How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

#Linsanity in LA: Local Asian-Americans cheer Lakers' trade for Lin

Rockets Celtics Basketball

Elise Amendola/AP

Point guard Jeremy Lin drives to the hoop, helping his old team the Houston Rockets beat the Boston Celtics.

Jeremy Lin trade

Josie Huang/KPCC

Huxley Pham of Arcadia said that he's proud that Asian-American point guard Jeremy Lin is going to the Lakers.

Jeremy Lin trade

Josie Huang/KPCC

Brothers Jonathan, 13 and Alex Xie, 10, of La Canada Flintridge both would like to be professional athletes, and look up to Jeremy Lin. Alex said that Lin will be an asset to the L.A. Lakers. "With Jeremy Lin, it should boost it up -- quite a bit."


In an Arcadia shopping center, word of Jeremy’s Lin trade to the L.A. Lakers had spread to Huxley Phan and his friends, even before the deal was made official Sunday morning.

None were big fans of the NBA. But everybody approved of Lin going to the Lakers and helping the team out of its slump.

“The Linsanity — bring it to L.A.,” said 21-year-old Phan. “Maybe it will all hype us up again.”

Phan, who was on break from bussing tables at a dumpling house, said that he was excited to see Lin, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, on a high-profile team. It would mean a lot in the San Gabriel Valley, he said. Arcadia, where he lives, is 61 percent Asian.

"We’re not known to be super athletic," Phan said. "So maybe his presence might encourage other Asian-Americans to pursue their dreams."

Read More...

In immigration news: House reform bill dead, a Minuteman revival, indigenous migrants, more

Farmworkers Mobilize In Miami For Immigration Reform

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Protesters stand together as they hold a protest to ask their congress people to make immigration reform a reality on August 16, 2013 in Miami, Florida. On Thursday, Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart announced that a House immigration reform bill he was largely responsible for crafting will not be considered this year.

House GOP kills last hope for immigration bill - USA Today On Thursday morning,  Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart announced that the House immigration reform bill he was largely responsible for crafting will not be considered this year: "...unfortunately I've been told we're not going to be able to pursue it. And I think that's highly unfortunate."

Texas immigrant flood will worsen, officials warn - CNN From the story: "Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told the Senate Appropriations Committee that $3.7 billion in emergency funding requested by President Barack Obama anticipated up to 90,000 of the unaccompanied minors this fiscal year, which ends September 30, and another 145,000 in fiscal year 2015." The wave of Central American minors and families recently arriving at the border has strained holding facilities and further backlogged the immigration courts system.

Read More...

Immigration: Community organizations try to keep up with demand

Two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz. As more Central American children, teens and families arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border, many of them bound for Southern California, local Central American organizations set up to assist war refugees during the 1980s and 1990s have been fielding requests for assistance.

El Rescate was founded in 1981, during the Salvadoran civil war that sent waves of refugees fleeing to the United States.

Decades later, this and other local community aid organizations that date back to the Central American conflicts of the 1980s and 1990s are scrambling to assist a new wave of newcomers: the unaccompanied minors and families that have been leaving El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras en masse for the U.S. 

“Basically our organization is serving as a clearinghouse and a hotline for parents who are calling from all over the US," said Salvador Sanabria, El Rescate's executive director, "first of all to locate where their kids are physically, second to request advice from our paralegals and lawyers on how to guarantee the release of these kids, and family reunification.”

Read More...

In immigration news: House bill killed; Adelson teams up with Gates, Buffet; court backlog to lift

Immigrant Children

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Young detainees being escorted to an area to make phone calls as hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz.

House GOP kills last hope for immigration bill - USA Today  House leadership told the Republican charged with coming up with that chamber's immigration bill Thursday morning that the legislation was not being considered this year.  Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart called the decision "highly unfortunate." From the story: "Diaz-Balart said GOP leadership concluded they can't trust the president to carry out the enforcement provisions of any bill Congress passes. The bill he crafted was designed to ensure that any president, Obama or his successor, could not ignore or work around enforcement provisions of the bill. " 

Break the Immigration Impasse (Op-ed) - New York Times  Top Republican donor Sheldon Adelson may be diametrically opposed on politics to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the latter two of whom are friends. But all three billionaires are combining their clout to make a case for immigration reform. They say the fact that they're joining forces shows "you don’t have to agree on everything in order to cooperate on matters about which you are reasonably close to agreement. It’s time that this brand of thinking finds its way to Washington." 

Read More...

Southern Californians swept up in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Israeli soldiers stand on their tanks near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border.

Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli soldiers stand on their tanks near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

The growing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being felt in Southern California, where many people have strong ties to the region and travel back and forth.

Huntington Beach nursing student Eman Qaysia has been in the West Bank for over a month for her wedding to a man from the city of Hebron, her family's ancestral home. During her stay, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and fatally shot, their bodies found in a village north of the city. 

A couple weeks later, a Palestinian boy was beaten and burned to death in Jerusalem.  This set off an air campaign that's led to at least 85 Palestinian deaths.  Qaysia said she’s struggled watching this happen to her people.

Military officials say Israel struck more than 320 Hamas targets overnight, focusing on underground tunnel networks and rocket-launching sites. But the Palestinians say the strikes also hit a home and a beachside cafe, killing eight people at each of the locations, the Associated Press reports.

Read More...