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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why Illegal Immigration Isn't to Blame for the State Budget Crisis

Los Angeles Times: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the process of crafting a budget for the coming fiscal year that must close a nearly $21 billion gap between expected revenue and required spending, so a little lashing out is understandable. But he's seen enough disastrous budget years now to know how readily – and wrongly – many people blame the state's problem on illegal immigration. Even without the costs attributed to the undocumented population, we couldn't pay for the programs we consistently list as priorities, including first-rate education, transportation and public safety.

Leaders Use Churches in Census Bid

The New York Times reports: Fearing that millions of illegal immigrants may not be counted in the 2010 census, Latino leaders are mobilizing a nationwide drive to urge Hispanics to participate in the survey, including an intense push this week in evangelical Christian churches. Latino groups contend that there was an undercount of nearly one million Latinos in the 2000 census, affecting the drawing of Congressional districts and the distribution of federal money. Hispanic organizations are far better organized for next year's census, but they say that if illegal immigrants – an estimated eight million of whom are Latino – are not included, the undercount could be much greater.

Visa Quota Is Finally Reached: Demand for guest workers grew as recession eased

Boston Globe: In another sign that the economy might be turning around, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has filled this year's quota of 65,000 applications for H-1B guest worker visas, which allow companies to hire foreign workers for jobs they say they cannot fill with US-born applicants.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Obama Naming Hispanics to Top Posts at Record Pace

Associated Press: President Barack Obama is on track to name more Hispanics to top posts than any of his predecessors, drawing appointees from a wide range of the nation's Latino communities, including Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Colombians. That won't necessarily give the President a free pass on issues such as immigration, but it may ease Hispanics' worries about whether Obama will continue reaching out to a group that was key to his winning the White House.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Immigrant Advocates Plan Walk from Miami to Washington

Miami Herald: A coalition of local immigrant advocacy groups will take part next month in a 2,000-mile walk from Miami to Washington, D.C., to urge passage of legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to become legalized U.S. residents and citizens. Called the "Trail of Dreams,'' the organizations are trying to build momentum for the latest immigration reform bill that was introduced this week in Congress.

Immigration Reform is Critical Part of the Road to Recovery for America's Workers

The Huffington Post reported that Rep. Gutierrez's (D-Ill.) immigration bill, introduced this week, charts a new course for our country – a course that protects workers and respects families. It also reflects our nation's interests and our better instincts. The legislation upholds our values as a nation of immigrants and embraces the vitality and diversity that are the fabric of a vibrant and strong society. It truly could not have come soon enough for America's workers -- both immigrant and native born.

Domestic Violence Victim Granted Asylum in U.S.

Associated Press: After suffering 10 years of horrific abuse at the hands of her husband, Rody Alvarado fled her native Guatemala in 1995 and applied for asylum in the U.S. Last week, in a one-page decision, an immigration judge finally granted her request. It was the culmination of a long personal odyssey for Alvarado and of a thorny legal case that inflamed passions on both sides of the immigration debate. The Obama administration now says it is crafting regulations to allow entry by other victims of domestic violence who feel they have no choice but to flee their homelands to protect themselves.

Benefits Law Nets Illegal Immigrant Suspects

The Arizona Republic reported that only weeks after a new state law went into effect, the Department of Economic Security has provided federal authorities with nearly 800 names of people who tried to obtain public benefits but are believed to be illegal immigrants. House Bill 2008, which took effect last month, established new identity-verification requirements for agencies that provide public benefits. People seeking benefits must provide identification and now, in some cases, also provide sworn affidavits affirming their citizenship. Agencies are required to turn over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement the names of people who they believe may be illegal immigrants.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Feds Revising Asylum Detention Policies

Associated Press: The Obama administration said Wednesday it will stop detaining asylum seekers who have a credible fear of persecution in their home countries. To be released into the U.S., the asylum seekers will have to establish the credible fear and their identities and show they are not dangerous or a flight risk, said John Morton, Department of Human Services assistant secretary overseeing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

As Wage Theft Rises, States and Cities Crack Down

Associated Press: The old problem of bosses who don't pay immigrant workers what they're owed appears to be getting worse. Workers' rights centers say wage theft has become the No. 1 complaint they're hearing. And immigrants are particularly vulnerable because of fear that employers will call immigration authorities.

