How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The federal Dream Act prepares for a comeback

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Details are scarce, but a spokesman for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) confirmed this morning that Durbin has plans to reintroduce the proposed immigration legislation at an event in Washington, D.C. tomorrow.

Immigrant rights advocates had been speculating yesterday on the possible re-introduction this week of the federal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would allow certain undocumented youths to obtain conditional legal status. In its most recent version, which passed the House but failed to clear the Senate last December, conditional legal status would have been granted to young people brought here as minors before age 16 who either went to college or joined the military.

Durbin, a longtime champion of the bill, had promised earlier this year that he would bring it back. There are no details yet on what the reintroduced bill would look like. The bill voted on last December was pared down from earlier versions, with a lowered age threshold for those eligible and other tightened provisions.


In the news this morning: Obama and immigration reform in El Paso, SB 1070 could go to Supreme Court, Secure Communities, more

Immigration reform taking center stage in Texas - CNN President Obama is expected to give a speech on the need for comprehensive immigration reform today during his visit to El Paso.

Utah’s immigration bill to get day in court - The Salt Lake Tribune A federal judge will hear arguments today whether Utah’s enforcement-only immigration bill should be enforced, or set aside because civil rights groups believe it violates the U.S. Constitution.

Arizona will ask Supreme Court to rule on immigration law - Fox News Latino Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wants for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the state's controversial anti-immigration law, SB 1070.

A 51st State? Some In Arizona Want A Split - NPR Frustration over SB 1070 and other anti-illegal immigration measures is part of what's driving some in southern Arizona to push for a separate state.


Secrets of the Latin American supermarket, Part 3

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Last month, Multi-American kicked off a series of informal guides to the ethnic supermarket, the mega-bodegas of all flavors that have become part of the regional landscape as Southern California’s immigrant enclaves have grown and evolved.

We started with a two-part tour of a Super King store by guest blogger Lory Tatoulian, who showed us where to find the best Armenian products. At the end of April, I began a three-part tour of a Latin American grocery warehouse, the giant Superior Grocers warehouse in Bell.

In parts one and two, we learned bakery section etiquette and the secrets of the herbal tea and religious sections, among many other things. In this final installment we'll explore the rest of the store, leading us to the checkout line. So as Dora the Explorer would say, vámonos.


American Muslim, or Muslim American?

Photo by NewMediaNormaRae/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Participants in last year's annual Muslim Day parade in New York, September 26, 2010

In the United States, a generation of young Muslims has grown up in the shadow of the September 11, 2001 attacks, among them KPCC intern Yasmin Nouh. Part of the discussion she has been privy to during these years is how Muslims, whose patriotism has been under scrutiny since, should identify themselves: as American Muslims, or as Muslim Americans?

Nouh examines arguments for both ways of self-identifying in this guest post, her second for Multi-American.

Just shy of a decade ago, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks orchestrated by Osama bin Laden opened a chapter in American history that has been fraught with widespread misunderstanding of Islam and Muslims.

Muslims, particularly in the United States and Europe, were asked to condemn extremism and to prove that they were patriotic to their respective countries. Amid the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment, one question became the norm to ask: Are you a Muslim or an American? Which one comes first?


In the news this morning: Arizona's legal and fence plans, Chipotle under scrutiny, Muslim imams kicked off flight, more

Arizona's governor to reveal plans for immigration law - CNN Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne are announcing today what legal steps, if any, they're prepared to take following an injunction of the state's controversial SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law.

Chipotle Mexican Grill under scrutiny as federal immigration investigation expands - San Jose Mercury News The Denver-based Chipotle chain has been under criminal investigation by federal immigration authorities. It's one of the highest-profile targets in a new enforcement strategy that focuses on employers.

Ariz. seeks online donations to build border fence - USA Today Lawmakers plan to launch a website to raise money for additional fencing. The use of prison labor is also part of the plan.

After deportation, a family divided - The Washington Post The story of a Texas woman who chose to move her family south after her Mexican-born husband was deported.