In this edition of News Picks, Homeland Security approves the first batch of deferred action applicants and Los Angeles considers turning library cards into valid IDs for the undocumented.
Tag: Los Angeles
Julio Salgado uses visual art to raise awareness about the challenges of being undocumented and gay.
Young Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel is inspiring young musicians in Los Angeles. Reporter Pilar Marrero produced a story about him for our radio partner Studio 360.
Mobile Voices is a multimedia platform that uses cell phones to help day laborers, household workers, and other immigrants express their thoughts and tell stories on the Internet.
After two decades of growth spurred by a civil war, natural disasters and rural poverty, the Salvadorn-born population in the United States has reached about 1.1 million people, making it the sixth largest immigrant community in the nation.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona was clearly enjoying his starring role at a series of fundraisers last week in Southern California.
The sheriff, known for his aggressive tactics against undocumented immigrants in and around Phoenix, happily chatted with reporters — even the citizen reporters that were part of a protest against him –at an event on Thursday in Anaheim, Orange County before heading to Mission Bay, San Diego, for a second fundraiser.
The self-described “toughest sheriff in the country” came to California to support an underdog sheriff´s candidate: Bill Hunt in Orange County. On Friday, he did the same for Jay La Sur in San Diego County in a move that is certain to bring the immigration issue to the fore in those races, both to be decided next year.
Watch Pilar Marrero’s video of Sheriff Arpaio’s visit to Anaheim, California.
At first, Arpaio seemed irritated by the protests that awaited him as he arrived at the event in Anaheim. But then he seemed to relish the opportunity to face the cameras in California as he often does in Arizona. “Why are they always following me? When I went to the O’Brien show and the Colbert show in New York they were there too,” he said to puzzled reporters who were asking him about his controversial law enforcement policies. (more…)
On his first visit to Los Angeles, three months after becoming the chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), assistant secretary for Homeland Security John Morton said all his agency wants to do is become more efficient.
“We will try to apply immigration laws in a tough, smart and thoughtful manner,” said Morton to a small group of reporters invited to meet him last week as part of his tour of Southern California.
He said that if people expected ICE to stop doing its job, they would be disappointed. “That is not the point”, said Morton, who is a career prosecutor.
In Los Angeles, there were at least five major organized marches pushing for immigration reform on May Day, three of which started from the same point in the heart of downtown: Broadway and Olympic.
Different groups and local organizations had different routes in mind: the first one started with about 1,500 people and followed a route similar to the mega-march of March 25, 2006.
Another demonstration started later, towards Temple and Alameda, somewhat to the east of the first one. Approximately 1,000 people participated. A third march in the same area during the afternoon gathered only a few hundred people.
Two other groups were marching in the afternoon in Downtown and Echo Park, a neighborhood just west of Dodger Stadium.
Groups of students were to march separately in the southeast area of Los Angeles County in support of the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented students to regularize their immigration status and gain access to higher education.
The fragmentation of groups dissappointed a local activist, who had hoped for a unified contingent. “It’s too bad, the groups look very small by themselves. I participated in the first one and now I’m in the second one. They don’t take more than a block and a little more each”, said Ricardo Moreno, an immigrant rights activist in Los Angeles. “The groups are divided and to me, ’cause I know all the organizers, it’s about egos.”
By Pilar Marrero, La Opinión and FI2W reporter
LOS ANGELES — Activists have a pet name for Hope for Homeowners (H4H), the government initiative that’s supposed to help struggling mortgage holders keep their homes: they call it “hoho”.
“It’s a sad kind of humor, but it reflects a reality,” says Kathleen Day of the Center for Responsible Lending, a homeowners advocacy group. “We have yet to see a significant effect of these programs for most people.”
Many people across the country who are –or expect soon to be– unable to continue payments on their mortgages have placed their hopes on H4H, otherwise known as “the Obama plan”. Latinos have been experiencing foreclosures at a higher rate than the rest of the U.S. poulation, following a decade-long push to increase minority ownership. Figures released this week show that, instead of diminishing, foreclosures are rising quickly.
“I want to know, how much can my mortgage payment be reduced?” asks Norma Ochoa, a woman from Los Angeles that has been keeping up with her payments so far despite losing one of her two cleaning jobs.
Many, like Ochoa, are still waiting for an answer.
“The bank says they can not yet help me. That I need to wait,” she says, at the offices of a local organization that helps people negotiate with banks. “I don’t think I’m gonna be able to continue paying for long.”
RealtyTrac’s latest foreclosure report, released Wednesday, shows that during the first quarter of this year, foreclosure filings increased 13% compared to the previous 3 months.
By Pilar Marrero, La Opinión and FI2W reporter
For years, California politician Rosario Marín, a model Latina conservative, was a rising star in the Republican Party.
Last week, though, after she resigned her state cabinet position due to an investigation into her outside income, Marín saw the state’s Republican-led administration quickly distance itself from her.
As California’s Fair Political Practices Commission investigates whether she improperly pocketed tens of thousands of dollars for giving speeches to companies who had business with her agency, Marín optimistically waits, saying she has done nothing wrong.
“I am at peace with myself, thank God,” she told me the day after her resignation. “I can sleep well every night.”