New Immigration Bill Is Introduced in House

The New York Times reported that the on-again, off-again drive to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws moved back to Congress on Tuesday with the introduction of legislation that would open a path to legal status for millions of illegal immigrants. The bill, introduced by Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois, was seen as the opening volley in what Democrats and Republicans expect to be a hard-fought battle. President Obama has pledged to take up the issue early next year; efforts to overhaul the laws during George W. Bush’s presidency failed despite the backing of Mr. Bush and some Republicans.

Groups Try to Delay Deportations of Illegal Students

USA Today: Padilla’s impending deportation, originally set for today, catapulted him into a campaign to stop the deportation of college students and recent graduates. Lawmakers, students, members of the clergy and other activists hope to buy the students time and use their stories to push for laws that would allow them, and perhaps millions of other illegal immigrants, to earn legal status, says Joshua Hoyt of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

H-1B Quota To Be Reached This Week

It appears that the H-1B visa quota will be reached this week, as the number of H-1B applications is rapidly increasing.

Congress Introduces New Immigration Reform Bill Today

The House introduced a new Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill today. It contained numerous provisions. However, the most significant is a "path to citizenship" for the estimated ten million undocumented workers in the U.S.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For Illegal Immigrant, Deportation After Political Appointment

New York Times: In 13 years in and around New York, Augusto Noguera built an impressive life. From humble beginnings in Paraguay, he became a mainstay of his nation’s expatriate population, running a division of a construction company, working for charitable and political causes, and entertaining visiting dignitaries at his house in Flushing, Queens. The crowning moment came in September, when President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay appointed him to an administrative post in the government’s New York consulate. It was a job Mr. Noguera had eagerly sought, friends said, as payback for supporting Mr. Lugo and other candidates in last year’s elections. There was just one problem: Mr. Noguera was an illegal immigrant

Church Works With U.S. to Spare Detention

Suddenly a prosperous suburban congregation was confronted with the labyrinthine world of immigration law and detention, as reported by the New York Times. And the church reached a new level of activism — with extraordinary results. Under an unusual compact between the pastor and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Newark, four Indonesians have been released from detention in recent weeks, and 41 others living as fugitives from deportation have turned themselves in under church auspices. Instead of being jailed — as hundreds of thousands of immigrants without criminal records have been in recent years — they have been released on orders of supervision, eligible for work permits while their lawyers consider how their cases might be reopened.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Population Shifts Could Boost California, New York in Census

Associated Press: A steady flow of new immigrants is providing a late-decade population boost to major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Miami, New York and Los Angeles, whose states are seeking to stem declines before the 2010 census. Even with a recent dip in immigration, the addition of foreign migrants into those major cities most attractive to them has cushioned substantial population losses from native-born Americans who had migrated to interior parts of the U.S. in search of jobs, wider spaces and affordable housing before the recession.

Court: Illegal Immigrant Entitled to Benefits

Lincoln Journal Star: An illegal immigrant injured on the job is entitled to state worker compensation benefits, according to a Nebraska Court of Appeals decision released Tuesday. The appellate court upheld a Worker Compensation Court decision that the worker compensation law covers all employees injured on the job -- even those in the country illegally.

Immigrant Workers Say They Were Scammed

Courthouse News : Workers say a construction company docked their paychecks for years, supposedly to help them get green cards, but never filed forms for legal residency. Thirteen Latino workers sued Northern Pipeline Construction; Creative Concepts, which Northern allegedly hired to help them immigrate; and Pomona, California attorney Paul Schelly.

