How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: New poll on American attitudes, influx of migrant children eases, court backlog continues, and more

Immigration Overload Courts

Eric Gay/AP

Backlogged immigration courts face even more of a challenge since tens of thousands of Central Americans began arriving on the U.S. border. Here, unaccompanied minors are going through a federal processing facility in Brownsville,Tx.

Americans Deeply Worried Illegal Immigration Is Threatening U.S. Way Of Life, Economy - Reuters A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that 70 percent of American see immigrants in the country illegally as posing a threat to U.S. culture and beliefs, with New Englanders registering the most concern. The 2,014 people polled were split over current immigration policy: 45 percent say the number of  immigrants legally allowed to enter the US should be reduced; 38 percent wanted the status quo; 17 percent sought an increase. From the story: "The findings suggest immigration could join Obamacare - the healthcare insurance overhaul - and the economy as hot button issues that encourage more Republicans to vote in November's congressional election."

For unaccompanied immigrant children, a shortage of lawyers - CBS News  Navigating the immigration courts can be tough as an adult, even more so for a minor who came to the US on their own. A study by Syracuse University looking over the past 10 years found that just 48 percent of unaccompanied minors had representation. That's not necessarily a strike against them, though. In the first half of June 2014, according to the story: "two-thirds of children with attorneys were allowed to stay in the U.S., as were 42 percent of children who did not have a lawyer." But advocates say that there is still a severe need for pro-bono legal representation, "especially as the administration picks up the pace of hearings and deportations."


Khmer Rouge verdicts offer bittersweet relief to SoCal Cambodians

APTOPIX Cambodia Khmer Rouge Verdict

Heng Sinith/AP

Khmer Rouge survivors, Soum Rithy, left, and Chum Mey, right, embrace each other after the verdicts were announced, at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Khmer Rouge ruling

ASRIC/Vanta El

Leakhena Nou, a sociology professor at Cal State, Long Beach, guides survivors of the Khmer Rouge through how to give a written testimony in this photo taken in 2010.

Three and a half decades after the genocidal rule of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge ended, a U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal on Thursday sentenced two top leaders of the former regime to life in prison on war crimes charges for their roles during the country's 1970s terror.

The historic verdicts were announced against Khieu Samphan, the regime's 83-year-old former head of state, and Nuon Chea, its 88-year-old chief ideologue — the only two surviving leaders of the regime left to stand trial.

Survivors living in Southern California and their advocates have been closely tracking the case, and welcomed the judgments.

"It’s important to educate the new generation that if people commit political violence, they will be held accountable," Cambodian-American sociology professor Leakenah Nou told KPCC.


In immigration news: Jeh Johnson's summer, Rand Paul and the 'Dreamers,' visa limits, and more

Jeh Johnson in June of 2012.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson is working on immigration on two fronts: the border surge of migrant children and consulting President Obama on what action he might take on immigrants who've been living in the U.S. illegally for years.

Open to Both Sides, Homeland Security Chief Steps Into Immigration Divide - New York Times One of Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson's hallmark traits is being able to work with all sides. He's angered Democrats and pleased Republicans by pushing to expedite deportations of the Central American minors who've been crossing the southwest border over the last year in increasing numbers. At the same time, he's welcomed anti-war group Code Pink into his office, and is consulting Pres. Obama about an executive order that may defer deportations for possibly millions of immigrants in the country illegaly.

Firms bemoan stalled changes on visa limits - Boston Globe High-tech businesses say the hold-up over comprehensive immigration reform is creating a shortage of high-skilled foreign workers. From the story: "Intel, with 1,400 workers in Hudson, is lobbying the Obama administration to take executive action on several fronts, including reducing the green card backlog so that qualified candidates do not have to wait years for permanent residency."


In immigration news: Steve King confronted, temporary shelters to close, the Latino vote, more

Immigrant shelters


A young girl suffering from a sore tooth at a government-run shelter for immigrant children in Fullerton, Calif. With large temporary shelters closing, children will be going to smaller shelters like these.

Obama Eyes Limits of Executive Power in Immigration Move - Businessweek With Congress recessed this month, all eyes are on now on President Obama, and whether he will defer deportations for millions of immigrants in the country illegally, or allow some to seek work permits. But his administration is stressing that there are limits to executive action, which the president is asking Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to investigate. They are to report back before the end of the summer.

Immigrant shelters on bases in 3 states, including California, to shut - Los Angeles Times Three giant shelters set up temporarily to help house an influx of more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors from Central American will be closing in the next eight weeks. Government officials said that the shelters — located at military bases in California, Oklahoma and Texas —  have housed 7,700 minors, but they are no longer needed since the border surge has quieted.  The minors will now be housed at smaller, government-run shelters that their advocates say are less institutional and will give them easier access to legal services.


In immigration news: GOP's next steps, migrant children in the capital, cash for legal status, and more



Central American immigrants sit atop the so-called La Bestia (The Beast) cargo train, in an attempt to reach the Mexico-US border on July 16, 2014.

GOP Still Struggles to Find Immigration Strategy - Associated Press The House managed to pass a bill dealing with the border crisis before it left Friday for August recess, but is it done with immigration for the year? There may not be much incentive to tackle it full-on. According to the story, "immigration appears likely to have only a modest impact on the roughly 10 Senate races that will determine control of the chamber."

Obama immigration talk now includes impeachment - USAToday With Congress gone from the Hill for the month, the focus has turned onto President Obama, and whether he will take executive action and defer deportations for immigrants here illegally. Some conservative Republicans such as Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa are already throwing around the word "impeachment" in the event that he does.  But House Speaker John Boehner, according to the story, "has said that impeachment is not on the table, and all the talk is "a scam" concocted by the White House and Democrats to raise campaign money ahead of the November election."