How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Monterey Park to elderly shoppers: Please don’t take carts home

Abandoned shopping carts

Josie Huang/KPCC

Monterey Park is working to reduce the number of shopping carts abandoned around the city.

Seventy-eight year-old Mrs. Tang leisurely pushed the red shopping cart out of the parking lot of the Hong Kong Super Market, through a busy intersection and onto a sidewalk.

This is how the Monterey Park resident normally transports her groceries — today, several plastic bags filled with eggplant, peppers and lettuce.

“If I take my time, home is about 15 to 20 minutes’ away,” she said in Chinese. Once she arrives, she’ll leave the cart out on the street because “someone will come by with a truck and pick it up.”

Someone invariably does. Grocery stores in Monterey Park and other cities are required to hire cart retrieval services to comb neighboring areas for loose trolleys. Work crews tell the city they collect about 200 carts a day. But they don’t get to them all.

“You see them everywhere now,” Council Member Teresa Real Sebastian said at a recent meeting. “You have to wonder how did they get so far into our residential neighborhoods?”


In Immigration News: bishops at the border, education gap, unlicensed drivers

In Immigration news

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Protesters hold a news conference in Hollywood October 2013 to ask the Governor to speed up the process for unlicensed drivers to apply for driver's licenses in California.

Bishops seek immigration reform during border trip - Associated Press  Roman Catholic bishops are visiting the U.S-Mexico border today, "for an early morning walk in the desert along the border, followed by a Mass at the fence separating the two countries in southern Arizona," according to the story. The goal of the visit is to pressure Washington to act on immigration, and also to memorialize the dozens of immigrants who perish each year during ill-fated attempts to cross the desert into the US.  The delegation's visit follows President Obama's meeting with the Pope last week, during which he said there was still a chance to get a law passed.

Map: The education gap between Asians and other minorities is huge in every state - The Washington Post  A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that Asian-American students scored the highest across the country, followed by whites. "Latinos were a distant third, followed by American Indians and blacks," according to the story. The report's authors looked at 12 measures including early-childhood enrollment, test scores and poverty.


Immigration officials mount campaign against marriage fraud

Marriage fraud

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is rolling out new signs in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. that warn Americans against taking part in marriage fraud.

Here's the set-up: An American marries a foreigner to help a virtual stranger get a green card.

Hollywood calls it the makings of a quirky romance. Immigration officials call it marriage fraud.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it's mounting its first-ever public awareness campaign on marriage fraud in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York.

Hollywood "makes it a warm, fuzzy story," said ICE Special Agent Claude Arnold, who oversees investigations in Los Angeles. "The fact is that these are done by criminal organizations that are just trying to make money arranging the marriages.”

Arnold said his office is currently investigating several marriage fraud rings. The most recent conviction was of Alake “Terry” Ilegbameh of Baldwin Hills. He was sentenced last week to more than two years in prison for arranging sham marriages for Nigerian nationals.


In immigration news: Disenchanted Latino voters, legacy of Filipino farmworkers, kids' court

Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Itliong ufw awoc filipino farmworkers

Photo by Timothy Biley via Flickr Creative Commons

A Mural in Historic Filipino Town features Filipino labor leaders Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Itliong.

Hopes Frustrated, Many Latinos Reject the Ballot Box Altogether - New York Times Latino voting participation has been growing, but some organizers worry about losing some of those gains because of increasing disenchantment with President Obama, who's been nicknamed "deporter-in-chief" and lack of action on immigration, an issue the Republican-controlled House has sidelined since the summer.

DHS document: 68,000 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions released in 2013 - The Hill  According to the story, a think tank that wants stricter enforcement of immigration laws acquired an internal Department of Homeland Security document through a lawsuit showing the agency released nearly 68,000 immigrants with criminal convictions in 2013. The Center for Immigration Studies has been critical of the president's plan to review enforcement policies, under pressure from immigration activists. A spokeswoman for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement did not respond immediately for the story.


#CancelColbert: Suey Park, the activist behind the hashtag


Suey Park

Suey Park, the freelance writer, who ignited a campaign against The Colbert Report with her tweets hashtagged #CancelColbert.

For the record, Suey Park does not like the term "hashtag activism." A freelance writer from the Chicago area, Park says her crusades against sexism and racism go beyond pithy one-liners on Twitter.

But Park, who is 23, doesn't deny she’s got a freakish aptitude for making Twitter campaigns go viral.

"I think I've definitely figured out the trick to make hashtags trend," Park said. "I know what drives  corporations and Twitter kind of crazy."

She's taken aim at everything from racial stereotyping (#NotYourAsianSidekick #BlackPowerYellowPeril) to popular network television shows that have white actors play Asian roles (#HowIMetYourRacism #SaturdayNightLies).

RELATED: When the twit hit the fan: 'I'm still here,' Colbert says

Her most recent target is the fake news show The Colbert Report. She started the #CancelColbert hashtag on Thursday, after the Twitter account for the Comedy Central program tweeted this punchline from an earlier show: