How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Ouch: "Perhaps Lou & Mage (sic) Whitman use the same staffing firm?"

A story that appeared today in The Nation, since reported elsewhere, alleges that undocumented immigrants worked for former CNN host Lou Dobbs, tending to his properties and to his daughter's prize horses. The story has since been picked up by several other news outlets. Dobbs is best known, of course, for his extremely strict position on illegal immigration, which has included advocating criminal penalties for those who hire unauthorized workers.

The former host of Lou Dobbs Tonight has since criticized the liberal magazine's investigation as a "hit piece" and denies having hired illegally, making the point that it is not his responsibility to check papers. According to The Nation, which interviewed five people who allegedly worked for Dobbs while undocumented, the workers were hired by contractors.


In the news this morning: Lou Dobbs' hiring practices, Meg Whitman's maid, record deportations and more

Report: Lou Dobbs Used Illegal Immigrant Labor - Political Hotsheet - CBS News The "what the..." story of the moment: CBS' take on The Nation's investigation (below) into Dobbs' hiring practices.

Lou Dobbs, American Hypocrite | The Nation The Dobbs hiring story as broken by The Nation, whose investigation included interviews with former employees who allegedly worked without papers.

Attorney: Whitman's ex-housekeeper has 20-year U.S. work, tax history - Sacramento Bee More on Nicandra Diaz Santillan, the undocumented former housekeeper of gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

U.S. deportations reach record high - The Washington Post U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement attributes the record deportations under the Obama administration to the 287g and Secure Communities programs, which involve cooperation with local law enforcement agencies.


An Arizona-style initiative in California?

Photo by Sam/Flickr (Creative Commons)

California state flag, San Francisco, October 2008

Shortly before Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration measure was signed into law last spring, I spoke with a few political experts about what sort of ripple effect it might have. The general consensus was that there would definitely be one, with similar bills introduced in state legislatures and as ballot initiatives. But this would be more likely in states relatively new to the immigration debate, where culture clashes are felt most intensely. In California, given its immigrant history and the legacy of Proposition 187 (the 1994 ballot initiative that sought to bar undocumented immigrants from public services, was voted in, but failed to make it through a court challenge) an attempt at an Arizona-style law in California seemed unlikely.

But then, anything is possible in California. On September 30, Michael Erickson, a Tea Party activist from the small Bay Area city of Belmont, filed a proposal with the state attorney general's office in Sacramento for a ballot initiative to create the "Support Federal Immigration Law Act." He billed it as "Arizona-style immigration reform" in an e-mailed news release yesterday.


In the news this morning: Brewer and SB 1070, records deaths in AZ, CA governor's race and more

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer slams 'foreign interference' in immigration lawsuit - Gov. Brewer has asked a federal court not to allow foreign governments to join the U.S. Justice Department’s suit to overturn the law.

314 New Immigration Laws Passed This Year - Latina In the first half of this year, 44 state legislatures enacted 314 immigration laws and resolutions, 21 percent more than in the same time period in 2009.

Feds Tight-Lipped on Results of Immigration Enforcement - Huffington Post A non-partisan research center has accused U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency of withholding controversial enforcement data.

Shifting Tides in Governors' Races: Brown Now 3:1 Favorite - Jerry Brown is a 75 percent favorite to become the next governor of California, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecasting model.