How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Back in the spotlight: The 14th Amendment

Photo by Victoria Bernal/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A baby at a May Day rally in downtown Los Angeles, May 1, 2010

The back-and-forth over the 14th Amendment has recently bubbled back to the top of the immigration-debate cauldron. Until now, the talk of eliminating the constitutional right to U.S. citizenship for all those born in this country or naturalized had stayed in the realm of talk, more or less. Now, legislative efforts to either repeal birthright citizenship outright or force a federal court review are apparently gaining steam.

From a story in Sunday's Arizona Republic:

There are two emerging tracks to challenging the longstanding tenet that almost any baby born on U.S. soil is an automatic citizen. One is a traditional constitutional amendment asserting that one or both parents must be U.S. citizens or at least lawful permanent residents for a baby to qualify for citizenship. The other would be to pass federal or state legislation that could provoke a court battle over the amendment's citizenship clause.


For the late-morning second cup: Croatian mariachi

While checking the Twitter feed after a morning meeting, I came across this, courtesy of @ThinkMexican: a video of Los Caballeros de Croatia, who bill themselves as the "first Croatian mariachi band."

Here is their version of "Cucurrucucu Paloma." Sure, the accent could be ever so slightly better, but altogether, it's not bad.


Five great reads this week, in case you missed them

A few stories and essays stood out this week, providing insight on recent news events, such as the tragic migrant slayings near the Texas border in Mexico, or shedding light on the little-known, as did a standout NPR piece on a new book that analyzes the onetime iconic film character Charlie Chan through the lens of the cultural and racial politics of his era. If you haven't read these yet, enjoy.

Investigating The Real Detective Charlie Chan : NPR (NPR)

Hector Tobar: Immigrant slayings in Mexico: Where's the outrage? - (Los Angeles Times)

Why Something So Trivial Can Be So Dangerous - National - The Atlantic (The Atlantic)

Essayist: Before Burning Quran, Know What's In It : NPR (NPR)

People-Smuggling: No safe passage (The Economist)


A Muslim NYC firefighter on the events of 9/11

This moving short video is part of a series of PSAs released at the beginning of this month by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Islamic civil rights group. The series of three videos is titled "9/11 Happened to All of Us." Two feature first responders, including the firefighter, and a third spot features a several religious leaders from different faiths. The video above was featured today in a post in ColorLines.

The PSAs were released in response to what news reports and polls have indicated is a growing sense of Islamophobia in the United States. The past several weeks have been marked by the highly-publicized public debate and protests over the construction of a planned Islamic cultural center near the site of the former World Trade Center (which, according to today's New York Times, had a Muslim prayer room), and the media circus in Florida over a pastor's now-cancelled plan to burn copies of the Quran.