How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: Anti-immigrant backlash, the Sanchez-Tran race, private prison industry's link to SB 1070, more

More U.S. Latinos say they face discrimination - The Washington Post Nearly two thirds of Latinos surveyed as part of a new study believe they are being discriminated as part of a backlash over illegal immigration.

Ethnic media take different views of Sanchez-Tran congressional race - 89.3 KPCC How ethnic media is covering the race for the 47th Congressional District in Orange County, what appears to be a close contest between Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez and Republican challenger Van Tran.

Ariz. Spends $1M To Defend Immigration Law - KPHO Phoenix Gov. Jan Brewer's office reportedly spent more than $620,000 defending Senate Bill 1070 in July alone.

Los Cenzontles: A 'Little Factory' Of Culture - NPR The group was formed when leader Eugene Rodriguez, a third-generation Mexican-American, created a place for kids in San Pablo, Calif. to hang out.

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Quote of the moment: Michelle Obama on the influence of Latino voters

“The Latino community will be huge in these elections, they were huge two years ago…Because two years ago this community turned out, things were surprisingly different.”

- First Lady Michelle Obama on this morning’s “Piolín por la Mañana” radio show in Los Angeles


The interview was the second this week with a member of the Obama family on Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo’s influential morning show on Univision's La Nueva 101.9. An-studio interview with President Obama aired Monday, during which Sotelo pressed him on his promised support for comprehensive immigration reform, a sore spot for some Latino voters given the lack of a successful bill so far.

Today's interview with Michelle Obama, taped in-studio yesterday, is yet another testament to the growing influence of Spanish-language media and, as election season rolls around, the power of the highly-coveted Latino vote. Obama's remark above was in response to a question from Sotelo about "the importance of voting." The interview was aired on Univision radio stations around the country.

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'They Keep Coming' in a 'Wave'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLIzzs2HHgY

One of the striking things about "The Wave," the latest and perhaps most controversial of the immigration-related ads produced by the campaign of Nevada's Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle, is how similar it is in its tone to what is perhaps the granddaddy of the illegal-human-tide campaign ad genre, a television spot from former governor Pete Wilson's 1994 re-election campaign known as "They Keep Coming."

The ad starts with a video image from the early 1990s (one that was repeated for years on television as synonymous with illegal immigration) of people running north into the United States from Mexico, along the southbound lanes of the San Ysidro border crossing. Rushing the southbound lanes was a maneuver that some smugglers encouraged for a period back then, as was telling border crossers to run across Interstate 5 to avoid border security, a tactic that led many to their death on the highway.

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Voto Latino's Rosario Dawson on the Patt Morrison show

This afternoon's Patt Morrison show on 89.3 KPCC will feature an interview with Rosario Dawson, the actress who in 2004 co-founded Voto Latino, a non-partisan voter outreach organization that targets young Latinos, in particular those who are U.S.-born and English-dominant.

In the years since, the group has registered more than 35,000 voters, combining pop culture, politics and social media in its outreach. The 31-year-old actress-activist and New York native (whose ethnicity is described in the Internet Movie Database as including Afro-Cuban, Puerto Rican, Native American and Irish heritage) has been appearing in films since she was a teenager, with prominent roles in feature films that include the film version of the Broadway musical "Rent," "Clerks II" and "Sin City."

Dawson will talk about last-minute efforts to get Latino voters to the polls and the top issues they face in this midterm election year, including immigration and the economy. The show airs at 1 p.m., with the interview scheduled to air between 2:20 and 2:30 p.m.

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The ten (or eleven) political races in which the Latino vote may count the most

Photo by Terry Chay/Flickr (Creative Commons)

At a polling place in San Francisco, November 2008

Because everyone loves a good list, here's an interesting one that the San Francisco Chronicle posted today on its politics blog: The 10 political races in which the Latino vote will be decisive this Nov. 2.

At the top of the list is the Nevada senate race, in which Democratic incumbent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is running against Republican challenger Sharron Angle. Two California races also made the list, including the race for the 47th Congressional District in Orange County in which Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat, is up against Republican rival Van Tran, a Vietnamese-American member of the state assembly.

Also on the list is the California senate race. From the post:

Republican Carly Fiorina narrowly trails incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer in the latest polls. Boxer is counting on strong support from the state's sizable Mexican-American population to put her over the top on Election Day. Boxer may benefit from a Latino backlash against Republicans following gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman's controversy over hiring — and firing — a housekeeper who was in the country illegally.

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