How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Whatever comes of SB 1070, the law has left its mark on immigration politics

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Protesters rally across the street from the downtown Phoenix office of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio last July 29, the day that parts of SB 1070 went into effect.

The Arizona law that became one of last year's biggest immigration stories has been shot down in federal appeals court, at least for now. Yesterday, a judge in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court judge's decision from last summer to block several of the most controversial components of SB 1070, among them a provision empowering local police to check for immigration status given "reasonable suspicion" that someone may be in the country illegally.

It's still not clear how the state will appeal the latest decision, though it most likely will. In the past, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vowed to take the state's case to the federal Supreme Court. But whatever becomes of SB 1070, parts of which have been in effect since July 29, the law has already had a lasting effect on the state of immigration politics in the U.S.


Readers respond: Has 'coming out' undocumented become less risky?

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A student's bold statement, December 8, 2010

A post yesterday on the trend among young, undocumented student activists and their supporters of revealing their immigration status, done as a political act, has drawn some interesting comments.

They were posted in response to a question: Has revealing immigration status truly become less risky for those who do it?

Recent statements from federal immigration officials have indicated that there's less of a priority being placed on deporting people who would have been eligible for the Dream Act, proposed legislation that failed in the Senate late last year, and which would have granted conditional legal status to young people brought here as minors who went to college or joined the military. Some youths in high-profile cases have had their deportation suspended. Is the risk of deportation for these young people who "come out" no longer so great?


In the news this morning: Appeals court rules against Arizona in SB 1070 case, French burqa ban, Utah immigration compact, more

Ninth Circuit Court Rules Against Arizona Immigration Law - New York Times The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Arizona, letting stand a lower court decision that last year blocked the most contentious parts of the state’s anti-illegal immigration law, SB 1070.

French veil ban: First woman fined for wearing niqab - The Guardian A 28-year-old women was stopped by police outside a shopping center near Paris and fined for wearing a full-face veil; the ban on Islamic face coverings went into effect in France yesterday.

Arizona bills targeting illegal immigrants founder - East Valley Tribune Arizona state senate president Russell Pearce had promised colleagues not to push anti-immigrant measures until a budget was approved; there is now an effort to wrap up the session in the next two weeks, with dozens of items still awaiting action.


A Dodger fan on 'the atmosphere' at the stadium, thugs, and the Bryan Stow attack

Photo by MPR529/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Dodger Stadium during a game, May 2006

An insightful comment came in this afternoon in response to the racial tension that's surrounded the attack on opening day at Dodger Stadium of Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan from Santa Cruz. There has been a racial undercurrent to the story since it was reported that the two suspects who violently beat Stow, who is white, were described as Latino.

Soon afterward, anti-Latino comments began appearing beneath the news reports online. This phenomenon has spread, bubbling into the mainstream via the talk-radio circuit. I wrote about this occurring in a post last Friday, which in turn generated more anti-Latino reaction. There was one comment on the site that I had to delete, which I wrote about earlier today.

In response to today's post, a reader named Jose posted the comment below, which I'm reprinting in its entirety, with slight copyedits. While I haven't closely followed the saga of of the team's owners, which he writes about also, he makes interesting observations about the climate at the stadium and more:


Hate speech over Dodger Stadium attack illustrates the racial tension surrounding it

Photo by The West End/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The team logo behind home plate, August 2009

The "uncomfortable racial undercurrent" I mentioned in a post Friday on the discussion surrounding the severe beating of a white San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium opening night, by two men described as Latino, has not become any more comfortable over the weekend.

In the post, I highlighted an essay from a Latino writer that addressed the racial undercurrent, which began brewing after reports described the suspected ethnicity of the men who attacked Santa Cruz paramedic Bryan Stow. I also highlighted a few of several racially charged comments posted beneath just one of the news reports, an early story on the local CBS News website.

Since Friday, the discussion has attracted more of the same on the Multi-American site. A comment from a reader identified as Leo Fryer referred to the attacks and/or violence as "part of Hispanic culture," then went south from there, referring to Latinos as insects and calling for their being "exterminated." I was about to take the comment down (all opinions are welcome, but the line is drawn at cursing and hate speech) when responses to it began coming in, illustrating the racial tension surrounding the attack. Here are a couple of other readers' responses: