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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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Thursday, April 15, 2010

A New Baby Boom? Foreign 'Birth Tourists' Seek U.S. Citizenship for Children: More foreign mothers live abroad to give birth on U.S. soil

ABC News: Debate Over 14th Amendment. Millions of foreign tourists visit the United States every year, and a growing number return home with a brand new U.S. citizen in tow. Thousands of legal immigrants, who do not permanently reside in the United States but give birth here, have given their children the gift of citizenship, which the U.S. grants to anyone born on its soil. The number of U.S. births to non-resident mothers rose 53 percent between 2000 and 2006, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Total births rose 5 percent in the same period. Among the foreigners who have given birth here, including international travelers passing through and foreign students studying at U.S. universities, are "birth tourists," women who travel to the United States with the explicit purpose of obtaining citizenship for their child.

Immigration Officer Guilty in Sexual Coercion Case

New York Times reported: A federal immigration officer who was caught on tape demanding sex in exchange for a green card pleaded guilty to all the charges against him in Supreme Court in Queens on Wednesday in expectation of a prison sentence of one and a half to four and a half years. The officer, Isaac R. Baichu, 48, faced up to seven years in prison in the case, in which he coerced oral sex from the 22-year-old Colombian wife of an American citizen in December 2007. After hinting that he had the power to deny her a marriage-based green card and have her relatives deported, he summoned the woman to a private meeting in a parked car on Queens Boulevard. She put a digital camera in her pocket and made an audio recording.

Both Parties Gutless on Illegal Immigration

Ruben Navarrette for CNN: As a typical American who shuns the hard work my grandfathers did, last week on this site, I took responsibility for creating the problem of illegal immigration. Good thing. Because this week, it became clear that, in Congress, neither Republicans nor Democrats have the guts to take responsibility for fixing the problem of illegal immigration. Republican Sen. John Kyl is having trouble reconciling his recent threat to filibuster a comprehensive immigration bill with the fact that, in 2007, he co-sponsored, along with a bipartisan group of senators, a comprehensive immigration bill.

(Mr. Navarrette is a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board, a nationally syndicated columnist and a regular contributor to CNN.com.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Demand Down for U.S. Visas for Skilled Workers: Applications indicate fewer firms have plans to hire or need to look overseas

Boston Globe: The nation’s labor market may be on the rebound, but demand for the special visas that allow companies to bring skilled workers to the United States is much weaker than last year. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services said last week that it has received about 13,500 requests for its standard H-1B visas since it began accepting applications on April 1. That’s far fewer than the 42,000 requests filed during the same period last year, during the worst of the recession. The agency sets an annual quota of 65,000 of the H-1B visas.

Do Smarter Workers Work Less?

New York Times: Last week, we summarized a Labor Department report on hours worked and earnings by state, which found that Nevadans work the longest hours and workers in the District of Columbia had the highest hourly wage. Over at The Atlantic, Richard Florida has parsed the data to focus on what makes a state’s labor force more or less likely to work longer weeks and get higher pay. Another provocative trend that Mr. Florida found is between immigration and state pay. Economists have long debated how immigration affects the American job market, with some believing that it depresses (at least some) native workers’ wages and others arguing that immigration is a boon to the American economy and average worker earnings. This scatterplot suggests that state hourly earnings are positively associated with the percentage of immigrants (correlation of 0.64). Again, correlation is not causation, and there may be all sorts of confounding variables here that skew the results. But even so, it’s food for thought.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Advocates Gear Up For Immigration Debate

NPR reported: President Obama put a lot of political promises to the side until he could push health care through Congress. Now, even while the bruises from that battle are still fresh, another hot-button issue may be next: immigration. Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham recently proposed a bipartisan bill that calls for a tough but fair path to legalization for illegal immigrants, enhanced border security and biometric Social Security cards, among other changes.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Californians Take Generally Positive View of Healthcare Reform

Los Angeles Times — Reporting from Sacramento: California voters have a generally positive view of the massive federal healthcare package signed into law by President Obama last month, providing a potential boost statewide to the Democrats who pushed it through Congress, according to a new Times/USC poll. On another hot-button issue, immigration, the poll found a continued sharp polarization between Democrats and Republicans, but also a shift of voter sentiment away from proposals to take away all social services, including access to schools and emergency medical treatment, from illegal residents. Large majorities in the poll supported two alternative proposals: one that would couple stronger enforcement at the border with a temporary worker program and one that would combine stronger border enforcement with a path to eventual citizenship for illegal residents who perform community service, pay back taxes and learn English. The support for both a guest-worker program and a citizenship option were notable in part because they come at a time when California voters remain deeply pessimistic about the state's economy.

Report Faults Training of Local Officers in Immigration Enforcement Program

New York Times: State and local police officers who enforce federal immigration laws are not adequately screened, trained or supervised, and the civil rights of the immigrants they deal with are not consistently protected, according to a report released Friday by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general. State and local police officers who enforce federal immigration laws are not adequately screened, trained or supervised, and the civil rights of the immigrants they deal with are not consistently protected, according to a report released Friday by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general.

Asylum Approvals for Mexicans Up

Miami Herald: U.S. Immigration Authorities Are Approving More and More Asylum Petitions from Mexican Citizens Who Fear for Their Lives as the Country’s Drug Violence Escalates.

The Miami Herald reported: José Jiménez, a Mexican mechanic, is now doing odd jobs in an American town after escaping a violent northern Mexican city where drug traffickers threatened to kill him when he refused to build secret compartments in tractor trailers to hide U.S.-bound drug shipments. He’s hoping the U.S. immigration system can keep him alive – and he’s not alone. He is one of a growing number of Mexicans receiving asylum in the United States, where until recently most Mexican immigrants had sought work permits. But the escalating drug war violence south of the border over the last four years has prompted immigration judges and federal asylum officers to approve more Mexican asylum petitions. "I definitely feel safer now," Jiménez said. "But I'm still nervous. These criminals have resources and contacts everywhere."

Quake Survivors Freed From Immigration Jails

New York Times reported: More than three dozen Haitian earthquake survivors were released from Florida immigration jails on Thursday after more than two months in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Many had lost relatives in the January 12 earthquake; some had been pulled from the rubble themselves. In the chaotic days and aftershocks that followed, many had been seeking security, food or treatment at the Port-au-Prince airport when they were waved onto military transports or other planes by United States Marines, only to be detained for lack of visas when they landed.