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Essential California: Latinos reporting fewer sexual assaults, as L.A. police fear a Trump effect

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, left and Police Chief Charlie Beck on Tuesday. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, March 22, and here’s what’s happening across California:

TOP STORIES

Reports of sexual assault and domestic violence made by Latino residents in the city of Los Angeles have plummeted this year amid concerns that immigrants in the country illegally could risk deportation by interacting with police or testifying in court. Reports of sexual assault dropped 25% among the city’s Latino population in the beginning of 2017, while reports of domestic violence have fallen by 10%. Los Angeles Times

A sheriff’s tricky political proposition

Sheriff Jim McDonnell is the child of Irish immigrants and has expressed strong misgivings about having deputies get involved in deportations and cooperating with ICE. But unlike many L.A. political leaders, he’s come out strongly against a legislative plan to create a “sanctuary state,” saying it will tie the hands of law enforcement. He admits he’s walking a political tightrope in a place where sentiment against President Trump runs so high. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Immigrants are preparing for a day when someone else might have to take care of their children. KPCC

Nguyen’s ejection ignites debate

Since State Sen. Janet Nguyen was removed from the Senate chamber for criticizing the late state Sen. Tom Hayden over his opposition to the Vietnam War, Vietnamese Americans have been debating whether the action was appropriate. Los Angeles Times

Avoid the beach?

New research shows the Newport-Inglewood fault could be even more dangerous than previously thought. Major earthquakes on the fault centuries ago were so violent that they caused a section near the Orange County coast to fall 1½ to 3 feet in just seconds. Los Angeles Times

L.A. STORIES

Mayors unite: The mayors of Los Angeles and Anaheim joined colleagues from around the country to call on Congress and President Trump to pass immigration reform. This was part of an effort to show support for undocumented immigrants. Los Angeles Daily News

Buy a home! Los Angeles is now ranked as the top choice in the U.S. for international real estate investors to park their money in all kinds of buildings. Los Angeles Times

But … : Southern California home prices have jumped again, with a short supply in the housing market fueling bidding wars across the region. Los Angeles Times

Job problems: Since the recession, African Americans in Los Angeles County are more likely than the rest of the population to stay unemployed or drop out of the workforce, according to a UCLA report. Los Angeles Times

More voters than first expected: The 20% turnout in this month’s L.A. mayoral election wasn’t a record low after all, final results show. Fewer people voted in 2009 when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was re-elected. Los Angeles Times

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

If they build it: Some California Democrats have threatened divestment from companies that do work on Trump’s border wall. Mercury News

Help wanted — in California: Michael Picker, the president of California’s Public Utilities Commission, stood on the cold streets of Washington, D.C., to help try recruit dispirited employees of government agencies like the EPA, which are set to have their budgets slashed. High Country News

Find your lawmaker’s office: If you want to give your federal lawmaker a piece of your mind, here’s a guide to visiting your elected officials’ offices in Los Angeles. LAist

Helping students eat: California’s universities and colleges are combining federal aid with campus food pantries and other programs to help students who are having trouble getting a square meal. Christian Science Monitor

A weed fight: California business groups are preparing to take on the Teamsters union over how marijuana regulations will be written. Sacramento Bee

CRIME AND COURTS

Mistakenly detained: Hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean was handcuffed and briefly detained by deputies in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning after matching the description of the suspect of a nearby robbery. Variety