Adrian Florido

This story is part of an occasional Code Switch series we're calling "The Obama Effect." The series explores how conversations about race and identity have evolved over the course of the Obama presidency. You can read more about the series here.

Last month, we told you that the Code Switch team is embarking on a big reporting project we're calling The Obama Effect. The series, coinciding with the final year of Barack Obama's administration, will explore the ways that his presidency has (or hasn't) altered how Americans talk and think about race, ethnicity and identity.

After a turbulent week spurred by racial tensions at the University of Missouri, students are reflecting and thinking about what changes they hope for next on campus.

After anonymous threats targeting black students at the University of Missouri were posted online Tuesday evening, saying things like, "I'm going to shoot any black people tomorrow, so be ready," the fear on campus grew quickly.

Some black students were so scared that they left their dorms to stay with friends off campus. Others didn't go that far, but did stay inside and away from windows.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposal to deport all 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally, along with their U.S.-born children, sounds far-fetched. But something similar happened before.

During the 1930s and into the 1940s, up to 2 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were deported or expelled from cities and towns across the U.S. and shipped to Mexico. According to some estimates, more than half of these people were U.S. citizens, born in the United States.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly referred to "criminal aliens" and "illegal aliens" in the immigration plan he released on Sunday. "Alien," and especially "illegal alien," have become such staples in the vocabulary of conservative pundits and politicians that many immigrant rights advocates now reject those terms as derogatory and dehumanizing.

But it wasn't always like that.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is holding its annual convention in Philadelphia this week. For much of its 106-year history, it has been the nation's preeminent voice for civil rights and social justice. Among the topics of discussion this week: recent events in Baltimore and Ferguson.

But NAACP leaders have also addressed claims that their organization is losing relevance, especially for young people who are coming of age in an era of online activism and new protest movements like Black Lives Matter.


A 32-year-old Iraqi immigrant died Saturday, three days after she was discovered brutally beaten at her home in the city of El Cajon, California, just east of San Diego.  

From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Adrian Florido reports indications of a possible hate crime have shaken the town that has the nation's second largest community of iraqis.


A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that as the economy recovers, Asians and Latinos are gaining work faster than other ethnic groups.  Adrian Florido reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk.


John Wardell (Netinho) via Flickr / Creative Commons License

As some Native American tribes have become wealthy with casino profits, they've been buying land and expanding the size of their reservations. But as Adrian Florido reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, these efforts are stirring controversy, because once the private land becomes part of the reservation, it's no longer subject to local taxes or laws.

Credit: Creative Commons

For the first time ever, the number of U.S. adults with bachelor’s degrees has surpassed 30 percent. But as Adrian Florido reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, new data shows the education gap between Latinos and other ethnic groups is widening.

Credit: Spentpenny

Catholic bishops across the country have turned to their congregations to pressure President Obama to repeal his new contraception rule in recent weeks. That rule requires religious institutions to have health plans that cover contraception costs for their employees.  And since Latinos now make up roughly one-third of all Catholics in the U.S., they should be key players in that effort.  

But as Adrian Florido reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, the response from rank-and-file Latinos has not been what the church had hoped.