Newsletter: Essential California: A family returns to Mexico with U.S.-born children in tow

GARDENA, CALIF. -- THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2017: Maria Barrancas and daughter Lucecita, 6, will be mov
Maria Barrancas and daughter Lucecita, 6, are shown in August preparing to leave their Gardena apartment and move back to Mexico.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Sept. 19, and here’s what’s happening across California:


A family returns to Mexico with U.S.-born children in tow

Faced with diminishing job prospects and a president who promised to make life harder for them, 6-year-old Luz Madrigal’s mother and father — immigrants in the country illegally — decided to go back to Mexico. They joined more than a hundred people voluntarily returning since January to Mexico with the help of consulates in Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago. Thousands of others across the country have also gone to Latin American consulates seeking dual citizenship for their U.S.-born children after President Trump’s inauguration. Los Angeles Times


Plus: For parents who brought their children into the country illegally and have decided to stay, there’s always the worry, the guilt and the fear of not knowing if today is their last day in the United States. Los Angeles Times

A suspect in three shootings

Police said a Whittier businessman named Richard Wall is a suspect in three execution-style slayings in L.A. and Las Vegas. Officials do not believe Wall carried out the shootings himself but said they appear to be professional hits related to business and legal disputes. Wall has not been charged with a crime, and detectives say they’ve been told he is in Montenegro, an Eastern European country that has no extradition treaty with the United States. Los Angeles Times

Straight out of ‘The Americans’


A satellite engineer who sold military secrets to an undercover FBI agent he believed to be a Russian spy was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison. In handing down the punishment for Gregory Allen Justice, U.S. District Judge George H. Wu added a few months to what sentencing guidelines recommended, saying he found the crimes “extremely troublesome.” Los Angeles Times


Hate crime suspect: Los Angeles police have identified a suspect who wrote a pair of hateful screeds on the outside of a Sikh temple in Los Feliz and threatened to slit the throat of a witness who caught the incident on video, investigators said Monday. Los Angeles Times

Did you feel it? A magnitude 3.6 earthquake shook up much of Los Angeles on Monday night, particularly on the Westside and in the San Fernando Valley. The epicenter of the earthquake, which struck at 11:20 p.m., was just west of the Sepulveda Pass section of the 405 Freeway in the Santa Monica Mountains. Los Angeles Times


Major L.A. deal-making going on: With its $7.8-billion bid to buy Orbital ATK Inc., Northrop Grumman Corp. is betting that the militarization of space and missile defense will get increasing attention — and dollars — from the Pentagon. Los Angeles Times

Get ready: “Dirty John” is a story of love, deceit, denial and, ultimately, survival. The six-part podcast series was reported and written by The Times’ Christopher Goffard. The first episode drops Oct. 1. Los Angeles Times


See you in court: Six California beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program sued the Trump administration Monday for rescinding protections for young immigrants without legal status. Los Angeles Times



Major gift: On Monday, UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman announced that Susan Samueli and her husband, Henry, who is the co-founder of Irvine-based semiconductor maker Broadcom, had donated $200 million to launch what Gillman billed as the nation’s first university-wide enterprise to embed integrative health approaches in research, teaching and patient care across its health sciences schools and programs. Los Angeles Times

Public health in action: After news that San Diego’s deadly hepatitis A outbreak may have infiltrated the food service industry, more than 200 people this weekend lined up for vaccinations as restaurants reinforced their health safety measures. San Diego Union-Tribune

More Milo news: A multi-day series of political speeches promoted by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulous at UC Berkelely next week will occur mostly outdoors instead of within two rarefied campus halls as initially planned. Los Angeles Times


Fed up with Trump: Latino Republicans are increasingly frustrated with their limited access to the White House, grumbling that the White House’s Latino outreach has been ineffective and laying blame on the official who is running point on coalition building. BuzzFeed


Murder mystery: Here’s what happened to the “Narcos” location scout who was found dead in Mexico. Los Angeles Times

Crazy car chase: An SUV driver towing a trailer that had been reported stolen led police agencies on a nearly two-hour pursuit from the Inland Empire to Los Angeles before heading back toward Pasadena and surrendering on the 210 Freeway. Los Angeles Times


No hunting: A bow hunter who triggered outrage after he shot and killed a deer with an arrow near homes in Monrovia is expected to face charges from the L.A. County district attorney, said Capt. Patrick Foy of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Los Angeles Times


Big changes possible for national parks: The Trump administration’s plan for shrinking protections at America’s national monuments appears far more expansive than previously reported, targeting 10 of the nation’s most ecologically sensitive landscapes and marine preserves for diminished protection. Los Angeles Times



Of Emmys and Oscars: “Do not be fooled. Hollywood isn’t as progressive as we think, and the industry isn’t yet as diverse as it should be…. Two landmark victories, however, reveal a key to true inclusion: Men with access, even men of color, must continue to make way for people who don’t traditionally have seats at the table to tell our stories.” Los Angeles Times

What to do? Go check out Carolina Caycedo’s exhibition at Commonwealth & Council, which continues her project “Be Dammed,” in which she investigates the socio-environmental impacts of dams, often in collaboration with local activists protesting their construction. Los Angeles Times

Salinas Valley update: With a growing economy, good schools and a low crime rate, the city of Gonzales is outpacing its bigger Salinas Valley rivals. Zocalo Public Square

Food in the O.C.: The contribution of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the Orange County food scene cannot be understated. From old-school Vietnamese holes in the wall in Garden Grove to second-generation Filipino chefs updating the cuisine of their homelands, O.C.’s diverse restaurant culture would look like just a plate of burgers and tacos without the input of more than 40 Asian and Pacific Islander groups that reside here. Daily Pilot



Los Angeles area: Partly cloudy, 77, Tuesday and Wednesday. San Diego: Partly cloudy, 72, Tuesday and Wednesday. San Francisco area: Sunny, 71, Tuesday. Cloudy, 67, Wednesday. Sacramento: Sunny, 79, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 77, Wednesday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from John Griffin:


“I grew up in Albany, next to Berkeley. During the war (that was WWII to my age group), there would sometimes be a display of armaments from the Pacific in front of the movie house, the Albany Theater. One was a landing craft that was so damaged, with holes where bullets had hit it and dents like it had been hit by a tank, we could hardly recognize it. We all wondered if anyone in it survived. Then we would go in to see the matinee. Kids’ admission was 9 cents.”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.