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California is one of four states that would be most affected if the DREAM Act becomes law. That's the path to citizenship for children brought to this country as minors by illegal parents--who were raised here--but who can't work here legally after they come of age. Is it both humane and good for the local economy—or a grant of "amnesty" for teenagers who knew what they were doing and ought to be sent home? Also, D.J. Waldie retires from the City of Lakewood. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, poverty in America increased last year to 44 million people. One longtime advocate calls it a “national emergency.” Will Washington treat it that way? How many poor people vote?

Banner image: Carlos A. Quiroz.

Main Topic Census Bureau Says One in Seven Americans Lives in Poverty 16 MIN, 52 SEC

The National Bureau of Economic Research said today the Great Recession that started in December 2007 officially ended in June of last year. But don't tell that to the 43.6 million people who are trying to live below the poverty line. That's 14.3% overall, or one in seven Americans, including 20% of all children, and 25% of blacks and Hispanics.  That's the highest poverty rate since 1994, and the Census Bureau says it would have been worse except for government safety nets.

Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs
Jason Perkins-Cohen, Executive Director, Job Opportunities Task Force
Frank Spencer, Executive Director, Stewpot Community Services
Beverly Damore, Chief Communications Officer, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
Stephen Moore, Heritage Foundation (@StephenMoore)
Heidi Shierholz, Economist, Economic Policy Institute (@EconomicPolicy)

Reporter's Notebook The Bard of Lakewood Announces His Retirement 8 MIN, 35 SEC

D.J. Waldie is an award-winning writer whose essays, articles and books have helped many readers better understand Southern California.  Some essays are collected in Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles. His most recent book is California Romantica. He co-wrote Real City: Downtown Los Angeles Inside/Out with photographer Marissa Roth. In 1996, he published Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir about Lakewood, the LA suburb where he was born, has lived all his life and has worked for 34 years as Public Information Officer. Last year, Waldie said he would retire. This year, he says he really means it.

D.J. Waldie, KCET (@djwaldie)

California Romantica

D. J. Waldie

Main Topic Mayor, Community Leaders Push for Passage of DREAM Act 26 MIN, 45 SEC

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would provide a path to citizenship for children who were brought to this country illegally before they were 16 and then lived here continuously for five years. Even then, citizenship would be only temporary. They'd have six years to complete two years of college or two years of military service.  The DREAM Act used to be a bipartisan proposal, but, in the absence of immigration reform, some supporters from both parties have reversed their positions. Now it's become a political football. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada attached the DREAM Act to the Defense Appropriations Bill. At LA City Hall today, Mayor Villaraigosa, AFL-CIO leader Maria Elena Durazo, immigrants' rights groups and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce all urged passage.

Angelica Salas, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (@ASalasCHIRLA)
Roy Beck, Founder and CEO, Numbers USA
Gladys Castro, Soon-to-be freshman, UC Berkeley

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