How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: A town that Latinos are leaving, big political shift expected on immigration, the value of Kwanzaa and more

Citing police abuse, Hispanics leaving Conn. town - The Associated Press Racial profiling allegations began about two years ago in East Haven, a predominantly Italian-American suburb 70 miles northeast of New York City. Said one Puerto Rican resident: "We can't tolerate the town anymore."

Immigration overhaul: President Obama's push for reform appears dead - Los Angeles Times With GOP leadership in the House, a return to enforcement-based and border related security measures is predicted.

In Congress, a harder line on illegal immigrants - The Washington Post From the Associated Press story: "In a matter of weeks, Congress will go from trying to help young, illegal immigrants become legal to debating whether children born to parents who are in the country illegally should continue to enjoy automatic U.S. citizenship."


American snapshot: Christmas in Alhambra

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

One of a series of well-decorated front lawns on an Alhambra street, December 23, 2010

Santa flies the Stars and Stripes outside a Latino household in the San Gabriel Valley majority minority city, whose population is about half Asian and a third Latino. Alhambra recently became home to a multilingual community news website in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, and ????? (and please, Mandarin speakers, correct me if that means something totally different). Happy holidays to all.


In the news, this afternoon: Immigration reform prospects dim, another migrant kidnapping, more

In new Congress, detours ahead for immigration bills - USA Today From Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, which advocates for restricted immigration: "Nothing is going to happen. The House will kill everything."

Mexico announces investigation of kidnapping of 50 Central American migrants - Los Angeles Times A day after declaring that such an incident did not take place, Mexican officials now say they are investigating the reported mass kidnapping of Central American migrants in Chiapas.

2012 hopefuls to skip Hispanic forum - Politico Concerns are raised over most GOP presidential hopefuls so far declining to attend a Latino leadership forum in Miami next month, given the party's presently strained relationship with Latino voters.

Deportation request dropped for man in NYC probe - The Washington Post Immigration officials have dropped a deportation case against Mohammad Shafiq Rahman, one of three Pakistani men detained in connection with the botched Times Square car bombing. The man who admitted to rigging the bomb has been sentenced to life in prison.


'The landscape we'll be exploring,' revisited

Photo by Joe Goldberg/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A good late morning to all.

I'm getting off to a later start today after spending part of the morning going through older posts, a little prep work for a year-end report. And while doing so I came across this initial post from July, when this blog was launched, in which I described what Multi-American was setting out to do:

Our goal is to explore Southern California’s evolving identity as a place where the cultural landscape is constantly being shaped and reshaped by immigrants, their children and grandchildren, with each new generation contributing its own brand of American identity to the mix.

We’ll report on the immigration debate, and on the policies and politics that affect Southern California residents as they play out in their communities, but also something broader: on immigration as a topic that defines our regional identity. What New York was to the 19th century, Southern California is to the 21st. This is the landscape we’ll be exploring.


No House vote on Armenian genocide resolution

Photo by Clinton Steeds/Flickr (Creative Commons)

An East Hollywood mural painted in memory of the Armenian genocide, February 2007

A hoped for last-minute House vote on a resolution that would have officially recognized the Armenian genocide of nearly a century ago didn't happen today, as representatives adjourned for the holidays without a floor vote. Here's an excerpt from KPCC Washington correspondent Kitty Felde's story this afternoon on House Resolution 252:

Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff cosponsored the resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide. He acknowledges that the resolution is largely symbolic, but he says it’s very important to the families of people who lost relatives. "Elie Wiesel, the holocaust survivor has said that the denial of genocide is the last chapter of genocide. And you only need to speak to a family of survivors of the Armenian genocide to understand the truth of those words."

Schiff – whose district includes parts of heavily Armenian Glendale - says the failure of the US government to officially recognize the genocide undermines its human rights efforts elsewhere in the world.