How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Suicides among border agents on the rise

The Associated Press has a story and video documenting a disturbing trend: A spike in suicides among U.S. Border Patrol agents. According to the story, at least 15 agents have taken their own lives since February 2008. More from the story:

Federal officials insist the deaths have nothing to do with the agency, which has doubled in size since 2004, or the increasingly volatile U.S.-Mexico border. But administrators have quietly undertaken urgent suicide-prevention initiatives, including special training for supervisors, videos about warning signs and educational programs for 22,000 agents nationwide

Whatever the reason behind the deaths, there is no question that patrolling the border hinterlands is a backbreaking job. It is also one that has become


In the news this morning

Feliz Monday. Here are a few of the top immigration-related stories today and from over the weekend.

  • Politico reported on the results of a poll that has "solid majorities of the public and overwhelming majorities of DC elites" favoring the passage of some kind of comprehensive immigration legislation.

  • The Washington Post reported that Utah lawmakers, until recently leaning toward proposed legislation similar to Arizona's stringent SB 1070, are changing course.


In the news this morning

A few of today's top immigration-related stories: a border security bill, uncertainty about further immigration reforms, and more.

  • President Obama has signed a new border security bill, keeping mum about the prospects of further immigration legislation down the line, USA Today reports.

  • But does an enforcement-based measure like the new border bill do anything to quell the immigration debate? Nope. NPR and ABC News have stories that explore this angle.

  • The latest two cents on the 14th Amendment debate, from Politico: California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina say they don't endorse doing away with birthright citizenship, an idea being floated by some GOP leaders.

  • Lastly, from the Sunshine State: Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum is feeling some backlash from my Miami relatives - oops, I meant Florida Latinos - after pushing for an Arizona-style anti-illegal immigration law in that state.


Fast food moratorium in South L.A. to end; permanent solutions still in the works


Photo by Waltarrrrr/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A fast food restaurant on Western Avenue, October 2008

With a two-year moratorium on the development of new stand-alone fast food restaurants in portions of South Los Angeles set to expire September 14, community groups and city officials who support the temporary ban continue to push for permanent solutions to the area's lack of healthy food options.

About 100 people gathered Thursday night for a town hall meeting at Second African Methodist Episcopal Church, organized by the non-profit Community Health Councils, Inc. Presenters included officials from the city planning department, the county public health department and Councilman Bernard Parks, whose Council District 8 falls within the boundaries of the interim control ordinance on fast food.