Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

To taco truck or not to taco truck? Tonight, a forum on the food truck scene

An unidentified taco truck on the Westside, January 2009.
Photo by TK/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Did you know that yesterday was National Taco Day? Yeah, well, I didn't either.

But it brings me to the following: Fans and non-fans of taco trucks and non-taco trucks will be descending on 89.3 KPCC's Crawford Family Forum tonight for a discussion of the city's food truck scene, moderated by Air Talk host Larry Mantle. City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who has introduced measures that would regulate the trucks, will face off against food truck owners and supporters.

City officials are set to meet in mid-October to debate proposals that could seriously curb food truck operation in the Miracle Mile district and much of the city.

The event is open to the public, though seats are limited. The best part, for some at least, will be the non-taco truck food. Trucks present will include The Grilled Cheese Truck, the Border Grill truck (which does offer tacos, though upscale ones), Kabob 'n Roll and The Place LA, all selling their offerings outside between 4 p.m and 6 p.m. The debate, to be recorded and aired during a future broadcast, will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.


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Pew voter survey: Two-thirds of Latino voters plan to support Democrats

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A new report from the Pew Hispanic Center indicates significantly stronger support for Democratic candidates among Latino voters this year, though voter motivation is weak overall, and conservative Latinos appear more motivated to go to the polls.

According to a nationwide survey, two-thirds (65 percent) of Latino registered voters said they planned to support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional district. Less than a fourth (22 percent) planned to support the Republican candidate.

However, when it came to going to the polls, only one-third (32 percent) of Latino voters said they had given this year's general election "quite a lot" of thought, compared with half of all registered voters. Only 51 percent of Latino registered voters said they were certain they would go to the pols, compared with 70 percent of all registered voters.


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In the news this morning: Whitman recaps, criminal deportations, 200 Mexico photos, the Latino health paradox and more

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After allegations, reconstructing Whitman's immigration stance | California Watch Just what has Meg Whitman said in the past regarding employers and illegal immigration?

Study: Fewer immigrants coming to Los Angeles - San Jose Mercury News A USC study shows a decline in the city's foreign-born.

From housekeepergate to real policy: the tricky navigation of immigration in the midterm election | 89.3 KPCC From yesterday's Patt Morrison show: Whitman's “housekeepergate” controversy shows how unprepared political leaders are to deal with it the complicated subject of immigration.

Deportation of criminals is up, say feds | Sacramento Bee Federal data shows that of the 350,000 people  deported this year, more than half had criminal convictions, a 55 percent increase since 2008

Notorious Tijuana jail to be just a dark memory - The fetid jail is where drunken Americanos used to land, too.


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Illegal hiring 101: IRCA, employer sanctions and the underground economy

A cash payment, June 2007
Photo by Quazie/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The scandal that erupted last week over gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's nine-year employment of an undocumented housekeeper has thrown a spotlight on Americans' dependence on unauthorized labor, in the home and in the general economy.

Employer sanctions for hiring unauthorized workers fall under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, a sweeping piece of immigration reform legislation that granted amnesty to nearly three million undocumented immigrants, but which was also intended to dampen the appeal of coming to the United States illegally to work through employer sanctions. IRCA made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit undocumented immigrants.

Here is a summary of the law from the Library of Congress:

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

Title I: Control of Illegal Immigration - Part A: Employment

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to make it unlawful for a person or other entity to: (1) hire (including through subcontractors), recruit, or refer for a fee for U.S. employment any alien knowing that such person is unauthorized to work, or any person without verifying his or her work status; or (2) continue to employ an alien knowing of such person's unauthorized work status.

Makes verification compliance (including the use of State employment agency documentation) an affirmative defense to any hiring or referral violation.

Establishes an employment verification system. Requires: (1) the employer to attest, on a form developed by the Attorney General, that the employee's work status has been verified by examination of a passport, birth certificate, social security card, alien documentation papers, or other proof; (2) the worker to similarly attest that he or she is a U.S. citizen or national, or authorized alien; and (3) the employer to keep such records for three years in the case of referral or recruitment, or the later of three years or one year after employment termination in the case of hiring.


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Longest waits for immigrant visas: October

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed their petitions.
Source: Visa Bulletin for October 2010, U.S. Department of State

Every month, Multi-American is posting the longest current waits as listed in the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin.

For countries with the highest demand for family reunification, especially Mexico and the Philippines, the wait to enter the country legally can take several years, in some cases as much as two decades. Here's why: Every nation is allotted the same percentage from a pool of family and employer-based visas available each year, regardless of the demand from any individual nation.

Immigrants defined as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, i.e. spouses, parents, and children under 21, are exempt from the limits. But for others, such as the adult children or siblings of U.S. citizens or legal residents, the wait can be very, very long.

For those whose priority dates are listed in the monthly bulletin, it’s good news, sort of: Visas have technically become available for them, though priority dates are subject to change and frequently do.


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