How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

What California's prison downsizing might represent for private detention contractors

Photo by foreverdigital/ Flickr (Creative Commons)

Now that California has been ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates, how might this affect the private prison companies that make money incarcerating not only criminals, but also immigrants awaiting deportation?

The state has two years to comply with the high court's order, intended to relieve a lack of adequate medical and mental health care for inmates in an overcrowded prison system.

Depending on how it's done, the downsizing could be a windfall for the private prison industry - or not. According to a story today in the New York Times, Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy "emphasized that the reduction in population need not be achieved solely by releasing prisoners early." Other possibilities might include new prison construction - something that private jailers do quickly and cheaply - transferring more prisoners out of state, or using county facilities.


In the news this morning: Child farm labor, Latinos in Amish country, Secure Communities investigation to begin, more

Farm labor: Children in the fields - 60 Minutes - CBS News A report on Latino youths working alongside their parents in the agricultural industry. Children as young as 12 can be hired for farm work.

Latino Country: Hispanic population surpasses Amish in Lancaster County, U.S. Census data show - In recent years, the number of Latinos in the "Amish country" of Pennsylvania has surpassed that of the Amish.

The Associated Press: Man held in car bomb probe deported to Pakistan - Associated Press Aftab Ali Khan, 28, arrested in Massachusetts during the investigation of last year's failed New York Times Square car bombing, was deported to Pakistan on Sunday.

Government Starts Inquiry Into Program Leading to More Deportations - KPBS According to federal immigration authorities, about 28,000, or 35 percent, of those who have been deported so far under the immigration enforcement program have been convicted of serious felonies. The idea of the program was to find deportable immigrants with criminal records.


More ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Cabrit

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Cabrit fricassee at TiGeorge's with all the Caribbean fixings, May 2011

Goats are cute. And unfortunately for them, they are also tasty.

The beloved, beady-eyed petting zoo favorites are considered delectable in many parts of the world. This includes in much of Southern California, where Mexican bírria – a spicy and much-eaten goat stew– is hardly a rarity.

But there are less common goat delicacies in these parts that merit a try. Notably is a savory Hatian dish of marinated, slow-roasted goat, referred to there as cabrit or kabrit.

Hatian-style cabrit is very different from bírria, in which the goat meat is served with a spicy broth. But done right, no broth is needed, as the meat is delectably tender. Those who grew up with it sing its praises, although there are the inevitable goat-related childhood stories.

Gary Dauphin, a Los Angeles writer and director of new media for KCET, remembers his first goat dinner while visiting his grandmother:


Among Syrian Americans, the conflict at home (Video)

Earlier this year, KPCC staff videographer Grant Slater began videotaping solidarity rallies held in Los Angeles by Middle Eastern immigrants in support of democratic reforms back home. This led him to a series of other stories, those of Southern California immigrants from Arab countries watching and grappling with what has become known as the Arab Spring from 8,000 miles away

With the help of a few contributors, the stories of several of these immigrants have been featured this week in a series of videos.

Today's final feature explores how the violent unrest in Syria has carried over to the Syrian immigrant community here, with Syrian Americans deeply divided over the prospect of revolution.

Yesterday's video explored the world of Bakersfield's Yemeni immigrants, among them check-cashing store owner Faroq Almulaikey, who hopes to return to Yemen someday to live.


Report: How different ethnic groups use electronic media

Photo by Old Shoe Woman/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Photo by Old Shoe Woman/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A new report based on research from The Nielsen Company delves into the electronic media habits of minorities, including the use of social media and smartphones. The findings, released yesterday, show that "African Americans are TV-centric, Hispanics are savvy smartphone users, and Asians/Pacific Islanders are heavily wired to the Internet."

Latinos are also more likely to use MySpace than average American consumers, according to the report, while black Americans are heavier Twitter users. Some excerpts:

African Americans are the heaviest TV consumers, watching 6 hours and 54 minutes a day versus the 5 hour and 11 minute average for all U.S. households. More than 30 percent of African American households have four or more televisions, and they over-index in subscription to premium cable services.

Hispanics are very active on their smartphones, texting the most out of all races/ethnicities (943 texts per month) and employing a wide range of mobile activities, including mobile banking. Smartphone penetration has reached 45 percent, matching only Asian-American usage levels in popularity.

Asians/Pacific Islanders are the most active PC and Internet users, spending nearly 80 hours on PCs in February 2011 versus the national average of about 55 hours. They also consume more Internet content than any other group, visiting 3,600 web pages in February – about 1,000 more than their counterparts.