How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In immigration news: Stash house discovery, Piolin lawsuit thrown out, lack of diversity in Silicon Valley

Mercer 717

MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images

Silicon Valley has been criticized for its low number of black and Latino hires.

Five will face federal charges in Pearland stash house - Houston Chronicle More than 110 people were found imprisoned in a squalid stash house, apparently pending payment to the smugglers who brought them to the US. Federal authorities who raided the house on Wednesday are now holding five people on charges of "hostage taking, unlawfully carrying weapon, and conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens." Most of the captured were males, aged 5 to 47. Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said people were "literally living on top of one another."

Principal who told kids not to speak Spanish will lose job - Houston Chronicle In other Pearland, Tex. news, a middle school principal who's been on adminstrative leave since December will not be returning. The school board has decided not to renew Amy Lacey's contract. Lacey had reportedly announced over the intercom that students were not allowed to speak Spanish on school grounds. Latino advocates said such a message had a chilling effect on the district's rapidly growing immigrant population — more than half of the students are Hispanic — and that some students would be discouraged from attending school. 

Read More...

In immigration news: Activists push to halt deportations, a rise in immigration prosecutions, Elvira Arellano returns, more

Mercer 20373

Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

Honduran migrants deported from the United States walk on the tarmac of Toncontin Airport in August, 2011. With immigration reform unlikely in 2014, immigrant rights advocates have stepped up their push for the Obama administration to halt deportations. The White House announced last week that it would review deportation practices.

As Immigration Reform Sputters, Activists Begin Focusing On Stopping Deportations - Fox News Latino Immigrant rights advocates have for some time advocated a "Plan B" with the aim of pushing the White House to take executive action on deportations. With immigration reform unlikely in 2014, the campaign to get President Obama to halt deportations is heating up. The White House announced it would review deportation practices last week.

Report: Rise in unlawful reentry prosecutions drives increase in federal criminal convictions - Southern California Public Radio A federal policy that since 2005 has led to migrants caught along parts of the southern border being prosecuted for illegal entry has driven a spike in immigration-related federal crimes, and an overall increase in federal convictions. It's also changed the demographic makeup of federal offenders.

Read More...

ABC Family's new pilot 'Alice in Arabia' faces backlash on Twitter

ABC Family

ABC Family's logo

ABC Family announced Monday it will add three new pilots to its programming: “Recovery Road,” “Unstrung” and “Alice in Arabia.” The latter has generated some backlash on Twitter for its official plot summary, which you can read below:

“Alice in Arabia” is a high-stakes drama series about a rebellious American teenage girl who, after tragedy befalls her parents, is unknowingly kidnapped by her extended family, who are Saudi Arabian. Alice finds herself a stranger in a new world but is intrigued by its offerings and people, whom she finds surprisingly diverse in their views on the world and her situation. Now a virtual prisoner in her grandfather’s royal compound, Alice must count on her independent spirit and wit to find a way to return home while surviving life behind the veil. The pilot was written by Brooke Eikmeier, who previously served in the US Army as a Cryptologic Linguist in the Arabic language, trained to support NSA missions in the Middle East. She left service in September 2013 as a rank E-4 Specialist.

Read More...

Report: Rise in unlawful reentry prosecutions drives increase in federal criminal convictions

Mercer 10318

Ted Robbins/NPR

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrest migrants in 2007 after they illegally crossed into Nogales, Ariz. A program called Operation Streamline puts people caught crossing illegally along parts of the southern border in federal court, giving them criminal records. A new Pew Research report points out how Operation Streamline has driven a rise in federal convictions as more people are prosecuted for unlawful entry into the U.S.

A new Pew Research Center report finds a sharp rise in the number of immigrants being charged with unlawful entry, leading to an increase in federal immigration crimes and changing the ethnic composition of federal offenders.

Over two decades, between 1992 and 2012, the number of people sentenced in federal courts more than doubled, according to the report, chiefly driven by federal policies that have pushed prosecution for people who enter the U.S. illegally. From the report:

At the same time, the number of unlawful reentry convictions increased 28- fold, from 690 cases in 1992 to 19,463 in 2012. The increase in unlawful reentry convictions alone accounts for nearly half (48%) of the growth in the total number of offenders sentenced in federal courts over the period. By contrast, the second fastest growing type of conviction—for drug offenses— accounted for 22% of the growth.

Read More...

In immigration news: 'Deporter-in-chief' fact check, NY 'Dream Act' voted down, Canada border terror arrest, more

John Moore/Getty Images

Immigrants are searched before boarding a deportation flight in Mesa, Arizona.

PolitiFact: Activist Janet Murguía calls Obama 'deporter-in-chief,' says he has deported more immigrants than other presidents - Tampa Bay Times Where does the National Council of La Raza leader's recent comment about President Obama's deportation record fall on the PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter? From the story: "It’s too soon to say that Obama has deported more people than any other president. But with the information available, it looks like he’s on track to do so. We rate her claim Half True."

California man arrested near Canadian border on terror charges - CNN The federal Department of Justice says that 20-year-old Stockton college student Nicholas Teausant was arrested in Blaine, Washington and has been charged with "attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization." It's alleged that Teausant "traveled to the Canadian border with the intent of continuing on to Syria to join the terrorist organization known as al Qaeda in Iraq."

Read More...