How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Rage Against the Machine, Ry Cooder raise funds to fight Arizona immigration law

Rage Against The Machine @ Vegoose 2007

Scott Penner, Flickr

Rage Against The Machine @ Vegoose 2007

A musical boycott of Arizona by a growing roster of prominent bands and musicians who are opposed to SB 1070, the strict anti-illegal immigration law set to take effect in the Grand Canyon State next week, is developing into a creative fundraising effort by some of the artists participating.

The veteran activist rap-rockers Rage Against the Machine will play their first Los Angeles show in a decade this Friday at the Hollywood Palladium, with proceeds to benefit two Arizona immigrant rights organizations. This afternoon 89.3 KPCC’s Patt Morrison interviewed lead guitarist Tom Morello, along with United Farm Workers co-founder and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, about the boycott and the show.

A month ago, Ry Cooder released a single, "Quicksand," on iTunes, with proceeds to benefit the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), one of several plaintiffs – among them the federal government – that have filed suit in federal court challenging the Arizona measure. The next hearing in the federal government lawsuit is set for tomorrow in Phoenix.


How Arizona's SB 1070 plays in California

81st MLB All-Star Game

Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Demonstrators outside Angel Stadium in Anaheim protesting Arizona's SB 1070 before the 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 13.

California voters are sharply divided in their support for a controversial new Arizona anti-illegal immigration law that is set to take effect July 29. The results of a Field Poll released July 16 show a 49-45 percent split among California registered voters, with nearly half in favor of the law. Among other things the Arizona measure, known as SB 1070, empowers local law enforcement to check for immigration status; several lawsuits have been filed challenging the law, including a U.S. Department of Justice complaintchallenging it on constitutional grounds.

According to the California poll, voter division on SB 1070 falls largely along partisan and ethnic lines: 77 percent of Republicans polled approve, 62 percent of Democrats polled disapprove;  white non-Hispanic voters are most supportive of the law (58 percent approve, 37 percent disapprove), followed by African- Americans (53 percent approve, 39 percent disapprove). By contrast, 71 percent Latino voters polled disapprove, with only 24 percent expressing support. Asian-American voters were divided, with 50 percent in favor and 43 percent not.


As multi-American as apple pie and tamales

flag burrito

Photo by Joe Goldberg/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Welcome to Multi-American, a new Southern California Public Radio blog covering immigration, immigrant communities, and the distinct cultural influences across generations that make Southern California a region like no other. Our goal is to explore Southern California’s evolving identity as a place where the cultural landscape is constantly being shaped and reshaped by immigrants, their children and grandchildren, with each new generation contributing its own brand of American identity to the mix. We’ll report on the immigration debate, and on the policies and politics that affect Southern California residents as they play out in their communities, but also something broader: on immigration as a topic that defines our regional identity. What New York was to the 19th century, Southern California is to the 21st. This is the landscape we’ll be exploring.