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A Journalist’s Trek Back From His Birth Country. And Other Headlines.

A picture collage of a man wearing glasses standing next to a sign that reads: Welcome to the USA, Bienvenido a Los Estados Unidos; a map of the United States is overlayed in the background along with colorful paint sprays and textures.
(Dan Carino
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For many of us, we can take a trip to a foreign country and return without fear of not being allowed back into the United States.

But for the more than 580,000 recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, or DACA, all over the nation, easy access back to the states is not a guarantee.

The Meaning Of 'Home'

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In the third part of the series Going Home Con DACA, Brian De Los Santos navigates us through his nerve-wracking journey back to the U.S. after spending a limited, but much enjoyed, time in his country of birth, Mexico

As we learned over the course of a month, Brian is a DACA recipient who dared to apply for something called advance parole. Those recipients have to ask the government for permission to leave the U.S. for school, work or visiting family. It may or not be granted. And even if they are accepted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there is no guarantee that they can come back into the U.S.

When Brian entered the Tijuana airport, he instantly went into survival mode, not knowing whether he would be detained, or make it back through. He had heard stories of folks who had to wait hours to get cleared. Would this be his story, too?

Join Brian as he travels back to the U.S., goes through the process of being questioned by the Customs and Border Patrol, and comes out with a greater appreciation for what it means to be “home.” Read his story and listen to the How To LA podcast episode for Brian’s reflections on his journey. He chatted with other DACA recipients about how they, too, found a sense of home here and abroad.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • Public comment for Los Angeles City Council committee meetings must  be either written or stated in-person from now on. No more phone calls. My colleague Mariana Dale has more on what this means and why this change is happening now.
  • For the second time, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter rejected an L.A. County settlement offer to produce 1,000 new mental health beds, plus funds for 450 people to live in existing facilities. Carter said the county needs more beds and to provide court oversight of the plan. 
  • Have you ever heard of a “green alley?” Maybe not. City of L.A. officials and some non-profit partners are installing “green alleys” in flood-prone urban areas. Read my colleague Erin Stone’s story for more insight into how this could bring relief from the climate crisis and capture more stormwater during intense storms.
  • Thanks to the rain and snow, for the first time in nearly two decades, California’s Department of Water Resources is delivering all of the water requested by agencies that are part of the State Water Project. My colleague Jacob Margolis has more into why this matters. 
  • New Mexico prosecutors dropped the manslaughter charge against Alec Baldwin in the Rust film shooting. In 2021, Baldwin pulled the trigger on the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during one of the film’s rehearsals. The incident has put the spotlight on on-set safety when filming movies with weapons. 
  • The Directors Guild of America has ordered its members to keep working, effectively crossing the picket line should film and television writers decide to strike. My colleague John Horn has more details
  • Even though California remains a politically liberal state, debates about teaching what some conservatives call “critical race theory” to K-12 students have trickled into some circles in the state. EdSource’s Diana Lambert goes more in-depth about the California districts that are placing anti-CRT measures into their policies. 
  • Looking for more things to do this weekend? Try the Holy Doors & Utopian Visions party tonight at The Aster Rooftop, or the Hollywood Comedy Shorts Film Festival in Glendale. Want to see some lost or neglected films? Attend the New York University’s Orphan Film Symposium at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum this weekend. There’s these events and so many more listed here.
  • Yesterday was 420 Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate throughout the weekend. Here’s some expert advice from a cannabis legend on how to grow your own weed. The key tip is to not over complicate the process.
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait! One More Thing...

Cleanups, Festivals, Garden Displays And More.

An illustration of two kids picking up trash in the Los Angeles River; one kid is stooped over to fish out something in the water while the other kid, wearing glasses, eyes two herons in the water with them. Industrial buildings and grid lines can be seen in the background against a Los Angeles sunset.
(Dan Carino
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We only have one earth, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know we’re not doing the best job in taking care of it. Case in point, just a few days ago we found out that L.A.’s ozone levels are (still) among the worst in the nation. And they weren’t the only Southern California region to be on the bottom of the clean air list.

When I hear about the fact that human-created climate change is causing longer droughts, more dangerous wildfires and more intense storms in my city, I get kind of depressed. Researchers say we really need to take action before we lose hope for a habitable and sustainable future.

So let’s make some changes, shall we? We still have a window of opportunity to show as much love as we can to our planet, and we don’t have to travel far.

My colleague Gillian Morán Pérez wrote list of 50 things you can do this Earth Day weekend to give our planet gworl the hug she so desperately needs.

If you like to get active and clean up, there are several efforts ranging from Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Beach Clean Up to Newport Run Yoga and Cleanup (Yep, that means you can get a good exercise in too!).

Forget about that little Indio, CA festival in the desert (that Frank Ocean won’t even be at this weekend)! Let’s get into Earthchella this year! Gillian has a list of a few family friendly fairs and some composting and gardening workshops, too.

Check out her list today and have a great, productive weekend that involves more than just hugging a tree.

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