How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

'Hispanic-flavored dishes' and other ethnic-inspired, um, treats

Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, but its effect on that peculiar cuisine known as "ethnic-inspired" continues. For a limited time only, at least.

This morning I ventured into an International House of Pancakes to try one of a few Cinco de Mayo-related items promoted in a recent news release as "Hispanic-flavored dishes." I didn't think that flavor had been popular since the Spanish conquistadors stumbled upon the Caribs, but what do I know? The flavor in question didn't involve humans, fortunately, but chilaquiles.

From the news release:

With ethnic-inspired entrees predicted to be the top breakfast food trend of the year, IHOP, one of America's favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is turning up the heat with Hispanic-flavored dishes headlining its new Double Cheese Scrambles limited time offer.

Inspired by the traditional Mexican dish chilaquiles, IHOP's new Tortilla Scrambles feature fluffy scrambled eggs with crispy yet soft tortilla chips, enchilada sauce with melted jack and cheddar cheeses topped with sour cream and chopped green onions.


'An unpardonable slander:' The controversy over the use of 'Geronimo' in bin Laden operation

Multi-American's sister blog DCentric has been posting updates on the controversy surrounding the use of the name "Geronimo" as code for the U.S. military raid that killed Osama bin Laden last weekend in Pakistan.

Native Americans have taken offense to the military's tying together of the notorious terrorist with the 19th century Apache leader and warrior, to the degree that after bin Laden was killed, the team involved in the raid sent out the transmission “Geronimo EKIA,” for "Geronimo, Enemy Killed in Action."

Yesterday, Geronimo's great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo submitted testimony to the Senate Commission on Indian Affairs for a hearing on racist stereotypes of Native Americans. He demanded an apology from the Obama administration and a "full explanation of how this disgraceful use of my great grandfather’s name occurred." DCentric posted more of his testimony, including this excerpt:


In the news this morning: More Secure Communities resistance, hurdles for national Latino museum, the California Dream Act, more

Officials Resist Federal ‘Secure Communities’ Program - New York Times A program central to the Obama administration's immigration enforcement strategy faces growing resistance from state governments and police. The governor of Illinois has announced plans to pull the state out. There is resistance in other states, including California, where a bill seeks to make participation voluntary.

Many hurdles lie ahead for Latino museum - Sacramento Bee As envisioned by supporters, the National Museum of the American Latino would sit in Washington, D.C. and tell the story of the Latino experience in America, starting with the arrival of Spanish conquistadors. But there are financial and other obstacles.

Hispanic Caucus calls on Obama to freeze controversial immigration enforcement program - Los Angeles Times Resistance to the federal Secure Communities fingerprint sharing program is also coming from Latino political leaders. Yesterday the Congressional Hispanic Caucus asked President Obama to freeze the controversial enforcement program.


In honor of Cinco de Mayo and the Battle of Puebla, a little mole poblano

The Cinco de Mayo holiday is tied closely to Puebla, the Mexican state and its capital city of the same name. It commemorates the unlikely defeat of French forces by outnumbered Mexican troops in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

And there's something else that Puebla is closely tied to: mole poblano, one of the most ambrosial of Mexican dishes. So in honor of the 1862 victory at Puebla, here's a little mole poblano cooking video. It's much easier just to order it somewhere, but it's fun to watch how it's made - not easily.

Non-Spanish speakers, grab a translator and enjoy. And happy Cinco de Mayo.


What is the California Dream Act?

Photo by un.sospiro/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Photo by un.sospiro/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Although its name connotes proposed federal legislation that fell by the wayside late last year, the California bill approved today 51-21 in the state Assembly does not have anything to do with granting legal status to undocumented college students. It does, however, make it easier for them to pay for college.

The bill is AB 130, one of two related bills sponsored by Democratic Assembly member Gil Cedillo of Los Angeles. It allows for undocumented students who already meet the residency criteria for California in-state tuition to obtain scholarships that are not derived from state funds. From a synopsis of the bill:

Existing law requires that a person, other than a nonimmigrant alien, as defined, who has attended high school in California for 3 or more years, who has graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent thereof, who has registered at or attends an accredited institution of higher education in California not earlier than the fall semester or quarter of the 2001-02 academic year, and who, if he or she is an alien without lawful immigration status, has filed a prescribed affidavit, is exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges and the California State University.

This bill would enact the California Dream Act of 2011.

This bill would provide that, on and after January 1, 2012, a student attending the California State University, the California Community Colleges, or the University of California who is exempt from paying nonresident tuition under the provision described above would be eligible to receive a scholarship derived from nonstate funds received, for the purpose of scholarships, by the segment at which he or she is a student.