How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Quote of the moment: Loretta Sanchez vs. "Los Vietnameses"

“Los Vietnameses y los Republicanos están con una intensidad de quitar este puesto, este puesto que ya nosotros hemos hecho tanto para nuestra comunidad, quitarnos este puesto y darselo a este Van Tran, que es muy anti-inmigrante y muy anti-Hispano.”

- Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez, 47th Congressional District, during an interview on Univision Sept. 12

Translation, from an excerpt in both languages of Sanchez' statement in the Orange County Register:

“The Vietnamese and the Republicans are, with an intensity, (trying) to take this seat – this seat (from which) we have done so much for our community – to take this seat and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic.”

Understandably, Orange County and beyond is abuzz with what has become the political gaffe of the moment. Sanchez's comment, circulated by political bloggers in recent days, is especially notable coming from a Latina whose landmark defeat of incumbent Rep. Bob Dornan in 1996, a Republican, symbolized the county's ethnic shift away from its past as a mostly white conservative stronghold.


Mr. Colbert goes to Washington (and testifies on immigration)

Stephen Colbert took his "vast expertise," as he put it, gleaned from a day spent working alongside full-time farm workers picking beans and packing corn, to Capitol Hill this morning to testify on migrant farm labor before the House of Representatives.

The Comedy Central funnyman's speech was an interesting mix of in-character performance art, with Colbert in character as his grandstanding "Colbert Report" television pundit, and the occasional moment of sincerity, including one moment during which he seemed to choke up as he described the farm laborers' work as "really hard."

Of course, the in-character one-liners were great. One example:

"I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan, and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."


Quote of the moment: A blogger on the DREAM Act and outsourcing

"It doesn't make sense that in this country we have DREAM Act students now graduating from colleges, some with honors, who not only can't work but must sit on the sidelines and watch workers imported from other countries to do the work they can and should be doing."

- Marisa Treviño, publisher of Latina Lista

From a post today on the Latina Lista blog, titled "Without the DREAM Act, more U.S. jobs will be needlessly foreign outsourced." The post presented a seldom-explored take on the proposed legislation, which would have given a path to legal status to undocumented youths who attend college or join the military. It was derailed yesterday in the U.S. Senate after the defense bill it was attached to failed to win enough votes. Supporters are now pushing for a stand-alone bill.