How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The Arab Spring in the Southland: Egypt (Video)

Earlier this year, as pro-democracy protests engulfed the Middle East, KPCC staff videographer Grant Slater began videotaping solidarity rallies held in Los Angeles by immigrants in support of democratic reforms back home. This led him to a series of other stories, those of immigrants from six Arab countries watching these revolutions take place from 8,000 miles away.

This week we're featuring their stories in a five-day series, taking in the events of what has become known as the Arab Spring through their eyes. Yesterday we met Bechir Blagui, a Tunisian-born businessman and activist who came of age politically in Los Angeles. A forthcoming video will feature Wedad Abdou, an Egyptian immigrant who left her native Alexandria many years ago to work in the United States.


In the news this morning: Canada's immigration awards, an immigrant health bill in Texas, more

What SB1070? In Canada, They're Handing Out the 2011 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards - Fox News Latino As a political battle over immigration rages in the U.S., Canada is celebrating its third annual Top 25 Canadian Immigrant awards, given to foreign-born citizens who have contributed the most to their adopted country.

House Passes Bill on Indigent Care for Immigrants — The Texas Tribune The Texas House has approved a contentious measure that would allow Texas counties to consider the income of a legal immigrant’s sponsor when determining if the immigrant is eligible for indigent health care.

Cannes: A delightfully odd immigration comedy - Salon The film "Le Havre" takes on Europe's "refugee problem," what in the United States would be called illegal immigration.

Central Florida Muslim leader reacts to FBI arrests - Orlando Sentinel A Florida religious leader and his two sons are being accused of helping to funnel money to Taliban terrorists in Pakistan.


More ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Spam musubi

Photo by bandita/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Hawaiian cuisine is perhaps the original Asian fusion cuisine, a mix of tastes that has evolved over centuries of immigration to the islands.

Those who know it and love it appreciate its filling, comforting simplicity. But the use in some dishes of Spam, that salty canned mush of chopped pork shoulder, ham, and filler introduced to the islands by the U.S. military, has a sad tendency to land those dishes in culinary joke territory. Which is a darn shame, because Hawaiian cooking has a way of making it rather tasty.

The best example of this is the popular snack known as Spam musubi, which looks like a giant piece of sushi. In a typical preparation, the sliced Spam is grilled and simmered in a mix of soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine. It is then placed atop a giant piece of Spam-sized molded sushi rice (there is actually a gadget called a Spam musubi rice press) and, in the simplest version, the entire thing is wrapped with a piece of nori, the dried seaweed wrapper common to sushi.


An unfortunate computer glitch puts the 'visa lottery' on the map

Photo by John Wardell (Netinho)/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Last week, a computer glitch dashed the hopes of tens of thousands of immigrants who had hoped to come legally to the United States - and put one of the quirkier programs within the U.S. immigration system on the map.

It's called the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, a U.S. State Department program often referred to simply as "the visa lottery." The congressionally-mandated program makes up to 55,000 immigrant visas available each year to people who apply for them via random selection, with results selected electronically. It was announced late last week that the results of the 2012 lottery would have to be scratched because of a computer programming error.

"The results were not valid because they did not represent a fair, random selection of entrants, as required by U.S. law," read an announcement on the State Department website. "If you checked this website during the first week in May and found a notice that you had been selected for further processing or a notice that you had not been selected, that notice has been rescinded and is no longer valid."


In the news this morning: California's changing face, states and Secure Communities, the NSEERS program comes to an end, more

California's Latino and Asian populations rise while white declines - Sacramento Bee California's ethnic mix is shifting not only because there are greater numbers of Latinos and Asians, but because there are fewer whites.

States Rebel Against Some Deportations - Wall Street Journal Such states as Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and California have raised objections to the federal Secure Communities program because while it's designed to remove criminals from the country, it has led to the deportation of thousands of people without criminal records.

Suit names jail, infirmary in detainee’s 2009 death - The Boston Globe The daughter of a 49-year-old immigrant detainee who died in 2009 after an infection overwhelmed his body filed a federal lawsuit yesterday, alleging gross negligence leading to his death.