Alejandra Molina

Alejandra Molina


I write about immigration, race, and religion. My work has appeared in news sites across the Southern California News Group. I have also written about reproductive issues for Rewire News.

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Los Angeles Daily News

How California’s ‘sanctuary state’ bill would further limit ICE’s ability to arrest immigrants

"While immigrant advocates have voiced concern about recent enforcement operations, ICE says it could be taking a higher number of convicted criminals into custody — and more easily — if not for internal law enforcement agency policies and state laws."

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The Press-Enterprise

A Moreno Valley man went in for a green card, but was deported instead

Ramon Ruiz Ortiz of Moreno Valley went to San Bernardino’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office at 10 a.m. May 11 to interview for a green card giving him permanent residency. By 7 p.m., he’d been deported to Tijuana.

Now, his family and an attorney representing the Mexican Consulate in San Bernardino are trying to figure out what happened to the man they describe as a hard-working husband and father with no criminal record. They contend he should not have been deported.

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The Press-Enterprise

Riverside church says it will house immigrants at risk of deportation

First Congregational Church of Riverside, located downtown near the Mission Inn, is doing so even if the move puts the parish at odds with federal law as President Donald Trump ramps up deportation efforts.

For some churches, offering sanctuary is in line with their faith tradition of confronting what they see as unjust laws.

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The Press-Enterprise

Sen. Kevin de León, amid taunts from Trump supporters, tells Riverside to remain defiant

State Sen. Kevin de León struck a defiant tone Saturday, May 6, in Riverside, saying California will continue to be a world leader on social justice issues threatened by President Donald Trump.

“Our values, our vision, our economic progress is in direct conflict with the new administration’s vision for America,” said De León, D-Los Angeles. “And we’re going to have to fight like never before.”

“We’re not going to back down no matter what the president does,” De León added.

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The Press-Enterprise

Young immigrants rush to use travel loophole before Trump's inauguration

It’s been 20 years since Mitzie Perez has last seen her native Guatemala and now she’s aiming to make the trek before it’s too late.

This could be her last chance to see her ailing and remaining grandparents, not just for her sake, but for her parents, who are undocumented. Her dad already missed out on seeing his mother before she passed. And, her mom, did not get a chance to see her father before he died.

“It might be my only and last chance to go. And I’m doing it for them,” said Perez, 25.

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The Press-Enterprise

Southern California immigrants warned to prepare for possible deportation

Mexican and Guatemalan consuls are urging immigrants to be prepared and not panic in the wake of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation that resulted in 161 arrests in six Southern California counties.

In today’s immigration landscape, this means preparing for potential deportation.

“It’s as if you’re preparing for a hurricane or a natural emergency. Apply that idea,” said Mario Cuevas Zamora, the Mexican consul for Santa Ana.

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The Press-Enterprise

How pro-immigrant groups say people should prepare for Trump's presidency

The election of Republican Donald Trump has instilled so much fear in some immigrants that a number of them reportedly started packing their bags to move back to their native countries.

But immigrant rights organizers are saying, “Not so fast.”

In the wake of Trump’s election, dozens of “Know your Rights” forums are being held across Southern California to educate the immigrant community about their U.S. constitutional rights.

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The Press-Enterprise

He sings corridos like a Mexican

“When I first started singing this type of music, many African-Americans would laugh at me and there were many times when I didn’t want to go to school,” Lowery said in Spanish.
“They would call me a ‘wanna-be Mexican,’” added Lowery. “I don’t want to be Mexican. I can never be Mexican, but I have my respects for Mexican people and for the music.”

Immigration article

Options remain for undocumented immigrants with prior crimes

A California law that took effect January could help undocumented immigrants with previous crimes.

In immigration cases, it allows people who are no longer in jail or prison to file a motion to vacate their criminal convictions.

For example, a conviction or sentence can be legally invalid if, due to poor legal representation, a defendant did not fully understand the immigration consequences of accepting a guilty plea.

Syrian article
The Press-Enterprise

How a Syrian family is adjusting to life as refugees in Southern California

The Ezzeddins — who include Mahmoud and his wife, their three adult children and their spouses, and nine grandchildren — are Syrian Muslim refugees who were vetted in Egypt for about two and a half years before immigrating to the United States.

They’re a family of artists who embellished furniture in Syria. Now, they’re trying to make the best of life in Riverside at a time when immigrants and refugees, particularly those who are Muslim, are being targeted as threats to national security.

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The Press-Enterprise

How undocumented immigrants are becoming U.S. legal residents after traveling abroad

Italia Garcia, 26, of Riverside, was largely unaware about advance parole when she was first granted DACA in 2013. Now, after traveling to Mexico for work purposes, she has returned legally to the United States.

Entering legally, makes her eligible to be sponsored for permanent residency by an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen.

She also recently took advantage of a Supreme Court ruling permitting same-sex marriage. Now, Garcia is planning on having her wife, Denisse Lopez, sponsor her for permanent residency.

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From gentrification to 'Calle Cuatro': Downtown Santa Ana merchants want Fourth Street to bank on Latino culture

Just like Garden Grove has Little Saigon and Los Angeles has Little Tokyo, Santa Ana should claim its Latino identity, merchants say.

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The Press-Enterprise

How racism can contribute to the high black infant mortality rate

The disparity has been well documented over the years, and researchers and public health advocates say the cause goes deeper than whether African American women are accessing prenatal care early enough or how other health factors come into play.

Pp article

California Protesters Cite Discredited Smear Campaign as Reason to End Health Care for Thousands

The anti-choice protesters were emboldened.

They waved signs reading, “Abortion kills children,” held images of fetuses in utero, cheered as cars honked in support, and chanted “Defund Planned Parenthood!”

About 200 people, including parents and their children, students, and religious groups, gathered outside an Orange County Planned Parenthood, encouraged by a White House administration more sympathetic to preventing the national reproductive health-care organization from receiving federal funding.

Ocradvanceparole article

Students, who entered the U.S. illegally, travel to Mexico before Trump becomes president

Concerned their legal status in the United States could be upended by Donald Trump, 25 college students and recent graduates who initially arrived here illegally left John Wayne Airport for Mexico on Thursday and will return before he becomes president.