All you need is a good guide. So this week, Multi-American is kicking off an occasional series of informal guides to navigating the ethnic supermarket. Your first guide comes from guest blogger Lory Tatoulian, a writer, comic and highly savvy Armenian supermarket insider. Welcome, Lory.

The Armenian spirit is big, and so is its belly.

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'Regulating freedom of choice:' Readers react to France's burqa ban

Art by Khalid Albaih/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A Q&A post last week that highlighted the reactions of three prominent Muslim women in California to a controversial French law banning face-covering veils, enacted last week, has generated a lively debate in the comments section.

While the arguments have been heated, and the opinions not all politically correct, it has been an interesting discussion in that it displays how there are different ways of defining freedom.

The post featured interviews with Hadeer Soliman, vice president of the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine; Edina Lekovic, director of policy and programming for the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles; and Zahra Billoo, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The interviews were conducted by KPCC intern Yasmin Nouh, who herself is Muslim and wears hijab, the traditional head scarf.

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In the news this morning: A request to hold off on deporting youths, SB 1070 a year later, L.A. musician left comatose won't be deported, mo

Senate Democrats Tell Obama to Hold Off on Deportations of Young Immigrants - Fox News Latino Twenty-two Senate Democrats have signed a letter requesting that the deportations of young people brought here by their parents illegally or who overstayed visas be put off, suggesting alternatives.

Immigration law uncertainty hangs over Hispanic neighborhoods - East Valley Tribune: Immigration A year after the approval of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-immigration law, immigrant advocates say that while "the hysteria died down" people have left, including school-age students who didn't return, and that uncertainty continues.

The Anti-Immigration Crusader - New York Times A profile of John Tanton, the Michigan doctor who became nation's most influential advocate for immigration restriction, seeding organizations like the controversial Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

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