How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: Doubts linger over Salazar's death, an 'omnibus' immigration bill in Arizona, Miami housewives, more

Ruben Salazar: A witness remains suspicious about Ruben Salazar's death - Los Angeles Times The draft version of a report due out today does not assign blame for the death of the veteran Los Angeles journalist during a 1970 protest, but a photographer who witnessed the scene outside the building in which Salazar was struck by a tear gas projectile still has his doubts.

Pearce drops “omnibus” immigration bill - Arizona Capitol Times In addition to the anti-birthright citizenship legislation being heard in the state senate today, there is now a sweeping bill introduced by Sen. Russell Pearce that would deny undocumented immigrants access to public benefits, and prohibit everything from driving a car to enrolling in community colleges.

In Calif., US-born Latinos far more likely to get liver cancer - California Watch A study finds that for Latino males born in the United States, rates of liver cancer are more than double those of foreign-born Latinos. Meanwhile, for Asians born in this country, liver cancer rates fall by half or more.

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A few good late-morning reads for a holiday Monday

It's a holiday, so today's list is a little different. No big headlines, just a few eclectic selections published over the weekend that are better suited to leisurely reading over a third cup of coffee:

Plastic Surgery Among Ethnic Groups Mirrors Beauty Ideals - New York Times A great if slightly disturbing story about the tastes in plastic surgery among different ethnic groups, with patients generally more interested in pursuing each group's ideal of beauty rather than obscuring ethnic traits.

Photo essay: Why Brisenia Flores matters - Crooks and Liars Was the involvement of convicted killer Shawna Forde in a Minuteman splinter group not given enough weight in the coverage of her trial for the 2009 murder of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father in an Arizona border town? The essay includes photos of the home where the girl lived and died, including her abandoned teeter-totter, and video of Forde speaking as an anti-illegal immigration activist in 2007.

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Five states with the biggest Latino population growth so far as 2010 census numbers roll out

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Screen shot of U.S. Census Bureau map showing state-by-state 2010 data, including ethnic populations

The biggest news yet from the 2010 Census as state-by-state ethnic and racial data comes out is yesterday's numbers from Texas, which show that the state's Latino population has soared, accounting for 65 percent of its population growth between 2000 and 2010. The overall population growth will give Texas four additional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, making for much speculation about how much of a political impact Latinos in the nation's second-most populous state will have.

Of the states whose data is out so far, Texas has by far the biggest share of Latino residents. But some of the biggest percentage growth seen yet is in states that are non-traditional destinations for Latinos, immigrants and their descendants. Though their overall Latino populations remain small, states like Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, and South Dakota are seeing triple-digit growth, and Virginia, home to a recent rash of of anti-illegal immigration activism, is close behind.

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In the news this morning: Census shows more Latino Texans, foreign-born workers find jobs, the perils faced by immigration agents, more

Latino Numbers Soar in Texas - Wall Street Journal 2010 census data is rolling out state by state, and yesterday's figures released for Texas revealed that Latinos accounted for 65% of the state's population growth over the past decade, and for 95% of the jump in a rapidly growing under-18 population.

Kern County loses immigration detention contract - San Jose Mercury News U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will terminate its contract to house its detainees at Lerdo Jail, which had provided the Kern County Sheriff's Department with about $2.5 million a year.

In Phoenix, Foreign-Born Workers Find Jobs Faster - NPR Last year in the U.S., native-born workers lost 1.2 million jobs while foreign-born workers gained more than a half-million jobs.

Local taxpayers are paying for U.S. immigration enforcement, ACLU reports - Los Angeles Times An ACLU report highlights the math on what counties and cities spend to arrest, detain and prosecute undocumented immigrants.

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Can Laker morado be as big as 'Doyer' azul?

Photo by Juan Barredo/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A Lakers fan and his flags, June 2010

Los Angeles is a town full of Latino Dodger fans, but a Los Angeles Times story from earlier this week got at yet another one of Latino L.A.'s sports obsessions, the Lakers, whose purple and gold flags fly from car antennas in noticeable abundance on the Eastside this time of year.

The story detailed a big score by the Lakers organization in the National Basketball Association's push to cash in on the "fast-growing Latino market." In short, the Lakers recently announced a 20-year agreement with Time Warner Cable to create a Spanish-language regional sports network with the Lakers as its centerpiece, beginning next season. It will be the first of its kind in the country.

A couple of Lakers fanaticos were featured in the piece, including this one:

Consider longtime hoops fan Billy Sanchez, a third-generation Mexican-American. When he got his first driver's license, he knew exactly where to celebrate: at a Lakers game.

"All I wanted to do was just go down to the Forum, find a scalper and buy tickets," he recalls. "And I did that quite often."

Two decades and five NBA titles later, the team has left the Forum for Staples Center and Sanchez, 35, has no need for scalpers because he works in sales for his father's beer distributorship in the City of Industry and they have a luxury suite.

But his passion for the Lakers hasn't faded. "I've been a fan ever since I can remember," he says. "I watch every single game."

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