Photo by CSU Stanislaus Photo/Flickr (Creative Commons)
Students at a commencement ceremony, May 2008
The California Supreme Court today issued a unanimous ruling that allows undocumented students to continue receiving in-state tuition at California colleges and universities, reversing a lower appeals court's decision. The ruling affirmed that the policy did not conflict with a federal ban on giving undocumented immigrants educational benefits based on residency.
Known as AB 540, the California policy allows for in-state tuition, as opposed to costlier out-of-state tuition, for undocumented students who graduate from and attend California high schools for at least three years. Several other states have similar policies, giving today's decision some weight beyond the state.
The challenge to AB 540 began with a lawsuit that sought to invalidate the California policy, upheld in the lower court. And in the hours since the state Supreme Court ruling was announced, the reaction to the news has been heated.
A photo of Steve Li, from a Facebook page set up by friends
San Francisco college student Steve Li will not be boarding a plane for Peru today as planned, his deportation stalled following a last-minute reprieve.
Late yesterday afternoon, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that while the 20-year-old Chinese-American nursing student remains in custody at an immigrant detention center in Arizona, his Monday deportation to Peru was put off. Li's attorney Sin Yen Ling told the Chronicle that an immigration officer advised her of the change, but did not provide her with details as to why or what happens next.
From the story:
"Why? I don't know," said Ling, whose client is at a detention center in Florence, Ariz. "In terms of when he's going to be put on a plane, I don't know that either. They wouldn't provide me with additional information but I do think it has a lot to do with the advocacy work that's been happening."
Senate Vote on DREAM Act, Immigration in Lame-Duck Congress? - ABC News Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised a vote this year on the proposed legislation that would allow undocumented students and military hopefuls to obtain legal status, though prospects of it passing appear slim.
Feinstein seeks to block Steve Li's deportation - San Francisco Chronicle The deportation of a Chinese-American student to Peru, where he was born, has been put on hold following the senator's intervention.
Stigma haunts mentally ill Latinos - CNN Cultural and socioeconomic factors have long gotten in the way of seeking professional help for individuals suffering from depression and other mental illness.
Immigration Reform Outlook in New Congress: Bleak - Capitol News Connection After the midterm election's GOP victories, there appears to be little likelihood of Congress passing broad, comprehensive immigration reform.
Tamales! What can be better this time of year? I ventured over to the L.A. Tamale Throwdown in El Sereno after it kicked off this afternoon to take a few photos and, well, eat tamales.
Like most other people who make tamales for the holidays, I make them once a year - just once, because it's hard work - and am usually sick of them by the day after Christmas. But it's been almost a year, as I'm sure it has for many tamalistas, so now is the time to start indulging again.
The event itself was a hoot: vendor stands selling tamales, aguas frescas, pupusas and other staples, great music, artesanias, and a trophy-laden table of lucky judges onstage, eating steaming plates submitted by the city's tamal purveyors. (Don't know what the grand prize is, but I'll bet it's not a year's supply of masa.) Best thing is that it runs through 10 p.m. Saturday.
This is a few days late, but I don't want for the week to go by without mentioning the recent passing of Rudy Regalado, a revered musician in the worlds of Latin rock, Latin jazz and salsa. In L.A. popular culture, he was best known as the man behind the timbales in the legendary 1970s band El Chicano, whose sound could only be described as pure Eastside.
Rooted in East L.A., the band was responsible for classics that for some Angelenos are nothing short of anthems: "Tell Her She's Lovely," the instrumental "Viva Tirado" (in the video above, Regalado is on the timbales to the far left) and perhaps one of the greatest-ever recorded versions of "Sabor a Mí." Their sound was loose, funky and soulful, and it remains especially evocative for many an Eastside-raised kid, me included.