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Today we begin by hearing from a pastor at a local church who’s offering refuge to Central Americans facing deportation. Then, Pope Francis kicks off a five-day trip to Mexico this week. Why is it significant? Next, the latest on the situation in East L.A., where an estimated 10,000 homes have been contaminated by toxins from an Exide battery recycling plant. After that, Madeleine speaks to the author of a new book detailing the history of the political fight over abortion. And finally, in our regular Monday television roundup, the Super Bowl halftime show and more.

Banner Image: U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement released this photo in September 2011 during a national wave of arrests of immigrants with criminal records.

Religious Leaders vs ICE 8 MIN, 53 SEC

Local religious leaders around L.A. are offering refuge to Central Americans facing deportation. They say immigration authorities are violating human rights by sending them back to face deadly violence. That’s according to a Los Angeles Times story out today. And it’s not just here. Congregations across the country are pitting themselves against the federal government on this issue.

Fred Morris, United Methodist Church Center in North Hills

Pope Visits the U.S.-Mexico Border 6 MIN, 38 SEC

This week Pope Francis kicks off a five-day trip to Mexico that one bishop says will touch on the moral issues that affect the world. The Vatican released a message saying Pope Francis wants to be “close” to those that are “suffering.” Those people include Mexico’s indigenous populations, refugees, migrants and victims of cartel violence and corruption. But the pope’s visit to Ciudad Juarez at the end of his trip will likely get the most attention. He’s scheduled to celebrate a joint-border Mass for residents of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso and walk to the banks of the Rio Grande, calling attention to the plight of migrants. Why is this visit so significant?

Alfredo Corchado, Arizona State University (@ajcorchado)

Exide Battery Plant Contamination Continues 9 MIN, 16 SEC

Because of the gas leak in Porter Ranch, two schools have been temporarily moved out of the area, and residents of about 5,000 homes have been relocated. Last month Gov. Jerry Brown visited and declared a state of emergency. But in communities southeast of downtown, such as Bell, Commerce, Huntington Park and Boyle Heights, an estimated 10,000 homes have been contaminated over decades by toxins spewed from the Exide battery recycling plant. It has been almost a year since the plant closed permanently, but there has been no visit from Brown and most of the homes in question have yet to receive any testing or remediation. We get an update on those affected.

Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times (@tonybarboza)

The History of Abortion Politics 13 MIN, 34 SEC

Abortion has come up again and again on the campaign trail, and the rhetoric is (no surprise) split along partisan lines. Republicans want to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Democrats largely favor abortion rights. But it wasn’t always that way. Before Roe v. Wade, the anti-abortion movement was driven mostly by Catholics, who were overwhelmingly Democrats. And in the ‘60s, most of the state laws that opened up access to abortions were introduced and supported by Republicans. That’s according to a new book by Daniel Williams, a history professor at the University of West Georgia. Madeleine talks to him about his latest work.

Daniel Williams, University of West Georgia

Defenders of the Unborn

Daniel K. Williams

TV Roundup: Super Bowl Edition 8 MIN, 9 SEC

Beyonce performed during the Super Bowl half-time show yesterday – but she didn’t just sing. She also got political. This week in our regular Monday television roundup, we talk about the biggest day in sports and television.

Mary McNamara, Staff writer for the Los Angeles Times

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