How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: New Mexico the most Latino state, cops defend L.A. day laborer's shooting, students tweet immigration status, more

New Mexico, the Most Latino State in the Union, Gets Even More Latino - Fox News Latino The state grew by more than 240,000 people over the last decade. Seventy-eight percent of that increase was due to Latinos, who now make up 46 percent of the state's population, up from 42 percent in 2000.

LA Police Commission supports officer shooting of Guatemalan day laborer - 89.3 KPCC The Los Angeles Police Commission said yesterday that an officer was justified in killing Guatemalan day laborer Manuel Jamines in Westlake last September. The shooting prompted violent protests.

Japanese New Yorkers Desire to Meld Into Mainstream - New York Times From the story: "...among Japanese residents of New York, the response to the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami back home has so far been small, scattered and often private — a reflection of the population itself."

Read More...

UCLA student in anti-Asian rant video claims threats, apologizes - and inspires more parodies

The LA Weekly has posted a list of other angry/funny parody videos.

UCLA's Daily Bruin reports that the student who posted a video of herself ranting against "hordes" of Asian students on YouTube last Friday has sought the assistance of campus police after claiming to receive threats, and that she's issued an apology.

Alexandra Wallace's statement was sent yesterday to the campus newspaper, which posted this:

“Clearly the original video posted by me was inappropriate,” she said in the statement. “I cannot explain what possessed me to approach the subject as I did, and if I could undo it, I would. I’d like to offer my apology to the entire UCLA campus. For those who cannot find it within them to accept my apology, I understand.”

The Bruin story described Wallace as a third-year political science student. The video, in which Wallace complains about Asian students in the library annoying her, complains about their relatives coming over, makes "ching chong" sounds while pretending to talk into a cell phone and ridicules them for checking on their families "for the tsunami thing" was condemned as "repugnant" by campus administration.

Read More...

He's glad immigration agents didn't ask 'how to get to Sesame Street'

Photo by EvelynGiggles/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Poor Big Bird. You can't even get a birdseed milkshake without bumping into the underground economy.

I don't usually resort to Spanish in this blog, but I had to after reading this story. ¡Dios mío! Actor and playwright Carlo Alban has written a confessional essay that, um, redefines the concept of hiding in plain sight. One might call it hiding behind Big Bird's feathers.

In his essay for Fox News Latino, Alban writes that in 1993, when he was 14, he landed a role on Sesame Street that lasted five years. His character, also named Carlo, worked at Mr. Hooper’s store, where he whipped up a birdseed milkshake for Big Bird. Alban writes:

But the whole time, I had a secret: I was an undocumented immigrant. The papers I’d used to get hired were fake.

My family had come from Ecuador when I was seven and my older brother Angelo was nine. We came on a tourist visa, and the moment my parents had gotten it, we knew we were not coming back. They sold all our furniture before we left.

My mother had a sister living legally in the United States, and my parents planned to have her sponsor us for residency. Soon after landing in New York, my parents saw a lawyer. But we were told the process would take four or five years.

Read More...

'Coming out' undocumented: A Dream Act strategy becomes a rite of passage

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC


Last week in Orange County, a line of about two dozen young people snaked around the side of a meeting hall. Mostly college students, they awaited their turn at the podium in the front of the room. Some looked confident, others a little shaky. A girl with long brown hair stepped up to the microphone. "Hello, my name is Estefania," she began, "and I'm undocumented and unafraid."

What started as a small number of students going public with their immigration status grew into a movement in its own right last year, when passage of the federal Dream Act seemed like a possibility. It was a political strategy, the idea behind it to put a face to those whose lives would be affected by the legislation, which would have granted conditional legal status to qualifying young people brought to this country before age 16 if they went to college or joined the military.

Read More...

In the news this morning: Japanese American families hope for word of relatives, California Dream Act, Latinos and the census, more

Japanese Americans in LA try to make contact w/ victims - ABC7.com Some say they've had success reaching relatives via cell phone in the quake-ravaged area surrounding Sendai. But many said they've had no luck, and it's tough to stay optimistic.

Chancellor Block declares support as California DREAM act approaches legislative action - The Daily Bruin The UCLA chancellor is backing two state bills being heard today that would allow access to financial aid for undocumented college students.

Bill allowing some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition passes Maryland Senate - The Washington Post A bill allowing some undocumented immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates in Maryland passed the state Senate Monday; it still requires House approval.

Kansas GOPer: Let's Shoot Illegal Immigrants Like Pigs - Talking Points Memo Kansas State Rep. Virgil Peck was quoted as saying this Monday: "It looks like to me if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem."

Read More...