By Megan Burks
President Obama to Unveil Immigration Reform Plan
As President Barack Obama starts his second term, the nation is talking about immigration reform. In his State of the Nation address, Obama said comprehensive immigration reform would be a top priority. The White House announced Friday Obama will unveil his plan, which his administration has said will include a path to citizenship, Tuesday in Nevada.
A bipartisan poll released last Friday shows 63 percent of voters support a path to citizenship, according to Fronteras Desk.
Here in San Diego, Mayor Bob Filner called for legalization at a rally held by immigrant rights groups. He also said immigration enforcement and work permits would need to be factored into a reform measure.
As the conversation about immigration reform picks up, so do questions about how legalization and immigration enforcement might impact people on the ground. Fronteras Desk launched a series this week that zooms in on each piece of immigration reform.
Adrian Florido, also at KPBS, looks at current shortfalls in the country’s guest worker program – shortfalls that would likely need to be addressed along the path to citizenship.
In Arizona, Jude Joffe-Block looks at lessons learned in using E-Verify, a program used to check the immigration status and identity of new employees. It’s expected this kind of enforcement will increase under immigration reform.
And Michel Marizco in Arizona looks at how enforcement at the border is changing, how much it costs, and whether it’s effective.
You can follow the entire series here.
Follow Fronteras Desk @fronterasdesk.
In New York, Latino and African American Groups Fight Soda Regulation
While California voters turned down two measures to tax soda in November, New York City has successfully put a law on the books to limit soda sizes to 16 oz. – no more Big Gulps and supersized Cokes.
The ordinance – and the California proposals – are meant to curb obesity rates, which are higher among African Americans and Latinos. But The Hispanic Federation and New York chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are fighting the ban, according to Fronteras Desk.
They say the regulation could hurt small businesses, such as convenience stores and restaurants, run by minorities. The NAACP is also tied to the soft drink industry via its Atlanta law firm, which also represents Coca-Cola.
Follow the conversation about soda regulation in California @SodaSucks.
Somalia’s President Calls on Diaspora to Help Rebuild Nation
Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud spoke to thousands in Minnesota last Friday after the United States officially recognized Somalia’s government, according to USA Today.
Last year, U.S.-backed African troops made strides against militant groups, which occupied much of Somalia’s capital. The country then ended its transitional government with the election of Mohamud.
After meeting with U.S. officials last week, Mohamud told Somalis in Minnesota he would need their help to rebuild the country. He invited Somali refugees to return home, but also said work could be done stateside.
Last year, the City Heights-based Somali Youth League said it would focus on educating Somali youth in San Diego so they could help find solutions to issues that have plagued their families’ homeland, including famine and drought.
Follow Somali Youth League on Facebook.
San Diego Unified Could Bring More Mental Health Support to Schools
KPBS reported this week San Diego Unified School District is considering a resolution to partner with the San Diego Psychological Association. The partnership would provide training for teachers and school staff on how to identify students who would benefit from mental health services.
The resolution comes as City Heights residents are urging local leaders to address gun control and mental health gaps in the wake of the Newtown shooting.
Follow KPBS @KPBSNews.
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