How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: Arrests in AZ after immigration bill hearings, Italy's immigration crisis, immigrant workers and Oscar, more

Raucous week for Arizona immigration law hearing - Arizona Capitol Times Six people have been arrested at the state Senate, and at least two blocked from returning, after state senators gave the green light to stringent anti-illegal immigration legislation last week. Senate President Russell Pearce says he has authority over who can and cannot enter the building.

Canada near top in integrating immigrants, survey says - The Globe and Mail A survey places Canada close to the top in terms of integrating its immigrants, placing third behind Sweden and Portugal.

New Migrants Flock to Italy, Intensifying Immigration Debate - New America Media There's also a raging immigration debate going on in Italy, with thousands of Tunisians and other North Africans fleeing to the southern islands of Sicily and Lampedusa as a result of political upheaval.


Join us: Second-generation types liveblog the Oscars

Photo by Adarsh Upadhyay/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Academy Awards statuette replicas at a Universal Studios gift shop in Singapore, December 2010

It's true. Please join KPCC's OnCentral blog editor Kim Bui and me Sunday night as we reveal and celebrate Oscar's immigrant past and present. We'll throw out some trivia (which best actor nominee once had to pay a bribe while visiting a relative in Poland?).

We'll also be keeping score to see how many Oscar points go to the players who have relatively recent immigrant roots - and who these players are. It may well be what many have called "the whitest Oscars" in a decade, but will the nominees who are children and grandchildren of immigrants represent?

Join us and find out. We'll be going live at 5 p.m. Sign up below for an e-mail reminder.

UPDATE: And here's the point system we'll be using for anyone who wants to keep a tally. It's not scientific - hey, we're all descended from immigrants - but it shows us that even this year, there's more diversity to the Oscars than meets the eye.


'Standing with the Eleven Million:' Immigration a centerpiece of Cardinal Mahony's mixed legacy

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Cardinal Roger Mahony speaks at a rally in support of the Dream Act in downtown Los Angeles, December 2010

Last month, as Cardinal Roger Mahony prepared to pass along the leadership of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to Archbishop Jose Gomez this coming Sunday, L.A.'s current Catholic leader - and perhaps its top clergyman-blogger - posted a lengthy piece titled "Retirement Plans: Standing with the Eleven Million."

In it, Mahony wrote about continuing his activism on immigration reform. From the post:

Over these many years, I have been constantly called and challenged by the words of Jesus: “For I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35), echoing God’s mandate to his people in the Old Testament.

Over the years immigrant peoples have become very dear to me, and Jesus continues to call me to walk with them on their journey. I intend to spend the coming months and years walking in solidarity with the 11,000,000 immigrants who have come to the United States to improve their own lives and the life of our country and to advocate on behalf of the silent millions. In a special way I look forward to collaborating closely with our United States Bishops’ Conference and the Committee on Migration and Refugees which is now chaired by the next Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Most Reverend José H. Gomez.

For so many immigrants in the United States today, life is not easy. With the terrible downturn in the economy the past two years, millions of people have lost jobs in every field of employment. Many have had to give up their homes and to make deep sacrifices to keep their families going. So many voices blame immigrant peoples for our economic woes. This is unjust and flies in the face of the facts.

Some 11,000,000 of our immigrant brothers and sisters are misunderstood and maligned. Without legal documents, their livelihoods and their very lives are at risk. They live in the shadows of our society. They are easy targets of blame for everything that has gone wrong, and is going wrong, with our country. But a little historical perspective sheds light on our current situation and gives hope for the future, helping us to see immigrants not as “those people,” but as brothers and sisters living in our communities with the same longings and aspirations as all Americans.


In the news this morning: Men convicted in PA hate murder sentenced, Oscar snubs, an almost-deported U.S. citizen and more

Luis Ramirez’s Attackers Get Nine Years in Prison for Deadly Beating - ColorLines Two Pennsylvania men have been sentenced for their involvement in the 2008 beating death of Luis Ramirez, a Mexican immigrant.

Ky. prof Mark Wattier retiring after slavery remark to students - The Washington Post A Murray State University professor is retiring after making controversial remarks referring to slavery while making a point about tardiness to two black students last semester.

Our Biggest Oscar Snubs - Latina From the story: "With the exception of Biutiful's two nominations—one for Best Leading Actor (Javier Bardem) and another for Best Foreign Language Film—Latinos were ignored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in 2011."

Violent immigration fraud ring members indicted: officials - Reuters From the story: "More than 20 members of a network that allegedly forged documents for illegal immigrants and engaged in kidnapping, beating and murder to protect its turf have been indicted for racketeering."


East L.A.'s Self Help Graphics is moving

Photo by Memo Pisa El Lodo/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The familiar tile-studded building at the corner of Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Gage Avenue that since the late 1970s has housed Self Help Graphics & Art will no longer be home to the revered art center, an Eastside fixture whose recent years have been rough ones.

On Thursday the center announced its impending move to 1300 E. 1st Street, the site of a former fish packing plant near the L.A. River in Boyle Heights, which it will share with a business that works on large-scale art installations. The move comes three years after the building, which had been owned by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was sold to a private investment firm that since put it up for sale.

From a news release:

The high cost of rent at 3802 Cesar Chavez in addition to a reduction in the use of space created the need for Self Help to search for a new location. The search also included the serious exploration of purchasing the 3802 Cesar Chavez Avenue building. The move to the new location at 1300 1st Street comes with a substantial decrease in monthly rent.