How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Emails illustrate 'disarray,' confusion over Secure Communities immigration program

Art by José Luís Agapito/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Hundreds of emails from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released yesterday illustrate the confusion over Secure Communities, a federal fingerprint sharing program whose involuntary nature has frustrated local law enforcement in some jurisdictions, including in California.

The emails include internal communication between ICE officials and with state officials in California. They were obtained through Freedom of Information Act litigation by legal advocacy groups that include Los Angeles' National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law's Immigration Justice Clinic. The groups have described the content of the emails as attempts to deliberately mislead California officials about the nature of the program, initiated in 2008, which many at first believed to be voluntary.

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In the news this morning: New Arizona-style law in Georgia, LA Plaza opens in L.A, a birther bill, Latinos and redistricting, more

Georgia immigration law: Georgia passes immigration bill similar to Arizona's - Los Angeles Times Police would be empowered to check the immigration status of "criminal" suspects and many businesses would be required to check the status of potential hires.

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes to celebrate its grand opening - 89.3 KPCC LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes opens Saturday in downtown Los Angeles, near Olvera Street. It’s the city’s first permanent Mexican-American cultural center.

Arizona Legislature Approves Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates To Prove U.S. Citizenship - Huffington Post Arizona legislators gave final approval last night to a proposal that would require President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they are U.S. citizens before their names can appear on the state's ballot.

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'Why do you only date white men?' An interracial dater explains

Photo by qthomasbower/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Please give a warm welcome to KPCC's Kim Bui, editor of the OnCentral blog and Multi-American guest blogger of the day:

As an adult, I’ve rarely had a conversation about race without it slowly turning toward relationships.

Yes, many Asian women date white guys. Indeed, I tend to be one of them.

Today I spied a post on KCET's website titled "Love Isn't Blind, It's Just Near Sighted," which began:

Last week a good friend posed a question to me, "Do you only date white men?" It took a minute for me to reply, it was a question that has floated around me since I was able to sneak out of the house in high school.

The post incorporated various people's answers to the question, "Why do Asians predominately date Caucasians?"

I mentioned it to Leslie, which led to a long-winded conversation about dating and marriage and gossiping Vietnamese mothers, which in turn led to Leslie asking me to share a little on my experiences.

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Pik-sa, pisa or pizza?

Photo by Mr. Ducke/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Pizza (or pik-sa, or pisa) con jalapeños, May 2009

A reader responding to a recent collection of awkward language moments experienced by English learners, or people who were raised by them, has shared a good one: "pik-sa," better known as pizza.

Edith Padilla wrote:

I cannot seem to shake my habit of saying “pik-sa” instead of “pit-za.” I don’t make that mistake with the word mozzarella but pizza is a whole different story.

I've heard that one among Latinos, as well as "pisa," like in the leaning tower of Pisa or the Spanish verb "pisar," meaning to step or tread on. I visited my parents last weekend and shared a "pisa" with them for lunch. A Hawaiian pisa with barbecued chicken, which was quite tasty.

Have an ESL moment to share? Feel free to post anecdotes below.

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Bogus 'army unit' a reminder of how far immigrants are willing go for citizenship

Photo by U.S. Army Korea-IMCOM/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A military naturalization ceremony held at a U.S. Army base in South Korea, December 2008

The story of David Deng, a Chinese immigrant from El Monte accused of charging fellow Chinese immigrants upwards of $400 to join a bogus "special forces" military unit that could lead them to U.S. citizenship - replete with bogus uniforms - might come off on one hand as this week's immigration news of the weird.

On the other hand, it's a relevant reminder of how far many immigrants to the United States are willing to go in order to become citizens.

The ranks of non-citizen soldiers in the U.S. military, often referred to as “green card soldiers,” have swelled in recent years. In order to attract more military conscripts, the federal government made a series of policy changes in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks that would make joining the military more attractive to legal-resident immigrants. This included a 2002 presidential order allowing non-citizens serving in the military to apply for expedited citizenship.

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