Tracing Points: 5 immigration stories you missed this week

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Tracing Points

Each week, we put you on the map with immigration and transnational culture stories you might have missed throughout the week. And if you’ve come across any articles worth mentioning, write to us or tweet us @SonicTrace_KCRW.

 Dreamer passes credible fear interview, closer to staying in U.S.

On Monday, Jaren Rodriguez Orellana, who participated in the Bring Them Home 3 border action and is a Honduran national, convinced immigration officials his life is at risk if he’s deported back to his country. This is a step forward in the asylum-seeking process. Orellana has been in detention for five weeks, and was the first to cross with a group of undocumented youth at the California-Mexico border on March 10.

Since then, most of the other participants’ credible fear interviews have been denied. The action was orchestrated by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance.

(ht Fusion)

Immigration activists say President Obama doesn’t understand their fight. (Photo: Eric Pearse-Chavez, Sonic Trace)

The fight for rights: President Obama’s previous battle, immigrant youths’ current dilemma

Before becoming President Barack Obama, he was a community organizer advocating for divestment from South Africa. But immigration activists are saying even with previous experience in organizing, President Obama still doesn’t get it. An immigrant advocate tells NBC News:

“I’m having a difficult time understanding a president who comes from an organizing background, he knows that access and dealing with the politics of Congress is not really power. Power is in the people,” said Cristina Jimenez, cofounder and managing director of United We Dream Network.

On Thursday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi said immigration reform isn't moving forward because of racism. (Photo: Nancy Pelosi Flickr)
On Thursday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi said immigration reform isn’t moving forward because of racism. (Photo: Nancy Pelosi Flickr) (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Is immigration reform stalled because of racism?

On Thursday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi said it would easier for the GOP to move forward on immigration if unauthorized immigrants were from a European country. Huffington Post’s Elise Foley reports:

“I think race has something to do with the fact that they’re not bringing up an immigration bill,” she said at her weekly press conference. “I’ve heard them say to the Irish, ‘If it were just you, this would be easy.'”

From Mexico to the U.S. White House Cabinet

Maria Contreras-Sweet came from Guadalajara when she was 5 years old. This week, she made made it to a top U.S. position – the Small Business Administration leader. She recapped her immigrant experience during her swearing-in ceremony:

“My journey from Guadalajara to this house today (White House) can only happen in America,” said Contreras-Sweet after she was sworn in by Vice President Biden. “We didn’t have much, but we had an abundance of hope,” she added.

(ht NBC News)

Diversifying L.A. neighborhoods with Latino roots

There’s K-town, Little Tokyo and maybe a future Peru Village? Groups from Mexico and Central American don’t have official dedicated spaces in L.A. — except for El Savldor Corridor near Pico Union. But Latino culture is seen everywhere in the city. KCRW’s Warren Olney talks with experts about the push for establishing Latino neighborhoods.