Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Top five immigration stories of 2010, #2: The Dream Act

A student's bold statement, December 8, 2010
Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act wasn't new when 2010 rolled around. The proposed legislation, which would have granted conditional legal status to undocumented young people who attended college or joined the military, had already been knocking around Congress for almost a decade when it was reintroduced last year.

Still, this year has been the Dream Act's biggest by far. After failing as an attachment to a Senate defense bill voted down in September, it was introduced again as a stand-alone bill. In December, it came as close as it ever has to becoming law, clearing the House Dec. 8, but falling five votes short of cloture in the Senate ten days later. The most recent version, tightened and reintroduced in late November, would have allowed young people under 30 to apply for legal status if they met all the requirements, including having arrived before age 16.


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'Non-consensual' immigration?

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The ongoing conversation over what to call immigrants who illegally arrived here or overstayed visas took a weird turn yesterday, when a Fox News host compared unauthorized immigration to unauthorized sex, as in rape.

Megyn Kelly made the rape comment during a segment on the use of "illegal" versus "undocumented," as suggested by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the subject of a recent opinion piece published on the website of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Talking Points Memo had the following transcript:

"You could say that a burglar is an unauthorized visitor. You know, you could say that a rapist is a non-consensual sex partner which, obviously, would be considered offensive to the victims of those crimes," Kelly said. "So how far could you take this?"

"What if there was a push by the criminal defense... bar to re-brand the use of the word rapist to nonconsensual sex partner?"


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In the news this morning: Military dad in deportation, Muslim women, immigration reform prospects, Pearce on 14th Amendment, more

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Marine's immigrant father faces deportation - The Washington Post Juan Andres, 41, arrived here as a teenager. His son, a U.S. Marine, is headed to Afghanistan.

Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U.S. - New York Times They have achieved a level of success and visibility unmatched elsewhere, some women say, molded by the freedoms of the U.S.

Bleak prospects for comprehensive immigration reform in near future - The Hill Voices on all sides of the immigration debate say it’s unlikely there will be much movement on immigration reform during the next two years.

Muslim family claims bias at pool owned by county - Chicago Sun-Times The family charges that it was barred from entering the public aquatic center last year because of their attire.

YouTube - CNN: Arizona's new immigration fight Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce talks about his planned challenge to the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to people born in the U.S.


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A true L.A. marching band

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Rose Parade bands strut at Bandfest from 89.3 KPCC on Vimeo.

I loved this video shot by my KPCC colleague Shirley Jahad this afternoon at Pasadena City College, where bands that will be marching in the Tournament of Roses this weekend performed in the annual Bandfest.

The band performing is the Los Angeles Unified School District's All City Marching Band, a multiethnic unit composed of kids representing 60 high schools around the city, marching to Celia Cruz's salsa megahit "La Vida Es Un Carnaval." The combination is beautifully L.A.


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Top five immigration stories of 2010, #3: Secure Communities and 287(g)

A Los Angeles County prisoner bus, June 2009. The county extended its participation in the federal 287(g) program in October.
Photo by 888bailbonds/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The record number of deportations carried out in the past two years by immigration officials under the Obama administration has been fueled, in large part, by the use of two controversial federal programs that work in cooperation with local agencies, Secure Communities and 287(g).

Both predate the current administration, but their use has been expanded as the Obama administration has shifted its focus to catching and deporting immigrants with criminal records, which the programs are meant to target. Administration officials have lauded both as instrumental to enforcement, culminating with the deportation of almost 800,000 immigrants in two years.

But neither program has worked exactly as planned, drawing heavy scrutiny this year from both immigrant advocates and government officials, including some in jurisdictions that have tried to opt out of one  - the Secure Communities fingerprint-sharing program - and learned they can't.


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