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.
Just like Garden Grove has Little Saigon and Los Angeles has Little Tokyo, Santa Ana should claim its Latino identity, merchants say.
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.
SANTA ANA – The afternoon visit by Santa Ana police officers only reinforced the uneasy feeling Herlinda Salcedo woke up to Saturday, on the five-month anniversary of her 28-year-old daughter’s disappearance.
As Juan Gabriel’s “Siempre en Mi Mente" played, Macrina Reyes wept and embraced the pink casket containing her daughter, asking for her forgiveness.
“No matter what news it is about Selena, no matter what she’s mentioned in, or happens, it spreads like wildfire,” he said. “Everybody is still so attached to her that they want to know what’s going on as if she’s alive.”
Growing up off First Street and Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana, the Adame brothers soaked in the custom-car, motorcycle, tattoo and barber culture of one of Orange County’s early Mexican American barrios. But they couldn’t afford one vital component: pomade.
“By saying that we want Calle Cuatro, that we want to promote the Latino culture, that is not a bad thing, and we should not ever say and teach our children that it’s something racist and un-American,” Hernandez said.
“Is Little Armenia racist and un-American. ... Is Martin Luther King Boulevard and Cesar Chavez?” Hernandez asked the City Council. “We’re not talking about renaming the whole city Mexico City or Aztlan Central.”
SANTA ANA – Annie Kim Pham’s violent beating outside a popular restaurant last year left a grieving family seeking answers and residents and business owners stunned and struggling in an area that has worked to rebuild itself into a destination for the young and hip.
Emigdio Vasquez has been called “the godfather of Chicano art.”
He’s embellished walls with everything from pachucos to migrant workers to other vivid scenes of barrio life. In his work, Vasquez illustrates people walking along the shops of Santa Ana’s “Calle Cuatro,” highlights day laborers waiting for work, and in one of his most recognized murals, showcases “The Legacy of Cesar Chavez.”
“As a younger community, there’s a lot of activism going on and people portray that as something negative,” Perez said. “I think they should really sit down and see what their ultimate goal is. They have a goal. They’re not just trying to cause ruckus out there for nothing.”
For some residents, Townsend is far from a gang war zone. On any given day, they say, there’s a birthday gathering at night or children playing in the street.
Events like those leave them to wonder why a gang injunction is necessary.
“My family wants justice; that way we can have a little bit of closure in our lives,” Andres Canepa, Ernesto’s brother, told the City Council on Tuesday. “That’s the main reason why we’re here. We just want to be heard. We’re in pain.”
Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the fatal police shooting of Canepa and of two other Mexican nationals fatally shot by police in February in Texas and Washington state. The agency asked the U.S. Justice Department to join the investigations.
“The law is pretty clear that if you have been a victim of a violent crime and you cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of that crime you’re entitled to a U visa,” said Attorney George Abbes. “It’s to motivate people who are undocumented to come forward and report violent crimes.”
“What is unique about this, is that the alleged criminals are cops. That’s huge,” Abbes added.
Two artists who have focused on capturing the experiences of people crossing and living along the Tijuana border are now exploring Santa Ana, documenting how immigrant families establish themselves in a community filled with tensions over gentrification.
Living off of 17th Street in Santa Ana’s Floral Park neighborhood, Robert Iggulden has at one point or another counted nearly 20 medical marijuana shops within a half-mile radius of his home.