How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

How do you say 'paint recycling' in Chinese?

Old paint cans

Allison Carter via Flickr

The PaintCare stewardship program is trying to encourage more Californians to recycle unused paint. The nonprofit is broadening its reach by marketing in Korean and Chinese.

When California required a plan to recycle unused paint, industry non-profit PaintCare was tasked with the job. The goal was to get the word out that pouring leftover paint in the backyard hurts the environment.

"And putting (paint) in the drain," added Paul Fresina, PaintCare's state program director, "is not good for the water treatment plants. In some cases, it could go into the river or stream or the ocean."

Nearly two years after it started in California, PaintCare has a list of over 500 hardware stores that have volunteered to be take-back centers. But not everyone’s hearing about this. A PaintCare survey of about 70 Chinese speakers, conducted this spring, for example, found that most didn’t know paint was recyclable.

Public awareness campaigns usually come in two versions: English and Spanish. But in a state like California, getting the word out means thinking in multiple tongues.  


Immigrant youth activists rally for child migrants to stay in US


Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

Luis Ojeda, left, and César Vega Magallón join a group of young immigrants at Placita Olvera in downtown to protest the deportation of children crossing the U.S. border and to ask the Obama administration to grant them refugee status. The group chanted, held signs and shared personal stories of living here as an undocumented immigrant.

About two dozen young activists rallied near Olvera Street on Thursday, calling on the Obama administration to let the child migrants who have been arriving in record numbers at the border stay in the country long-term.

Some of the activists, members of immigrant rights groups like Dream Team LA and the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, arrived in the United States as children themselves.
Twenty-six-year-old Mercedes Montaño arrived in the U.S. from Mexico at the age of 8, accompanied by a friend of her mother, who was already here. She said she wants for the Obama administration to show leniency toward the unaccompanied minors and families from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, countries that have suffered in recent years with growing gang and drug violence.
“The clear message that we want to send him is that he can use his administrative power to stop deportations of all the 11 million undocumented," Montaño said. "But more so, with this crisis at the border, that he can grant refugee status to these children. It is shameful that as a country, we don’t see the pain and the violence that these children are coming from.”


For desperate parents of Central American child migrants, a false rumor and false hope

Mexico Migrant Children

Chris Sherman

More than 50,000 migrant children and teens from Central America have headed to the U.S. since last October.

Even before she left El Salvador for the United States six months ago, Tricia had heard about the "permiso." The 30-year-old mother of two heard it again on her way here, from the smuggler who accompanied her after she left her children home with their father and grandmother.

"I had been told by friends, even by the same people who brought me, that there was a law or something like that, for children, so that they can't be sent back to their country," said Tricia, who didn't want to use her last name because she's in the U.S. illegally. "Something the president had declared, a permit that they had given."

There is no such thing, of course. But in the international game of telephone that is communication between immigrant communities in the United States and relatives back home - in a part of the world where relatively few have Internet access - the "permiso" rumor became a small ray of hope for some parents, like Tricia, desperate to get her children out of El Salvador.


In immigration news: Murietta's mayor, media campaign, GOP tensions

Murrieta protests

David Bauman (AP Photo/The Press-Enterprise)

Protesters turn back three buses carrying 140 immigrants as they attempt to enter the Murrieta U.S. Border Patrol station for processing on July 1, 2014, in Murrieta, Calif.

A California City Revolts Against Undocumented Immigrants - TIME  Alan Long, the mayor of Murrieta, Calif., struck down notions that he helped to organize protesters who confronted several buses bringing 140 immigrants to a border-patrol center in his town. Border-patrol agents turned the buses around and went instead to a San Diego center. Said Long: “We understand these immigrants are coming from a less desirable location. It’s not about them. We’re opposing the federal system that’s broken.”

US launches media campaign in Central America highlighting illegal immigration dangers - Associated Press U.S. Customs and Border Protection is spending $1 million warning Central American parents not to send their children to the US because of the dangers they'll face such as cartels and day-long walks through the desert. Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske launched the campaign on the banks of the Rio Grande in south Texas, where most of the children are crossing. The 11-week "Dangers Awareness Campaign" will include "hundreds of billboards and some 6,500 public service announcements for radio and television stations" in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.  


In immigration news: Murrieta as the 'new flashpoint,' more migrants from Texas arrive in So Cal, tension within GOP, more

Protesters block the arrival of immigrant detainees who were scheduled to be processed at the Murrieta Border Patrol station in California on Tuesday.

Sam Hodgson/Reuters/Landov

Protesters block the arrival of immigrant detainees who were scheduled to be processed at the Murrieta Border Patrol station in California on Tuesday.

A California Town Revolts Against Undocumented Immigrants - TIME On the "new flashpoint in the fierce and often contentious debate over how to handle a recent crush of children and families streaming across the Mexican border." That being Murrietta, Calif., the small Riverside County city where municipal leaders have opposed immigration officials' plan to process Central American migrants flown in from Texas at a local U.S. Border Patrol station. On Tuesday, protesters waving American flags blocked the buses' entry to the facility.

Murrieta Official Warns Immigration Protests Likely ‘Every Time’ Buses Arrive - CBS Local Murrieta, Calif. mayor pro-tem Harry Ramos said in a radio interview "that the standoff Tuesday – which included several protesters holding U.S. flags and signs reading 'stop illegal immigration,' and 'illegals out!' – may occur every 72 hours as a new busload of immigrants are processed through Border Patrol." A town hall meeting is planned Wednesday night.