Census Finds Rise in Foreign Workers

New York Times: Nearly one in six American workers is foreign-born, the highest proportion since the 1920s, according to a census analysis released Monday. For the first time, the Census Bureau also compared immigrants by generation. Generally, income and other measures of achievement rose from one generation to the next, although educational attainment peaked with the second generation. Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau’s immigration statistics staff, said the figures suggested substantial progress from the first generation to the second. “This really shows that immigrants integrate over time the same way they always have,” Ms. Grieco said.

County, Police Union in Showdown Over Illegal-Immigration Policy

The Washington Examiner reported that Montgomery County and the Fraternal Order of Police union could be headed to court over the county police department's policy for handling illegal immigrants, according to the union's lawyer. FOP attorney Paul Stein said the county's policy was "unconstitutional" and dangerous to the county's police officers and residents. In a letter to County Attorney Leon Rodriguez, Stein asked for justification of the policy, which limits officers' ability to contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Law Requiring Arizona Workers to Report Entrants a Travesty

Arizona Star: A new state law requiring public employees to demand immigration documentation before providing services, and to report applicants for services who are illegal migrants to authorities, is already taking hold. It's going to be a bad deal for Arizona. Worse, it punishes some of the most vulnerable people – children – for the government's inability to fix the country's poorly designed immigration system.

Obama Zeroes in on Jobs, Healthcare, Afghanistan

The Los Angeles Times reported that: When Obama came to office, he announced a vaulting ambition to work on a long list of problems all at once: Yes, he'd focus on the economy, but also on healthcare, energy, climate change, education and immigration; not only on Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, but also on the rest of the Muslim world, nuclear disarmament, Russia and Guantanamo. But events have forced him to perform triage on his priorities. A promised push for energy legislation is waiting for the healthcare debate to end. A promised attempt at immigration reform may never come at all. Instead, the sprawling agenda has been boiled down to three top-tier items: jobs, healthcare, Afghanistan. If Obama succeeds at those, he'll be in a stronger position to tackle the rest of the list; if not, the rest won't matter.

Struggles of the Second Generation: U. S.- born children of Latino immigrants fight to secure a higher foothold

Washington Post: Largely because of the growth of this second generation, Latino immigrants and their U.S.- born children and grandchildren will represent almost a third of the nation's working-age adults by mid-century, according to projections from U. S. Census Bureau data by Jeffrey S. Passel. Not since the last great wave of immigration to the United States around 1900 has the country's economic future been so closely entwined with the generational progress of an immigrant group. And so far, on nearly every measure, the news is troubling.

Washington Raid Bring Deportation; Mixed Signals

Associated Press: First they were arrested and faced deportation under what has proven to be the Obama administration's only workplace raid. Then they were given work permits, and told they could stay in the United States while their employer was being prosecuted. Now, the more than two dozen undocumented workers arrested during the February raid here at Yamato Engine Specialists Ltd. are again facing deportation. Gonzalez' unusual journey through the immigration system symbolizes just how much immigration policy has changed under President Barack Obama — and how it's still a work in progress.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Immigration Detention System Lapses Detailed

The New York Times reported that a growing number of noncitizens, including legal immigrants, are held unnecessarily and transferred heedlessly in an expensive immigration detention system that denies many of them basic fairness, a bipartisan study group and a human rights organization concluded in reports released jointly on Wednesday. The bipartisan group, the Constitution Project, whose members include Asa Hutchinson, a former under secretary of homeland security, called for sweeping changes in agency policies and amendments to immigration law, including new access to government-appointed counsel for many of those facing deportation.

Court: Mass Criminal Immigration Hearings Unlawful

Associated Press: Immigrants who have been arrested in zero-tolerance zones along the Mexican border must not be tried at mass criminal immigration hearings because the proceedings violate federal rules, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. A three-judge panel with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that a federal court in Tucson, Arizona — where mass hearings have been held for defendants arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents — had violated Rule 11, which requires that each defendant be read their rights and be given an explanation of what a guilty plea means.