How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Bound by freeways, Chinatown pedestrians face heightened danger

Chinatown traffic

Josie Huang/KPCC

Grace Yin said that she is extremely cautious crossing Chinatown streets. A relative of hers was hit by a car by Cesar Chavez Avenue and Broadway several years ago, she said.

Chinatown traffic

Josie Huang/KPCC

Tommy Lo, 18, would like to see more bike lanes in Chinatown. Few people bike because they"are too afraid of cars and the traffic," he said.

Chinatown heat map

APIOPA

The Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance spotlighted the density of accidents in Chinatown, using collision data from the Berkeley Transportation Injury Mapping System.


As a retiree without a car, Grace Yin walks the streets of Chinatown every day, and never lets her guard down. Everywhere, she said, there are careless drivers. A relative was hit crossing Broadway and Cesar Chavez Avenue several years ago.

"You have to look to the east, look to the west," Yin said in Mandarin. "You have to be very careful."

Los Angeles isn’t known as the friendliest place for pedestrians and bicyclists. But a new analysis by the Asian & Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance shows that they face an elevated risk of injury from reckless driving in Chinatown. (The APIOPA used the UC Berkeley's Traffic Injury Mapping Systems, which relies on data from the California Highway Patrol).

Drivers were at fault in 76 percent of collisions with pedestrians in Chinatown, compared to 66 percent for Los Angeles County, according to the alliance's analysis. This worries the alliance’s Jeffrey Kho, given that elderly residents make up about a quarter of Chinatown's population.
 
"If you’re a young person, you see a car coming at you, you can run, you can jump," Kho said. "If you’re an elderly person with a walker, or even limping across, it’s a lot harder to get out of the way."

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In immigration news: Feds stop search for extra child shelter space, CA officials propose legal help for migrant kids, state immigration laws, more

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

John Moore/Getty Images

Salvadoran immigrant Stefany Marjorie, 8, holds her doll Rodrigo on July 24, 2014 in Mission, Texas. The White House has reportedly abandoned its search for additional shelter space for unaccompanied migrant minors, after the number of children and teens arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has declined.

U.S. drops search for new shelters to house child immigrants - McClatchy The White House has reportedly abandoned its search for additional shelter space for unaccompanied migrant minors, after the number of children and teens arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has declined. Three emergency shelters set up at military bases have shut down, including one in Ventura County, Calif. that opened in June.

Gov. Brown announces legislation to provide migrants kids with legal help - Southern California Public Radio Legislation announced Thursday by California Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials proposes providing $3 million to qualifying non-profits to provide legal help for unaccompanied child minors, the majority of whom land in the immigration court system without legal representation.

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Gov. Brown announces legislation to provide migrants kids with legal help

MEXICO CHILD MIGRANTS

DAVID MAUNG/AP

In this file photo, social services worker Bertha Mendez Leyva, 32, watches as deported minors file into a Baja California state social services agency office that helps deported minors locate family on Wednesday, May 3, 2006 in Tijuana, Mexico. The unaccompanied minors were detained while being smuggled into the United States near San Diego. Hundreds of unaccompanied minors a day are crossing the southern border, most of them now from Honduras, Guatamala, and El Salvador.

California state officials and lawmakers have introduced a plan that would provide money for pro-bono legal assistance to recently arrived unaccompanied child migrants now living in California. 

The legislation proposes providing $3 million to qualifying non-profits to provide legal help for unaccompanied child minors, the majority of whom land in the immigration court system without legal representation. It was announced Thursday by Governor Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and members of the state Senate and Assembly.

“These young people have legal rights and responsibilities, but they cannot fully participate in complex immigration proceedings without an attorney,” said Harris, according to a statement from the governor's press office. “It is critical that these children, many of whom are fleeing extreme violence in Central America, have access to due process and adequate legal representation.‎”

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In immigration news: Broader executive action, legal help for migrant kids, Central American migration and coffee, more

US-POLITICS-OBAMA

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama waits for a meeting with business leaders in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House on July 11, 2014 in Washington, D.C. After meeting with business leaders and others pushing for action on immigration, Obama is reportedly contemplating changes that go beyond relief from deportation for immigrants.

Obama Weighs Broader Move On Legal Immigration -Associated Press After meeting with business leaders and others pushing for action on immigration, President Obama is reportedly contemplating changes beyond relief from deportation for immigrants, and is "considering key changes in the nation's immigration system requested by tech, industry and powerful interest groups, in a move that could blunt Republicans' election-year criticism of the president's go-it-alone approach to immigration."

Immigrant children may get free legal help - San Francisco Chronicle California Attorney General Kamala Harris is seeking pro bono help for Central American migrant children, asking private law firms to provide free legal assistance. From the story: "The idea is to find private sources to help the children in their deportation hearings in Northern California, similar to an effort under way in Southern California."

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In immigration news: Border shooting investigated, executive action and startups, danger for deported Honduran kids, more

Border Agents Struggle To Keep Immigrants From Illegally Crossing AZ Border

Scott Olson/Getty Images

A U.S. Border Patrol agent drives along a fence which separates the cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora Mexico. U.S. investigators are reconstructing the scene of an agent-involved shooting that killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in 2012, on the Mexican side of the fence. The teen's family has sued the U.S. government.

U.S. prosecutors investigating 2012 cross-border shooting in Nogales - Tucson Sentinel U.S. investigators are reconstructing the scene of a cross-border shooting that killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in 2012. From the story: "The teen was walking along a street in Nogales, Son., when he was shot approximately 10 times by U.S. Border Patrol agents. Most of the bullets struck him in the back and the boy died on the sidewalk just four blocks from his home." His family has sued the U.S. government.

How an Executive Order on Immigration Could Help Startups - Slate As President Obama weighs executive action on immigration, some possible changes could wind up benefiting small businesses owned by immigrant entrepreneurs. From the story: "An executive order might, for example, remove the dependents of green card holders from the official caps, which could increase worker green card numbers to nearly 300,000."

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