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First Arizona anti-birthright citizenship bills falter in state Senate

A protestor outside the Arizona state Capitol in Phoenix yesterday, February 7, 2011
Photo by Robert Haasch, courtesy of Border Action Network

State Senate legislation in Arizona that sought to deny automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants failed to register enough support in a committee hearing late yesterday, leading its sponsor to pull the two bills, at least for now. From the Arizona Republic:

Based on questioning from committee members, the bills didn't appear to have enough support to move forward.

Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, could bring the bills back to the committee later, or they could be referred to a committee that may be more receptive.

"It's going to come back," said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, who opposes the package.

The Arizona Daily Star reported:
Even before any testimony, Sen. Adam Driggs, R-Phoenix, said the proposal, based on that idea of Arizona citizenship, raises a host of unanswered questions.

"I don't understand how you become an Arizona citizen if you move to Arizona, what the bureaucratic model would be," he said. "Do you then need to bring your own birth certificate and both of your parents' birth certificates?"

There were also several children who spoke against the bill, including 12-year-old Heide Portugal who said she was born in this country but her parents were not and that a measure like this, had it been in effect, would have denied her citizenship.


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In the news this morning: First AZ anti-birthright citizenship bills fail, little optimism for bipartisan reforms, an increasingly diverse U

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Graham, Schumer try again on immigration - USA Today News that Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), have begun "very early talks" about reviving bipartisan immigration reform isn't being greeted with much optimism. One editorial suggested they merited "either a medal or a long rest in a quiet spot in the country."

Birthright-citizenship bills pulled - Arizona Daily Star Two Arizona state Senate bills that sought to deny U.S. citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants failed in committee last night, with sponsor Sen. Ron Gould failing to get enough support. Two companion House bills have yet to be heard.

Among Nation’s Youngest, Analysis Finds Fewer Whites - New York Times Study finds that whites continue to make up a smaller share of an increasingly diverse U.S. population, representing less than half of all 3-year-olds in 2009.


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As Arizona considers birthright citizenship bill, babies (with parents) march

Screen shot from Facebook page for "One-Thousand Baby Chain"

A hearing in the Arizona state Senate Judiciary Committee on legislation whose proponents hope to end birthright citizenship is expected to last late into the night. In response, critics today staged a protest they call the "One-Thousand Baby Chain" outside the state Capitol in Phoenix.

Arizona's SB 1309 was introduced in January by state Sen. Ron Gould, one of four anti-birthright citizenship bills filed together that intend to redefine who is a citizen of Arizona, and differentiate between the children born to undocumented parents and other children when issuing state birth certificates.

The ultimate goal of proponents is to force a Supreme Court review of the 14th Amendment, which as interpreted provides for automatic citizenship to all born on U.S. soil. The bills are among several anti-birthright citizenship bills filed at the federal and state level last month.


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Honoring Jesse Valadez of 'Gypsy Rose,' legendary lowrider

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Four years ago, Lowrider Magazine perhaps best captured the legacy of Jesse Valadez, a pioneer of lowrider culture and L.A. car culture in general who died at age 64 on Jan. 29, and was buried Saturday in Whittier.

In 2007 the magazine named Valadez, the owner of the iconic pink 1964 Impala known as "Gypsy Rose" (above, in action) as that year's recipient of its Lifetime Contributor award. From the piece:

Some of the greatest works of art haven't always been famous. Take for instance, Vincent Van Gogh, the now-famed artist who only sold one painting in his lifetime, but a century later, is recognized as one of the great artists in history. And just as Van Gogh became a well-respected pioneer of what we know as expressionism, our Lifetime Contributor Honor winner Jesse Valadez has that same influence and impact, except in the artistic discipline of lowriding.

Jesse's work has become internationally known, and his crowning achievements have pushed lowriding into a culture far beyond what anyone would have expected. And while it took decades to recognize Van Gogh's talents, it only took a few years for Jesse Valdez to be recognized for his.

Jesse's '64 Chevy Impala, "Gypsy Rose" is best known for its unique floral paint job and vibrant flow, and whether you saw it back in the day out on Whittier Blvd. or in the introduction of the '70s television show Chico And The Man, you know why people used to refer to it as "the world's most famous lowrider."

Gypsy Rose remains one of the lowrider world's most respected vehicles, and Jesse remains a true diplomat of lowriding and a respected veterano who always lends a helping hand. He's also an upholsterer, businessman and community activist, but more importantly, he's a lowrider who helped establish our culture as a force to reckon with.


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As many Egyptian Angelenos rally for reforms, others are hesitant

Ezabelle Attallah, a member of the mostly Egyptian-immigrant Holy Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in northeast Los Angeles.
Photo by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

For a second weekend in a row, Egyptian Americans in Los Angeles joined protesters in other U.S. cities to rally in solidarity with protesters in Egypt demanding that president Hosni Mubarak step down.

USC's Neon Tommy posted a slide show of photos from Saturday's rally outside the federal building in West Los Angeles, which drew hundreds. Another crowd gathered Sunday outside the Egyptian Consulate (video of the rally, above, via

Those attending the local rallies are calling for democratic reforms in Egypt and the end of three decades of rule by Mubarak, a close ally of the United States who in his country is considered a tyrant by many. But one group of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Los Angeles is saying not so fast, fearful that a sudden overturning of Mubarak's government might bring about changes that could put the country's Christian minority at risk.


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