How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

What is the TRUST Act? The bill that would make Secure Communities optional in California

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images


A California state bill heard in Sacramento today that challenges the embattled federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities has cleared a public safety committee vote. If it eventually becomes law, the bill would make the participation of local law enforcement in the fingerprint-sharing program optional, removing California counties from the mandatory program temporarily, then allowing them to rejoin voluntarily. The bill has been dubbed the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools Act, or "TRUST Act."

From the text of AB 1081, introduced earlier this year by Assembly member Tom Ammiano, a Bay Area Democrat, and amended two weeks ago:

Existing law, setting forth the findings and declarations of the

Legislature, provides that all protections, rights, and remedies

available under state law, except any reinstatement remedy prohibited

by federal law, are available to all individuals regardless of

immigration status who have applied for employment, or who are or who

have been employed, within the state, and further provides that, for

purposes of enforcing specified state laws, a person's immigration

status is irrelevant to the issue of liability, and prohibits, in

proceedings or discovery undertaken to enforce those state laws, an

inquiry into a person's immigration status except where the person

seeking to make the inquiry has shown by clear and convincing

evidence that the inquiry is necessary in order to comply with

federal immigration law.

This bill would state the findings and declarations of the

Legislature with respect to a memorandum of agreement with the United

States Department of Homeland Security, regarding the implementation

of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Secure Communities

program, that the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information

within the Department of Justice entered into on May 8

April 10 , 2009.

The bill would require the

bureau to modify that agreement, according to specified requirements,

or to exercise its authority under the agreement to terminate the

agreement.

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In the news this morning: Secure Communities controversy, Florida immigrants rally, grim discoveries continue in Tamaulipas, more

Janet Napolitano clarifies immigration program - San Francisco Chronicle Amid controversy over misleading e-mails and a California opt-out bill, the Homeland Security chief has reiterated that local governments cannot decide on their own to "exclude themselves" from the Secure Communities fingerprint-sharing program.

Immigrants rally statewide - Miami Herald Immigrant activists and supporters are organizing protests this week across Florida to protest two immigration enforcement bills being debated in the Legislature, including an Arizona-style bill.

Lawmaker who slammed immigrant pot-smokers arrested on drug charge - USA Today A Rhode Island state legislator who once criticized the state government by invoking the image of pot-smoking immigrants denies a DUI charge he received after being arrested for alleged marijuana possession.

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'A crime to dream the American dream?' Reaction to 'Dreamers' and their support network

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A poster at a pro-Dream Act student gathering place in Los Angeles, December 2010

A post from last Friday detailing how undocumented youths have been using social media to build a support network - and in some cases, to fight deportation - was  widely circulated over the weekend. It also drew a very long string of comments, a mix of cheers and outrage.

Here are just a few, unedited. John Collins wrote:

Isn't that sweet. Those young activists are giving away something which doesn't belong to them to illegals. That something is OUR country, which rightfully ought to preserved for OUR children. How generous.

Overpopulation is not just an issue for developing countries. Own own resources are running out rapidly, ad we will have a sharp drop in our standard of living and quality of life as a result.


Eduardo (who posted several comments) responded with this excerpt:
The money they earn, for the most part, is invested here in houses, consumption, education, taxes ($14 billion annually only from undocumented immigrants), and by keeping up a deteriorated economy with cheap labor that translate into less expensive products for you and all the John Collins to enjoy.

And even the money that they send back home is a blessing for the US. That money is promoting development that has been proven to stop immigration to the US.

Every time you go to a restaurant, every time you enjoy a nice garden, a beautiful landscape, a clean bathroom. Every time you can go out for dinner with Ms. Collins while safely leaving your kids with undocumented Maria, every time you hear Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, all this times, John, your life gets better and better.

Is it a crime to dream the American dream? People don´t break real laws by migrating to where there is work and a chance to find prosperity. John, you are living among entrepreneurial, non conformist people...the best of the best of the countries that could not keep them.

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Five things to read on the one-year anniversary of SB 1070

Photo by mattlocks923/Flickr (Creative Commons)


A year ago Saturday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the controversial measure known as SB 1070. Among other things, this stringent anti-illegal immigration law was to empower local police to check the immigration status of people they stopped if there was "reasonable suspicion" to believe they were in the country illegally, make it necessary for immigrants to carry their documents, and made it difficult to hire or work as a day laborer.

Numerous parties filed suit, including the federal government on the grounds that the measure was pre-empted by federal law. The law's most contested provisions were blocked by a federal judge on the eve of its implementation last July 29, though many provisions - including the day labor portion - still went into effect. People protested and an economic boycott of the state ensued. Still, even as parts of SB 1070 remained hung up in court, it could be said that the law set the stage for the tone of immigration politics during the year that followed.

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The cultural mashup dictionary: Twittear and Feisbuk

Photo by TexasT/Flickr (Creative Commons)


A recent post on the neologism Googlear has inspired two related entries to Multi-American's evolving cultural mashup dictionary: The social media mashup terms Twittear and Feisbuk.

First, the Wiktionary definition of twittear:

Etymology

From the online microblogging website, Twitter.

Verb

twittear (first-person singular present twitteo, first-person singular preterite twitteé, past participle twitteado)

1. (Internet) to tweet


I've used and heard "twittear" among Spanish-English bilinguals for quite a while, but there's also this adaptation below, as posted in the comments under the "googlear" post by ar2ro:
more than likely i see "el twitter" being used more in time than "twittear."

ex: ya mandaste el tweet? (did you send the tweet?)
mire tu mesaje en el twitter. (i saw you message on twitter)
me gusta el twitter (i like twitter)

twittear somehow does not sound right. even googlear sounds a bit funky, but does roll off the tongue in spanish rather well.

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