How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Border bill battle, Obama considers fewer deportations, a proposal to add LA-area youth migrant shelters, more

US-Mexico border

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The fence near the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana. The House and Senate have just days this week before the August recess to vote on competing immigration bills, both aimed at addressing the Central American migrant crisis at the border.

Immigration reform: Last minute battle to produce border bill before Congress leaves town - Southern California Public Radio The House and Senate have less than three days before the August recess to vote on competing immigration bills, both aimed at addressing the Central American migrant crisis. The House bill calls for $659 million in spending, far less than the $3.7 million President Obama has asked Congress for. It also seeks to amend a 2008 law in order to speed up deportation of Central American youths. The more generous Senate bill does not include this provision. But it's unlikely anything will make it to Obama's desk.

Obama Weighs Fewer Deportations of Illegal Immigrants Living in U.S. - Wall Street Journal President Obama is reportedly "considering broad action to scale back deportations that could include work permits for millions of people, according to lawmakers and immigration advocates who have consulted with the White House." An administration official said an announcement is expected shortly after Labor Day.


Salvation Army proposal would bring more migrant youth shelters to LA area

Immigrant Children Fingerprinting

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Boys wait for medical appointments in a holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children were being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz. on June 18, 2014. In response to a federal government call for temporary shelter space to house migrant youths, the Salvation Army is proposing to open two contract shelters in the Los Angeles area, in Bell and in Hollywood.

If the federal government approves a grant proposal, a shelter for unaccompanied migrant teens could open in the city of Bell as soon as early next year. The Salvation Army hopes to turn what is now an unused warehouse into a residential facility that according to plans would house about 136 boys and girls, ages 14 to 17.

The warehouse is one of several the organization has in the area, some that are used as homeless shelters.

“In the city of Bell, we have warehouses that were donated to us by the federal government and we have been providing homeless services there for 20 years," said Pilar Buelna, executive director of social services for the Los Angeles-area Salvation Army. "And so we have an empty warehouse, and we feel that needs to be renovated. And if we get the grant, we can do that with those funds.”


In immigration news: House vote planned on slimmer border bill, immigration court problems, border militias, more

Central Americans Undertake Grueling Journey Through Mexico To U.S.

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Central American migrants arrive on top of a freight train for a stop on August 6, 2013 in Ixtepec, Mexico, en route to the United States. House GOP lawmakers have agreed to vote this week on a pared-down bill to address the Central American migration crisis that has brought large numbers of unaccompanied minors and families to the U.S.-Mexico border. The bill would provide far less funding than the $3.7 billion initially requested by President Obama.

House to Vote on Slimmed-Down Bill for Border - Associated Press House GOP lawmakers plan to vote Thursday on a pared-down bill to address the Central American migration crisis, which would allow for sending of National Guard troops to the border and for expedited deportations: "The bill would cost $659 million through the final two months of this fiscal year, far smaller than the $3.7 billion requested by President Barack Obama for this year and next." It would also changes current policy to allow the speedier removal of youths from countries that don't share a border with the United States, a move many Democrats have opposed.

Barack Obama's immigration moves could be unstoppable- Politico On the possible legal outcome of President Obama's using executive action on immigration, something he says he plans to do in coming weeks: "Lawyers are debating the legality of a series of immigration-related executive actions the White House is reportedly considering, but there’s broad agreement suing the president isn’t likely to work."


In immigration news: Jerry Brown goes to Mexico, refugee status weighed for Hondurans, border crisis bill, more

Governor Brown Declares Statewide Drought Emergency

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California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference on January 17, 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. Brown will be in Mexico this week, with plans to discuss the border migrant crisis with religious leaders and to meet with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto.

Jerry Brown to meet in Mexico with religious leaders on immigration crisis - Sacramento Bee California Gov. Gov. Jerry Brown will be in Mexico this week, meeting to discuss the border migrant crisis with religious leaders. He also plans to meet with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. From the story: "Brown told reporters in Sacramento last week that he wants to 'deal with some of the issues on the refugees' when he is in Mexico, but he did not say what, if anything, that might include."

The new land of opportunity for immigrants is Germany - Washington Post Germany has reportedly surpassed other countries to become the second-biggest destination for immigrants next to the United States. These days, "the government is rolling out a red carpet by simplifying immigration procedures, funding free language classes, even opening “ welcome centers” for newcomers looking to carve out a piece of the German dream."


Guatemalan teen migrant says gang members broke his leg, forced him to flee

U.S. Agents Take Undocumented Immigrants Into Custody Near Tex-Mex Border

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A mother and child, 3, from El Salvador await transport to a processing center for undocumented immigrants after they crossed the Rio Grande into the United States on July 24, 2014 in Mission, Texas. One teenage boy from Guatemala has taken his case to L.A. Superior Court in his attempt to stay in the U.S., saying he left Guatemala after gang members broke his leg.

As the White House and Congress debate plans for dealing with the unaccompanied minors and families arriving from Central America, one teenage boy from Guatemala has taken his case to Los Angeles Superior Court in his attempt to stay.

The boy, who is 17, is hoping to remain in Los Angeles with his older brother. He claims that his leg was broken after being beaten by gang members in his native country last year, after he endured harassment and intimidation for not joining the gang.

Although many youths arriving from Central America cite gang violence as a reason for leaving, this case starkly illustrates the brutality many have fled, said Alex Galvez, the boy's attorney. 

"I think what's unique about this case are the circumstances and the facts behind it," Galvez said. "This kid was actually attacked and had his leg broken by the gang because he refused to join the gang."