How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: Obama on the 'Piolín' show, an 'anti-jihad' industry, veterans facing deportation, more

Obama: Fate of immigration reform hinges on election - The Hill Some highlights of President Obama's in-studio interview with L.A.'s "Piolín por la Mañana" host Eddie Sotelo. The interview was taped Friday and aired this morning.

Naturalization docs add security features - USA Today New naturalization certificates will have features to prevent tampering and forgery.

Anti-Muslim crusaders make millions spreading fear - The Tennessean A report on a multi-million-dollar "anti-jihad" industry that employs self-proclaimed experts.

Tony Blair's sister-in-law converts to Islam - AFP The former British prime minister's sister-in-law Lauren Booth converted recently following a visit to Iran.

Whitman loses ground with Latinos, poll finds - San Francisco Chronicle Whitman's firing of her undocumented maid, and her handling of the resulting controversy, has damaged her standing among Latinos in the governor's race.


Poll: Majority of CA voters say immigrants working here illegally should be able to stay

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

An undocumented housekeeper on her cleaning rounds, mopping a Los Angeles apartment, October 2010

A story in yesterday's Los Angeles Times reported the results of a new LAT/University of Southern California poll that found most California voters to hold a positive view of immigrants, as well as a lenient attitude toward those here illegally.

Among a random sample of 1,501 California voters, 48 percent of those likely to cast ballots in November said that immigrants were a benefit to the state as opposed to a burden, according to the poll. A majority also felt that those contributing to the economy should be allowed to stay.

From the story:

Separately, 59% of likely voters said that an illegal immigrant who had lived and worked in the United States for at least two years should be allowed to remain here if discovered. More than 2 in 5 voters said they felt strongly that such an option should be available. Only 30% of likely voters thought the illegal immigrant should be deported, and only 19% backed that option strongly.


Quotes of the moment: Muslims on NPR's Williams incident as a teachable moment

Photo by HORIZON/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The interior of a mosque in Ishafan, Iran, May 2006

"We need to use this moment as a catalyst to open a national debate about the grievous misconceptions, fear and suspicion about Islam and Muslims. This discussion needs to be elevated to ethical discourse beyond biases and prejudices."

- Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, on NPR's dismissal of Juan Williams

The reaction from Muslim civil rights groups to the network's firing of veteran journalist and news analyst Williams last week - and his comment about Muslims that led up to it - has been varied, with some taking a more forgiving attitude than others.

Williams remarked last week during an appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" that getting on a plane and seeing people in "Muslim garb" made him nervous. In reaction, the national Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement calling on called on Muslim Americans and the general public to contact NPR and "take appropriate action."


The richest man in L.A. (and new owner of Magic's stake in the Lakers), part 2

Photo: Abraxis BioScience

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong

Yesterday I wrote about Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the former surgeon turned billionaire cancer-drug developer, philanthropist, and now owner of what was Magic Johnson's small share in the Los Angeles Lakers.

Soon-Shiong started out in South Africa as the child of an immigrant Chinese village doctor. Today the 58-year-old is the wealthiest person in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal, ahead of familiar names like Eli Broad and David Geffen.

I shared a bit of what I learned about the billionaire Lakers fan on this morning's Madeleine Brand Show, which featured a segment on Soon-Shiong and how he became the wealthiest Angeleno that most people have never heard of, until now.


In the news this morning: Whitman and Latino voters, Williams' extended Fox contract, immigration dismissals, more

Whitman struggling to close the deal with Latinos - 89.3 KPCC Meg Whitman had hoped to win over more Latino voters, who make up about a fifth of the state's electorate, to beat Jerry Brown in the race for governor.

Fox News Gives Juan Williams $2 Million Contract - 89.3 KPCC NPR has been sharply criticized for firing news analyst Juan Williams for remarks he made about Muslims on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor." Fox, meanwhile, has extended Williams' contract with the network.

In WA, illegal immigrants canvassing for votes - The Washington Post They know it's risky, but undocumented immigrants are among the volunteers canvassing neighborhoods in the Seattle area trying to get naturalized citizens to cast ballots.

Three Latino stars shine for GOP - The Washington Post New Mexico's Republican candidate for governor Susana Martinez is one of a trio of Latino Republicans poised to win high office this year, in part by running on an anti-immigration platform.