How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

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.


SCA 5: A political coming-of-age story for Chinese-Americans

Chinese SCA 5

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SCA 5 opponents protest the proposed ballot initiative at a rally in Cupertino.

Prospects for Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 started out rosy.

The proposed ballot measure sailed through the state Senate late January. A Democratic supermajority voted in favor of asking Californians to allow race-conscious admissions at public universities – a practice banned by voters in 1996.

SCA 5 headed next to the Assembly, and that's when things got bumpy. Chinese-language media got wind of the legislation, and fanned parents' fears that their children would lose college spots to students from other racial groups.

Throughout February, opponents used social media and email lists to organize rallies and town hall meetings in heavily Chinese communities throughout Silicon Valley and the San Gabriel Valley. Politicians were bombarded by emails and phone calls. A Vote No to SCA 5 petition has drawn more than 114,000 signatures.


Feds look at higher education spending across race and ethnicity

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Is there truth to the notion that some ethnic groups value higher education more than others? A new study from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that no, there isn't.

Using data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, researchers reviewed more than 90,000 households’ expenditures for higher education between 2008 and 2010. They confirmed something that's been well-reported: black and Latino families spend less on higher education than do white and Asian families.

Black families spent 70 percent less on college than whites; Latinos, 60 percent less. By contrast, Asians spent 50 percent more and also outpaced the three other groups in college attendance.

But according to the research, these differences don't stem from different ethnic values regarding education. When researchers compared black, white, Latino and Asian families with similar backgrounds, in fact, they found little difference in how much is spent on college.