FROM Ira Mehlman
Federal Immigration Agents Are Back in LA County Jails Last May, the LA Board of Supervisors limited the access of federal immigration agents to County jails. Now, Sheriff Jim McDonnell says he's opened the jail up again . We asked the Sheriff and Board members to join our program; they haven't responded.
LAPD Will No Longer Hold All Undocumented Jailees for ICE On Monday, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the LAPD to suspend most “immigration holds” requested by ICE, the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Yesterday, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky asked if LA County should do the same thing.
President Obama and Immigration Reform In Las Vegas today, President Obama said it's good news that bipartisan groups in both houses of Congress are finally addressing immigration reform. The President endorsed the general principles laid down yesterday by a bipartisan group of US Senators, the most controversial aspect of which may be what's called the path to citizenship. Cautioning that the debate is sure to become emotional, he warned against letting it devolve into "us" versus "them." What's the likely impact of the immigration debate on the Republican Party, currently at an historic low point in California's political history?
One Card to Serve Them All Undocumented residents can't get bank accounts, so they often have to carry all their cash in their pockets. That makes them vulnerable to muggings. Now the City of Los Angeles is about to join Oakland and San Francisco in issuing ID cards that provide access to city services, serve as debit cards and might lead to opening bank accounts. Councilman Richard Alarcón, who wrote the bill, says it's a way for poor people who live in the shadows to come out into the light.
Is the Dream Act Becoming a Nightmare? Thousands of undocumented young people are lining up this week for President Obama's substitute for the "Dream Act," which was rejected by Congress. But all it does is defer deportation for two years, and nobody knows what will happen next. Will applicants have to reveal information that could be used against them or their parents? Will they deported after all when their two years are up? Would Mitt Romney rescind the order if he reached the White House? The President says he supports the "Dream Act," which would offer permanent residency, but he's also deported more people than George W. Bush. In a bid for the Latino vote, is he creating more anxiety and confusion rather than less?
Los Angeles and Obama's Modified Dream Act When he decided to block the deportation of some undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents, President Obama emphasized the limitations of his executive order. To get a two-year reprieve from deportation and qualify for a work permit, a candidate must have been brought to the US before the age of 16. He or she must have lived here for at least five years, be currently in school, graduated from high school or be honorably discharged from the military. They cannot be over the age of 30. We get three perspectives, including one from an undocumented graduate of UCLA Law School.
California Leads the Call for a Boycott of Arizona In 1992, Arizona's then-Governor Evan Mecham cancelled Martin Luther King Day and made insensitive comments about minorities and women. The result was an organized decline in tourism and cancellation of numerous conventions and concerts. An upcoming Super Bowl was moved to another state. Now, Arizona's new immigration law has led to calls for similar retribution. The law requires Arizona police to determine if people are in the US illegally and demand that suspects show their papers. Councilwoman Janice Hahn wants the City of Los Angeles to “refrain from conducting business with the state of Arizona.” We speak with Hahn and others.
California's Shifting Demography For 30 years, the United States has seen the rapid growth of immigration from foreign countries. Now, the US Census Bureau says the increase has come to an end . In California, immigration actually declined last year by almost 2%. Apparently it's all about the economy.
The Immigration Bill Massachusetts Democrat Ted Kennedy and Arizona Republican John Kyl are as far apart as it gets on the US Senate’s political spectrum, but they’ve both signed off on what President Bush calls “comprehensive immigration reform.” Can immigration reform succeed in the midst of the presidential primary campaigns? We’ll hear support and opposition from both ends of the political spectrum.
Rough Jobs, Illegal Immigration and Identity Theft Horrendous working conditions in meatpacking plants were exposed by Upton Sinclair in his novel, The Jungl e, back in 1906. One hundred years later, the plants are staffed mostly by recent immigrants, both illegal and legal. Last week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau raided Swift & Company plants in six states. Agents, some wearing riot gear, locked down the plants and divided employees by citizenship status. The expressed purpose of Operation Wagon Train was to crack down on identity theft, but only 65 charges were filed against 1282 people arrested. It's alleged that some of those arrested were separated from their families, even though they were legal residents who left their papers at home. Scattered families are trying to get back together where meatpacking is all that keeps towns together. Will the incident spark immigration reform in the new Congress?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?