How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

No to the DREAM Act, at least for now

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Janeth Herrera Bucio, center, and other students in Westlake react to news of the Senate vote, September 21, 2010

The U.S. Senate has voted 56-43 against taking up a defense bill with an amendment that would have included the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, known as the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or enlist in the military.

For a group of students who gathered to watch the televised vote in Los Angeles' Westlake district, the news was met with gasps and a few tears. But after nearly a decade of various incarnations of the measure circulating around Congress, the supporters quickly regained their determination.

"Now we're going to push for the DREAM Act as a stand-alone bill," said Leslie Perez, 21, an undocumented UCLA student.

Perez, who dabbed at tears as the vote was read, and others said they were encouraged by a speech by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) that followed the vote; Durbin has long championed the proposed legislation.


Waiting for a DREAM Act vote

Students at a makeshift calling center at the UCLA Labor Center in the Westlake district of Los Angeles watch C-SPAN 2 in anticipation of a U.S. Senate vote on the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or join the military. Since last week, supporters of the proposed legislation have been making calls to legislators from here and other calling banks.

The proposal is attached as an amendment to a defense bill. A vote is expected any minute.


Video: A DREAM Act rally in Los Angeles

Students and supporters of the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act at a rally outside the Roybal Learning Center yesterday afternoon, attended by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Unified School District officials. A story is featured on the 89.3 KPCC website.

The proposed legislation, being voted on by the Senate today as part of a defense bill, would create a path to legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or join the military. Student groups and other supporters have events scheduled in California and other states throughout the week.

A synopsis of what the bill entails can be found here.


L.A. in color: The ethnicity map

Art by Eric Fischer/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A color-coded ethnicity map of the Los Angeles area, based on census data

Perhaps the most interesting thing I've seen all day: A color-coded map of the Los Angeles area based on race and ethnicity, which has been making the rounds all day on Twitter and via several local blogs (and now, finally, this one).

The map is the work of Eric Fischer, who explains it thus on Flickr:

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. Data from Census 2000.

Rankin's work can be found on the website Radical Cartography. More of Fischer's work, including more maps, can be found on his Flickr photostream.