How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Pew Hispanic Center report: Unauthorized Immigrants and Their U.S.-Born Children

In a newly-released report, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 were born to undocumented parents.

From the report:

Unauthorized immigrants comprise slightly more than 4% of the adult population of the U.S., but because they are relatively young and have high birthrates, their children make up a much larger share of both the newborn population (8%) and the child population (7% of those younger than age 18) in this country.

The figures are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau's March 2009 Current Population Survey. The report comes at a time when much political attention is being focused on the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants, with some Republican leaders stating that they would like to revise the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution so as to not grant these children automatic U.S. citizenship, a constitutional right for people born in this country.

The complete report can be viewed here.


Records from 1970 death of journalist Ruben Salazar may be released

The Los Angeles Times and 89.3 KPCC report that L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca has decided to reconsider a decision to keep investigation records sealed in the death of former LAT columnist and KMEX-TV news director Ruben Salazar, killed by a deputy forty years ago this month.

Salazar died after being struck on the head by a tear gas projectile, fired by a deputy during a Vietnam War protest in East L.A. A probe found no criminal intent on the part of the deputy.


Taco nosh!


Photo by Steve Lyon/Flickr (Creative Commons)

An unidentified taco truck on the Westside, January 2009.

The rolling ethnic-hybrid-taco madness that began with Kogi BBQ's Kor-Mex fusion is taking a left turn onto Fairfax. Introducing Takosher, "the chosen taco," which is being billed as L.A.'s first certified Glatt kosher taco truck.

The brainchild of entrepreneurs Lowell Bernstein (not a relative), Chris Martin and Moises Baqueiro, Takosher lists menu items on its website like the Original Brisketaco ("slow-cooked with chili sauce, sauerkraut, raisins, a touch of sweet, and a little spicy kick at the end") and the truly exotic-sounding Original Latketaco ("battered, breaded, deep fried and topped with a sweet and spicy apple jalapeño chutney.") Yikes, in a good way.

No word yet from the owners as to when the blue truck, which sports a heaven-motif paint job, will begin serving, but it should be soon. A post on the Takosher blog two days ago read, "She's wrapped and ready to roll!"


In the news this morning

Good morning. I have bilingual code-switching on the brain after posting on the phenomenon yesterday. So here are las últimas noticias:

  • Several media outlets have followed yesterday's Association Press story on the federal Secure Communities fingerprint-sharing program, which has led to tens of thousands of deportations. The Los Angeles Times reports on Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano's announcement that immigration officials now have access to the fingerprints of every inmate booked into jails in all 25 counties along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • A visit by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz. to a country club in the San Diego area, where he was speaking, drew almost as many protesters as people attending the speech, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took a dig yesterday at some GOP leaders' anti-illegal immigration politics while speaking to Latino supporters in Las Vegas: "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK?" Politico has the story.


Ramadan begins


Photo by Ingmar Zahorsky/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Boys at an end-of-Ramadan celebration in Kathmandu, September 2009.

The new moon tonight reminds me that tomorrow marks the start of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of daytime fasting, prayer and spiritual renewal that is celebrated around the world during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

Among the stories related to Ramadan that I've seen today, this great first-person essay in the Orange County Register stood out, written by a UC Irvine student and accompanied by several photos. The author's take on the observance:

"Personally, Ramadan is more than just about fasting. It's a reset button, a time for self-reflection and contemplation. For me, it's like the start of a new year. I reflect on the months gone by and make goals for the coming year. It gives me an opportunity to empathize with and help the less fortunate as I experience what it feels like to go without food or water during daytime."