How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Westlake unrest dubbed 'LA Machete Riots' by immigration restriction group

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I16020r--oM

Last Friday in a post about the new Robert Rodriguez action flick "Machete," which opened last Friday, I mentioned how a radio talk-show host had warned his fans on video about the movie prompting a race war. This possibility seemed highly unlikely, given that the film comes off more as cheeky mockery of the immigration debate than anything else. But, I wrote, if we awoke over the holiday weekend to looters and torch-wielding mobs, perhaps it would go down in history as the Machete Riots.

Now, a conservative immigration-restriction group in North Carolina is applying that exact term to the recent protests, at times violent, over last weekend's fatal police shooting of a Guatemalan day laborer in Los Angeles' Westlake district.

Here's part of what the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, or ALIPAC, has on its website today under the heading, "Update on the LA Machete Riots:"

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Go Doyers!

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Sport

Festive Doyer fans at a Dodgers vs. Giants game, April 2009

Now for a story that I absolutely freaking love: The trademarking of "Los Doyers" (as in the accented Spanish mispronunciation of "Dodgers") by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team trademarked "Los Doyers," by now a nickname so common that it's mispronounced on purpose, last month. The Dodgers organization has been selling team paraphernalia with the "Los Doyers" logo, including t-shirts and hats.

The blog vinscullyismyhomeboy.com found and posted the trademark information over the weekend, along with my favorite little snippet so far, a parsing-out of the mispronunciation subtleties between Mexicans and Cubans:

"Yesterday I asked my mom to say Dodgers. She said 'Doyers.' I asked my dad to say Dodgers. He said 'Dogers.' I guess Mexicans say 'Doyers' and Cubans say 'Dogers.' Maybe the Europeans pronounce it 'Dojers.' Shoud I trademark it?"

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Social Security, bolstered by unauthorized workers

Photo by Bruce Bortin/Flickr (Creative Commons)

It's well known that undocumented immigrants often present false or borrowed identification, including Social Security cards and numbers, in order to find work in the underground economy. But there is a side to this story that is seldom explored: How the Social Security taxes paid by these workers aren't reclaimed as benefits, at least not by those who make the payments. This unused money makes for a substantial amount that helps keep the trust fund afloat.

Perhaps this is why a great piece that appeared in the Washington Post over the weekend keeps making the Twitter re-tweet rounds. In the piece, syndicated columnist Edward Schumacher-Matos shares an interview he did with a top Social Security official as part of a book project, during which he learned that the estimated contributions to the Social Security trust fund from unauthorized workers' wages are much higher than previously thought. He writes:

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