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I Survived the Gangs and the Border Crossing–But Trump Has Put New Obstacles In My Path

By | August 17, 2017

If you quit today, everything you did yesterday will be wasted.
That is the phrase I grew up living in my native El Salvador.
I emigrated to Los Angeles in 2014, a long trip by land that took me two months. I needed to leave San Salvador: I had dreams of being a journalist, but I had no money. I could only afford two years at the …

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As Trump Targets Immigrants, Their Families Are Pushing Back at the Ballot Box

By | August 16, 2017

Since the onset of the Trump era, we’ve been witnessing a very strong and measurable response by immigrants in Los Angeles. This response includes Latino, Asian, and other immigrants. It’s evident in civic participation and in opposition to Trump immigration policies—as well as to the broader anti-immigrant atmosphere that the Trump administration is fostering. The response is demonstrable in voting patterns, in the increasingly progressive …

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Why an Undocumented College Student Left California for Indiana

By | August 16, 2017

I’m one of the young people covered by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows people who immigrated with their parents before they were 16 to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation. I am told I crossed the border from Mexico when I was two years old, sitting in the back of a car. I’m part of …

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Want to Protect Immigrants? Help Integrate Them into Our City.

By | August 16, 2017

Is it any wonder that immigrant Los Angeles finds itself in the eye of Tropical Storm Don?
President Trump has stormed in with talk of Muslim travel bans, plans to build a wall along the Southern border, and ambitions to deport millions. And Los Angeles County has been ground zero for immigrant flows and immigration issues for decades. In the early 1980s, roughly a fourth of …

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L.A. Once Feared and Criminalized Immigrants. Have We Changed?

By | August 15, 2017

We here in Los Angeles are familiar with the use of fear as an instrument of public policy. Whether it was the LAPD’s occupation of South Central, the Hollywood black lists, the Japanese internment or the zoot suit riots, we’ve been perpetrators and victims, and we bear the scars.
Now it is happening again. Trump’s immigration policies are intended to frighten the vulnerable among us …

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Iranian Americans Have Thrived Since Fleeing the Revolution, but Their Freedoms Are Now Restricted

By | August 15, 2017

Ever since the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79, Iranian American immigrants, including the large number of us living here in Los Angeles, have been personally feeling the effects of the rising and falling tension levels in U.S.-Iran relations. That historic upheaval, which severed Washington’s close ties to the former Shah of Iran, and resulted in the taking of 54 U.S. hostages, has marked interactions between the …

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Confessions of an Eclipse Chaser

By | August 15, 2017

On August 21st this year, I will log my 26th solar eclipse and my 17th total solar eclipse. August 21st is when parts of the contiguous United States will fall in the path of a total eclipse for the first time since 1979. An eclipse happens on those rare occasions when the paths of moon and sun are in alignment, and the new moon covers …

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The Economic Cost of Isolating Immigrants

By | August 14, 2017

Trump’s immigration policies are a problem for the U.S. economy, and in ways you might not think.
Whether it’s crime, security or jobs—Trump has openly and repeatedly linked many of the supposed woes of the nation to immigrants, fanning the xenophobic flames that exist at some level in all societies. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric has already slowed the pace of immigration …

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How Airports Became the Battleground for Deciding Who Belongs in America

By | August 14, 2017

At 3 p.m. on January 28, 2017—the day after Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel to the United States by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries—I frantically tried to stop the departure of a plane carrying Ali Vayeghan.
Mr. Vayeghan is an Iranian man who had arrived at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) the night before; he was planning to start a new life …

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A Hate Crime Exposes Deeper Rifts Between Asian Americans

By | August 11, 2017

Of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant actions, the best known are the barring of immigrants and refugees from Muslim countries, and the rounding up and deporting of undocumented immigrants, even those without criminal records or those who came to the United States as children. Now Trump has proposed slashing the number of legal immigrants, restricting family reunification, and moving towards a “merit-based” system that favors highly-educated, …

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