MONSTER EFFORT: One outcome of all the recent debate on immigration, from Proposition 187 to current proposals to restrict legal immigration, is a major increase in citizenship applications. In fact, Immigration and Naturalization Service officials in Laguna Niguel have had to set up a task force to handle the backlog from the Los Angeles office. . . . Says a spokeswoman, "They'll be working until they're through that backlog. We've really had a monster influx."
FAMILY STRENGTH: A proposal under consideration in Washington that would restrict immigrants to bringing only immediate family--spouses and young children--from other countries has many in the Vietnamese community worried. . . . "They're scared," says Pam Pham, a paralegal in an immigration law office in Garden Grove. "Many people are still trying to bring over their brothers and sisters and their parents."
MAIN HELP: Among all the immigrant communities in Orange County, those from sub-Saharan Africa are perhaps the sparsest and most scattered. The Main Place Christian Fellowship in Santa Ana has tried to create a sense of community with its African outreach ministry, which has about 40 members. . . . "We're here to help Africans know there's a place they belong," says Evelyn Komuntale, who runs the program. Among the members: Zairian pop star Tabu Ley Rochereau, above, who now lives in Anaheim. He and his band performed at the church Saturday.
ROYAL ORANGE: Almost unnoticed at the time of the first wave of Vietnamese immigration into Orange County was the arrival of about 6,000 Hmongs from Laos, evacuated after the U.S. "secret war." Many have since moved on to farming communities in the Central Valley, but the 2,000 or so who remain include many elites, such as a general and several colonels from the CIA-backed secret Hmong army. . . . "People call Orange County the royal capital of Hmong refugees," says Gayle Morrison, who is writing a history of the 1975 Hmong evacuation.