How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Targeting Latino drivers, deported immigrant returns to to US, Asian-Americans and Obamacare

Immigrant Rights-Activist

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Mexican immigration rights activist Elvira Arellano waits to enter the US in Tijuana, Mexico. Arellano has since returned to the Chicago church where she stayed for a year before she was deported in 2007.

DA: Cop accused of targeting Latinos faces hate crime charges - Newsday In another purported case of law enforcement targeting Latino immigrant drivers, a police sergeant in Long Island, NY surrendered Monday for stealing cash from Latino drivers at traffic stops. Charges against Sgt. Scott A. Greene of Shirley include counts of fourth-degree grand larceny as a hate crime.  From the story: "Authorities and advocates have said they believe Latino drivers were singled out because some may be immigrants living in the country illegally who are reluctant to complain." The case is reminiscent of an alleged scheme orchestrated by a police sergeant in the Salinas Valley town of King City to steal impounded cars belonging mostly to Latino immigrants.

Immigration protester back at Chicago church that sheltered her - Chicago Tribune Elvira Arellano, who made headlines for living at a Chicago church for a year before she was deported to Mexico, is back in the US. The immigration rights activist is among the group of 150 or so people without legal status who've been protesting U.S. immigration laws and deportation practices by entering the US through San Diego's Otay Mesa port of entry since last week. After she was paroled by immigration officials, Arellano made her way to Chicago with her baby son and said she plans to stay at the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, pending an immigration hearing she has later this year.


ABC Family pilot 'Alice in Arabia' pulled after backlash, racism concerns

ABC Family

ABC Family's logo

A pilot for ABC Family was abruptly pulled from production this weekend after generating concern on Twitter that it was based on stereotypes of Saudi Arabia and Muslim women. 

The network confirmed the cancellation in a statement Sunday, saying the Twitter debate was not the discussion it had hoped to raise. 

“The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned," the statement read. "And is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we’ve decided not to move forward with this project.”

No episodes of "Alice in Arabia" were ever produced. The parts hadn't yet been cast, but ABC Family's description of the show was enough to set Twitter on fire last week, giving rise to concerns that the show relied on Muslim stereotypes. The show revolved around the kidnapping of its main character —American teenager Alice — by her extended Saudi family. 


Report: Latinos stand to gain from proposed minimum wage hike

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A report from a labor group looks at the possible effect on Latino workers as the Senate prepares to vote on a federal minimum wage bill.

With the Senate expected to vote in the coming weeks on a federal minimum wage bill, a report from a labor group looks at how a wage hike could affect many Latinos.

Nearly 6.8 million Latino workers would benefit from the proposed wage increase, according to the AFL-CIO, which put together the two-page report with data from the non-profit Economic Policy Institute. The legislation proposes raising the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour in two years.

According to the data, Latino workers comprise 16 percent of the U.S. labor force, but make up nearly 25 percent of the workers who stand to effectively get a raise.

"Many Latino workers work in industries like the service industry, or including the food industry or the restaurant industry, or even farm workers, who earn the minimum wage," said the AFL-CIO's Gonzalo Salvador. They deserve a wage of at least $10.10, that's been proven will allow them to raise their standard of living."


Group aims to get more Latinos signed up for health coverage

Doctors Seek Higher Fees From Health Insurers

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The organizers of a health coverage fair Saturday in downtown Los Angeles aim to get more Latinos insured under the Affordable Care Act before the March 31 deadline. Only a fraction of the Latinos eligible for coverage in California have signed up.

The organizers of a health coverage fair in downtown L.A. on Saturday are hoping to convince more Latinos to sign up for insurance under the Covered California exchange, ahead of the March 31 enrollment deadline.

The event is organized by the Council of Mexican Federations in North America, an umbrella group of Mexican hometown associations, along with health insurance providers. The group's Victoria Lopez said many Latinos don't realize they're eligible for coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.

"What we've noticed with Latinos, especially the Latino communities we work with, is that they are confused," Lopez said. "They are not sure if this information is for them. So there is a lack of information. Which is why we want to have an event of this nature."

People aren't sure on where or how to enroll, Lopez said. One must be a legal U.S. resident to apply for coverage, but many eligible legal residents don't know they can – and haven't applied. The idea is to arm people with information and help them get their applications in, Lopez said.


In immigration news: SCA 5 and Asian American political clout, immigrant advocates prepare to meet Pope, more

Hispanic Grad Rates

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A California proposal to restore affirmative action on state college campuses stalled recently, in part because Chinese Americans opposed to the measure mobilized against it.

SCA 5: A political coming-of-age story for Chinese-Americans - Southern California Public Radio The controversy over SCA 5, a California proposal to reinstate affirmative action in state universities, has become a watershed moment in the evolution of Chinese American political clout. Chinese American groups who feared the initiative might cost their children spots in college mobilized, calling lawmakers, circulating petitions, and eventually stalling SCA 5 for this year.

SoCal Immigration Coalition Prepares For Trip To Vatican, Meeting With Pope Francis - CBS Los Angeles A group of 17 immigrant advocates is planning to travel to the Vatican to meet in person with Pope Francis and discuss immigration reform with him. Members of the group, which includes two children, said L.A. Archbishop Jose Gomez helped make the trip happen. They leave for Rome late Friday.