How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

American snapshot: Lynwood

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Patrons posing with giant anthropomorphic food at Plaza Mexico, in Lynwood.

Tourists taking photos in the pedestrian zone of downtown Guanajuato? No, it's Plaza Mexico, the Mexican-themed, Korean-American-developed and owned shopping and entertainment complex in Lynwood, Calif. It's the closest thing I've seen to a Mexico theme park. I'm a fan.

Read More...

Haven't heard of State Question 755? Here's why you should

Photo by Chriszwolle/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A photo of an Oklahoma state highway map, February 2010

The Atlantic's politics editor Marc Ambinder wrote yesterday about an as-of-yet obscure "anti-Sharia law" initiative that has made it onto the Oklahoma state ballot, and how if it performs well with voters, we might see a series of similar initiatives used as a cultural wedge issue in other states. From the post:

Will anti-Sharia law initiatives be in future election cycles what anti-gay marriage initiatives were before? That is, a cultural wedge issue the GOP uses to ensure that hard-core conservatives enthusiastically flock to the polls?

If so, then Oklahoma is the proverbial canary in the coal mine for this type of initiative. One of 11 ballot initiatives in the state this November, State Question 755, better known as the "Save Our State" constitutional amendment, would prevent courts from using international or Sharia law. The question made it to the ballot by passing the state Senate 41-2 and the House 82-10. In addition to potentially rallying the conservative base to the polls, the initiative, which bans something that is nearly impossible statutorily, is worth watching because the GOP may employ it in swing states two years down the line.

Read More...

In the news this morning: The midterms approach with immigration politics, the Sanchez-Tran race, GOP Latinos, more

Immigration and the Midterm Elections - Council on Foreign Relations A backgrounder on the relationship between immigration and politics as the election nears.

Tran Counts on Big Vietnamese Turnout in CA-47 - Real Clear Politics "The Viets come out," said Van Tran, Loretta Sanchez' Republican opponent for the 47th District congressional seat. "Although they're small, they're powerful and potent because they come out in force as a bloc."

The Buzz: Van Tran mailer raises big stink about Loretta Sanchez - Fresno Bee ¡Que peste! Tran's campaign has also been sending out malodorous scratch-and-sniff mailers in opposition to Sanchez.

The Plum Line: Sharron Angle ad shows Mexican border -- after she insisted her ads weren't about Latinos - The Washington Post From the story: "...it features the now-familiar imagery of young swarthy men looking generally menacing."

Read More...

What we talk about when we talk about profiling people in airports

Photo by amrufm/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A cheery group of travelers, the women in Muslim head scarves, or hijab, walks through an airport. April, 2009

Most of the reader comments that have flooded news sites since NPR's dismissal of news analyst Juan Williams last week, following a remark he made about Muslims during an appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," have been either about his comment or the network's decision to fire him.

But some people have taken Williams' remark - about becoming nervous when he got on a plane and saw people in "Muslim garb" - and provided their own opinions about the profiling of Muslims and others in airports. Some have posted comments about being profiled, others about doing the profiling. Here are a few excerpts from the past few days.

On the KPCC website under an audio clip from Friday's AirTalk program with Larry Mantle, which aired a segment Friday on the Williams incident, "Hargobind" posted:

Read More...

Quote of the moment: Obama on immigration reform and the DREAM Act

"I am still holding out to see if we can get the DREAM Act passed and AgJOBS passed as part of a broader package so we allow ten to twelve million out there who are living in the shadows to come out and not live in fear.

"Obviously, the DREAM Act would be better than nothing."

- President Barack Obama, speaking on this morning's “Piolín por la Mañana" radio show in Los Angeles


The President's in-studio interview with popular Univision host Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo was taped Friday and aired today. Obama provided the above response as part of his answer when Sotelo asked about Obama's support of the DREAM Act, reintroduced as a stand-alone bill in the Senate after a defense bill it was attached to failed to win enough votes. The proposed legislation would provide a path to legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or enlist in the military.

Read More...