How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Quote of the moment: The Reid DREAM Act tweet

"I will move the DREAM Act as a standalone bill in the lame duck. It's good for the economy & Pentagon says good for natl security."

- A tweet from @SenatorReid, posted this afternoon


The tweet came from a verified account of the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada. The advocacy group America's Voice has posted on its website that a Senate vote on the DREAM Act, proposed legislation that would create a path to legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or join the military, is likely to occur after the Thanksgiving break.

A short blurb on the CapitolWirePR site yesterday afternoon noted that during a speech before Latino political leaders yesterday, New York Democratic Rep. Nydia Velasquez announced that House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi had announced a tentative vote date of Nov. 29.

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Author Rick Nahmias on California: "We are the most diverse place for faith in the world."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX6X0v8pvQk&feature=player_embedded

Zócalo Public Square recently featured this great interview with Los Angeles photographer, writer and filmmaker Rick Nahmias, author of Golden States of Grace: Prayers of the Disinherited. The book documents marginalized communities in California practicing their faith, among them Buddhists in San Quentin, a Mormon congregation for the deaf, and Latina sex workers who pray to Santa Muerte, the skeletal sacred figure whose cult originated in Mexico.

In the interview, Nahmias talks about how California's history as a landing place for migrants - including 1930s Dust Bowl Okies, who brought over Baptist and Pentecostal traditions - has made it such a rich place for religious diversity.

This diversity doesn't necessarily beget religious harmony, unfortunately, but it's another testament to California's role as the great melting pot of the 21st century.

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In the news this morning: Female agricultural workers, a tentative DREAM Act vote date, more

Illegal immigrant women face risks, study says - CNN Hardships faced by female agricultural workers are documented in a study by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Virginia Law Reduced Illegal Immigrants, Study Says - New York Times A study has found that an Arizona-style law has reduced the number of undocumented immigrants in Prince William County, but that its effect on violent crime was inconclusive.

Dalia Mogahed: Eid al Adha: Striving for Second Chances - Huffington Post On completing the rites of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The DREAM’s Alive! Obama, Dems Plan Lame-Duck Immigration Vote - ColorLines New York Rep. Nydia Velasquez has announced that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is tentatively planning a DREAM Act vote for Nov. 29.

Undocumented Youth Risk Arrest Asking McCain for Opportunity to Serve — United States Student Association Undocumented military hopefuls are lobbying the D.C. office of Senator John McCain for his support on the DREAM Act.

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Christian church confused for mosque, draws opposition

Photo by Lotus_7/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The dome under construction at the La Luz Del Mundo church in Phoenix, October 2010

Oh, Arizona.

This latest story out of the Grand Canyon State involves not undocumented immigrants, but Christians erroneously believed to be Muslims.

KPHO, a Phoenix CBS affiliate, reports that "concerned neighbors" have been phoning leaders of the local La Luz del Mundo (The Light of the World) church over a new church building under construction that has a large dome, and which the concerned townsfolk have mistaken for an Islamic mosque. Church members have been forced to put up a banner on the dome, pointing out that it is a Christian house of worship they are building.

The story is yet another example of raging anti-Muslim fervor, the craze that is sweeping the nation, from Temecula (where residents have protested the building of an actual mosque) to New York City (no need to explain) to Oklahoma, where voters overwhelmingly approved a state initiative banning Islamic law, though there is no known instance of it ever having been cited in Oklahoma courts.

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