How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

287(g) basics: How the federal-local immigration partnership works

Photo by 888bailbonds/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A Los Angeles County prisoner bus, June 2009

Last night, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to extend the county’s participation in a partnership between Sheriff’s Department officials and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement known as 287(g), which allows deputies to screen people who land in county jail for immigration status.

Just what is 287(g)? The federal program derives its odd name from a 1996 amendment to the immigration law that authorized it. From the ICE website:

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 added Section 287(g), performance of immigration officer functions by state officers and employees, to the Immigration and Nationality Act. This authorizes the secretary of DHS to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of ICE officers.

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CDC report: Latinas live longer

Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Doctors with patient, Seattle, 1999

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its first-ever report on Hispanic life expectancy, and the long-life winners are Latinas, whose life expectancy tops the list at 83.1 years.

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics issued its "United States Life Tables by Hispanic Origin" today, with the tables based on 2006 death rate data.

Among the groups compared in the report, Hispanic females have the highest life expectancy at birth (83.1 years), followed by non-Hispanic white females (80.4 years), Hispanic males (77.9 years), non-Hispanic black females (76.2 years), non-Hispanic white males (75.6 years), and non-Hispanic black males (69.2 years).

Latinos live longer in general: According to the report, life expectancy at birth for the total population in 2006 was 77.7 years; 80.6 years for the Hispanic population, 78.1 years for the non-Hispanic white population, and 72.9 years for the non-Hispanic black population.

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In the news this morning: Fox in Spanish, Whitman in Mandarin, County supervisors continue immigration program, more

Harold Meyerson - Latino voters may make the difference for California Democrats on Election Day - The Washington Post In 2008, Latinos were 21 percent of California voters -- a six-point increase over their share in the 2006 midterms.

Fox News launches Latino site FoxNewsLatino.com - NYPOST.com The network has debuted FoxNewsLatino.com,  a bilingual site launched weeks before the midterm elections.

PolitiFact | Spanish language ad claims Sen. Barbara Boxer voted against immigration reform PolitiFact clarifies, gets into history behind ad running on Spanish language TV in several large California markets.

Meg Whitman: Now available in Mandarin and Cantonese| PolitiCal | Los Angeles Times Whitman has expanded her multilingual advertising beyond Spanish to include Mandarin and Cantonese, with her campaign announcing the two new spots yesterday.

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OC in color: The ethnicity map

Art by Eric Fischer/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A color-coded ethnicity map of Orange County, based on census data

Last month I posted a color-coded map of the Los Angeles area based on race and ethnicity, the work of artist Eric Fischer, who has created a series of similar maps of U.S. cities based on 2000 Census data.

This map of Orange County, also by Fischer, illustrates the ethnic makeup of the county thus, per an explanation by Fischer on his Flickr page:

I was astounded by Bill Rankin’s map of Chicago’s racial and ethnic divides and wanted to see what other cities looked like mapped the same way. To match his map, Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, Orange is Hispanic, Gray is Other, and each dot is 25 people.

Specific cities within Orange County can be identified by dragging the cursor over the map.

The map is especially interesting in light of how the county's demographic changes have become a factor in the race for the 47th Congressional District, which encompasses the cities of cities of Garden Grove and Santa Ana and takes in parts of Fullerton and Anaheim. The changing face of Orange County had a role in the 1996 defeat of incumbent Bob Dornan, a Republican, by Loretta Sanchez, a Latina and a Democrat. Now Van Tran, a Vietnamese-American and a Republican, is vying for Sanchez's seat.

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Quote of the moment: On the ascent of the Chilean miners

"May God help all of them to get out. The Atacama desert is unforgiving. Some 60 years ago, God saved my own life when my truck rolled over in the proximity of that mine. I barely got to Copiapo, drenched in black gasoil, but uninjured.

"Speaking of the miners, they should get an agent to manage their affairs collectively. They also need a book writer and a movie director. And a good rest. May God bless them!"

- a comment posted by "xxl maroc" on Latina blogger Fausta's Blog


Media offers are reportedly already coming as the trapped miners begin their hopeful ascent after two months underground.

In Los Angeles, where a small Chilean-American community is scattered around town, some people have dropped into the Rincon Chileno restaurant on Melrose to cheer the rescue on in unison. (And so has the media, according to restaurant staff.)

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