How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Obama promises executive action announcement, some Dems wary of White House move, Lennon's immigration legacy, more

President Obama Makes Statement In The Briefing Room Of White House

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President Barack Obama has indicated that an announcement on immigration is coming soon and that me might take action before the November congressional elections, but details on timing or what to expect are scarce.

Obama: Immigration announcement 'soon' - USA Today Speaking to reporters on Friday, President Obama indicated that "he might take executive action on immigration before the November congressional elections, but made no commitments on timing or specifics." Obama is reportedly weighing action that could spare millions from deportation, as well as business-friendly immigration measures.

Immigration Overhaul Revving Up on Capitol Hill Despite Fewer Crossings - ABC News From the story: "Immigration overhaul is expected to take front-and-center of the domestic debate when Congress returns to Capitol Hill next week. Rumors also abound about exactly when President Obama might take executive action on the issue, while White House press secretary Josh Earnest this week offered no update on the timing."

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Chinese home builders cross over into SoCal

Landsea Chinese builder

Courtesy of Landsea

Schematics of the Spanish and Mediterranean-style homes that Chinese developer Landsea has planned in Simi Valley.

Landsea Chinese builder

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The Simi Valley development will also include about 35 "active adult" units for seniors.

Landsea Chinese builder

Landsea

Landsea is also building 109 townhomes in the San Francisco suburb of Dublin.

Landsea Chinese home builder

Landsea Group

Landsea's third project is a 200-unit luxury condominium complex in Weekhawken, N.J. with views of the New York City skyline.

Landsea Chinese builder

Josie Huang/KPCC

Landsea's managing director John Ho speaks with Bill Allen, president and CEO of the LA County Economic Development Corp.

Landsea Chinese builder

Josie Huang/KPCC

Ming "Martin" Tian is founder & chairman of Landsea, which is entering three major housing markets: the Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York metropolitan areas.


Chinese nationals have made a splash in the U.S. housing market as they look to invest in overseas real estate.  Now Chinese home builders are trying to make their mark in the U.S. in their quest for new customers.

One of them, Landsea Group, said it plans to invest $1 billion in U.S. projects over the next several years.

Landsea has three residential developments in the works, including nearly 200 units in Simi Valley —  152 single-family homes and a 35-unit project for "active" seniors. The land has been roughly graded, according to the city, and units will go on the market in 2015.

John Ho, managing director of Landsea's U.S. subsidiary, said the company has enjoyed explosive growth since it was founded in 2001 in Nanjing, China.

"But China's real estate housing growth is slowing down and competition is very, very fierce," Ho said at a launch event at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. "At the same time, we saw incredible opportunities in the United States to enter at a time when the housing market is recovering."

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In immigration news: Fewer child migrants at border, unauthorized workers, visa fraud scam, more

Familes and Children Held In U.S. Customs and Border Protection Processing Facility

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A young boy bows his head in a cell at a federal holding facility for migrants on June 18, 2014, in Nogales, Arizona. The number of unaccompanied child migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has continued to decline since earlier this year.

Number of Child Immigrants at Border Declining - ABC News The number of unaccompanied child migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has continued to decline since earlier this year. From the story: "Last month Border Patrol agents apprehended 3,129 children, mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. In July agents found more than 5,400 children, while in June the number was more than 10,600."

Unauthorized immigrants: Staying longer, raising families, and part of the economy - Southern California Public Radio Two reports paint a changing picture of the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. and California. Although there are fewer people living and working illegally in the U.S. than before the recession, more are staying long term and raising families, and they remain a big part of the economy. It's estimated that these immigrants make up 9 percent of California's workforce, and contribute $130 billion annually to the state's GDP.

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Little Tokyo workers join growing numbers claiming 'wage theft'

Wage theft Little Tokyo

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More than 80 people on Wednesday march outside the Izakaya Fuga bar and restaurant to protest alleged 'wage theft' violations at the business.

Wage theft Little Tokyo

Josie Huang/KPCC

Juan Moran (r.) is a chef at the Izakaya Fuga bar and restaurant and one of the 13 claimants in the case against the business.

Wage theft Little Tokyo

Josie Huang/KPCC

John Trang of Asian American Advancing Justice is representing 13 servers, cooks and bartenders at the Japanese restaurant.


Cook Juan Moran declares a passion for Japanese cuisine, but said he won't stand for current conditions at his employer, the Izakaya Fu-ga bar and restaurant in Little Toyko.

He's one of 13 cooks, servers and bartenders at the establishment who've filed claims with the State Labor Commissioner in the last year, charging they're owed more than $190,000 in tips and overtime over the last three years. They say managers also ignore meal and rest breaks, among other alleged violations.

Government officials and activists alike say a growing awareness nationwide about 'wage theft' is leading to more actions like those taken by the Little Tokyo workers.  During Wednesday at lunch, Moran marched with more than 80 people from different labor and immigrant advocacy organizations outside the restaurant.

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Unauthorized immigrants: Staying longer, raising families, and part of the economy

Strawberry Farm - 7

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A worker fills plastic containers with fresh strawberries at a farm in Ventura. Two new reports suggest that while there are fewer immigrants living and working in the U.S. illegally than before the recession, when shrinking job prospects drove some to leave, more unauthorized workers have stayed long-term - and represent a good-sized chunk of California's workforce.

The number of people who live and work in the U.S. without legal status hasn't changed much since the end of the recession, when a shrinking job market prompted some to leave. But many of those who stayed are staying long-term, a new report suggests.

The latest estimate from Pew Research Center puts the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population at 11.3 million, roughly the same as in 2009. At its peak in 2007, it was 12.2 million.
 
The dynamics of this population are a far cry from what they were: What was once an ebb and flow of workers staying short-term has given way to people who have put down roots in the U.S.,and are raising families.

According to the report, the median amount of time that unauthorized immigrants have lived in the country is now almost 13 years; in 2003, it was less than eight years. More than 60 percent had lived here a decade or more.

“There are a lot of parents of U.S.-born children," said Pew demographer Jeffrey Passel, lead author of the report. " These are families – a lot of people are here as families. And it is much harder for a family to pick up and go than for a single guy.”

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