How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: Lou Dobbs' hiring practices, Meg Whitman's maid, record deportations and more

Report: Lou Dobbs Used Illegal Immigrant Labor - Political Hotsheet - CBS News The "what the..." story of the moment: CBS' take on The Nation's investigation (below) into Dobbs' hiring practices.

Lou Dobbs, American Hypocrite | The Nation The Dobbs hiring story as broken by The Nation, whose investigation included interviews with former employees who allegedly worked without papers.

Attorney: Whitman's ex-housekeeper has 20-year U.S. work, tax history - Sacramento Bee More on Nicandra Diaz Santillan, the undocumented former housekeeper of gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

U.S. deportations reach record high - The Washington Post U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement attributes the record deportations under the Obama administration to the 287g and Secure Communities programs, which involve cooperation with local law enforcement agencies.

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An Arizona-style initiative in California?

Photo by Sam/Flickr (Creative Commons)

California state flag, San Francisco, October 2008

Shortly before Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration measure was signed into law last spring, I spoke with a few political experts about what sort of ripple effect it might have. The general consensus was that there would definitely be one, with similar bills introduced in state legislatures and as ballot initiatives. But this would be more likely in states relatively new to the immigration debate, where culture clashes are felt most intensely. In California, given its immigrant history and the legacy of Proposition 187 (the 1994 ballot initiative that sought to bar undocumented immigrants from public services, was voted in, but failed to make it through a court challenge) an attempt at an Arizona-style law in California seemed unlikely.

But then, anything is possible in California. On September 30, Michael Erickson, a Tea Party activist from the small Bay Area city of Belmont, filed a proposal with the state attorney general's office in Sacramento for a ballot initiative to create the "Support Federal Immigration Law Act." He billed it as "Arizona-style immigration reform" in an e-mailed news release yesterday.

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In the news this morning: Brewer and SB 1070, records deaths in AZ, CA governor's race and more

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer slams 'foreign interference' in immigration lawsuit - POLITICO.com Gov. Brewer has asked a federal court not to allow foreign governments to join the U.S. Justice Department’s suit to overturn the law.

314 New Immigration Laws Passed This Year - Latina In the first half of this year, 44 state legislatures enacted 314 immigration laws and resolutions, 21 percent more than in the same time period in 2009.

Feds Tight-Lipped on Results of Immigration Enforcement - Huffington Post A non-partisan research center has accused U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency of withholding controversial enforcement data.

Shifting Tides in Governors' Races: Brown Now 3:1 Favorite - NYTimes.com Jerry Brown is a 75 percent favorite to become the next governor of California, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecasting model.

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To taco truck or not to taco truck? Tonight, a forum on the food truck scene

Photo by TK/Flickr (Creative Commons)

An unidentified taco truck on the Westside, January 2009.

Did you know that yesterday was National Taco Day? Yeah, well, I didn't either.

But it brings me to the following: Fans and non-fans of taco trucks and non-taco trucks will be descending on 89.3 KPCC's Crawford Family Forum tonight for a discussion of the city's food truck scene, moderated by Air Talk host Larry Mantle. City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who has introduced measures that would regulate the trucks, will face off against food truck owners and supporters.

City officials are set to meet in mid-October to debate proposals that could seriously curb food truck operation in the Miracle Mile district and much of the city.

The event is open to the public, though seats are limited. The best part, for some at least, will be the non-taco truck food. Trucks present will include The Grilled Cheese Truck, the Border Grill truck (which does offer tacos, though upscale ones), Kabob 'n Roll and The Place LA, all selling their offerings outside between 4 p.m and 6 p.m. The debate, to be recorded and aired during a future broadcast, will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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Pew voter survey: Two-thirds of Latino voters plan to support Democrats

A new report from the Pew Hispanic Center indicates significantly stronger support for Democratic candidates among Latino voters this year, though voter motivation is weak overall, and conservative Latinos appear more motivated to go to the polls.

According to a nationwide survey, two-thirds (65 percent) of Latino registered voters said they planned to support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional district. Less than a fourth (22 percent) planned to support the Republican candidate.

However, when it came to going to the polls, only one-third (32 percent) of Latino voters said they had given this year's general election "quite a lot" of thought, compared with half of all registered voters. Only 51 percent of Latino registered voters said they were certain they would go to the pols, compared with 70 percent of all registered voters.

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