About Me

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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


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.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Boon of Immigration: Newcomers to America More Than Pull Their Economic Weight

New York Daily News: As documented by the Fiscal Policy Institute, immigration has, in fact, been a vital force in the American economy. Even in tough times, immigrants boost or replenish the labor pool and inject entrepreneurial energy that opens businesses and creates jobs. Using data from the Census Bureau, the report looks at 25 major cities, from Los Angeles to New York to Miami to Seattle, and proves that immigrants more than pull their weight.

Unemployed U.S.-Born Workers Seek Day-Labor Jobs

USA Today reported that growing ranks of U.S. citizens are heading to street corners and home improvement store parking lots to find day-labor work usually done by illegal immigrants. The trend is most pronounced in regions where hot construction markets have collapsed, says Abel Valenzuela Jr., a professor of urban planning at the University of California-Los Angeles.

Public Favors Both Strict Enforcement and Path to Citizenship: Health bills fail to block illegals from coverage

Washington Times: Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants could receive health care coverage from their employers under the bills winding their way through Congress, despite President Obama's explicit pledge that illegal immigrants would not benefit. A rough estimate by the Center for Immigration Studies suggests that the practical effect of the mandates would be that about 1 million illegal immigrants could obtain health insurance coverage through their employers.

Friday, November 27, 2009

H1-B visas to run out next week

Due to a recent surge in H-1B applications, it appears that Immigration will run out of H-1B visas for fiscal year 2010 by next week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

H-1B Quota To Be Reached in December

As of November 20th, Immigration has received 56,900 H-1B visas, subject to the cap of 65,000 visas, leaving only 8,100 left for the rest of the fiscal year. However, 6,800 of those visas are reserved for Chile and Singapore. Therefore, there are only 1,300 H-1B visas left. Immigration will probably run out of H-1B visas in early December

Friday, November 20, 2009

Immigrants in the U.S Suffering More Than Native-Born Workers from Economic Downturn

The Los Angeles Times reported that Immigrants in the United States surpassed native-born workers in several key ways from the mid-1990s through 2007, recording higher employment and lower jobless rates.But that trend was reversed with the onset of the current recession, according to the latest report from the Migration Policy Institute.

Immigration Officials to Audit 1,000 More Companies

The New York Times reports: Immigration enforcement officials said Thursday that they were expanding a program for auditing companies that might have hired illegal immigrants and had notified 1,000 companies this week that they would have to undergo such a review. John Morton, who heads Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, announced the new initiative, saying it was part of the administration’s plan to deal with companies that hire illegal workers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Homeland Secretary Pushes Immigration Reform

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that: T

State Report Urges Financial Aid, Driver's Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

The Metro West Daily News reported that: Governor Deval Patrick released a state-sponsored report on foreign-born residents Tuesday that calls for allowing illegal immigrants to apply for college financial aid, in-state tuition and, eventually, drivers' licenses. The report, called the New Americans Agenda, was prepared by an executive branch advisory council, an immigrant advocacy group and a state agency, and is meant to better integrate immigrants and refugees into the state's social, economic and civic spheres.

Arizona Prosecutor Files First Employer Sanctions Case

Houston Chronicle: Maricopa County prosecutors on Wednesday filed Arizona's first civil complaint against a business under a 22-month-old state law that prohibits employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Initially Waved Off, Hispanic Advocates Jump into Health Debate – Effort Centers on Ensuring Reform Doesn't Shortchange Immigrants

The Washington Post reported that: After trying to carefully balance their interests in health-care reform and immigration, the nation's Hispanic lawmakers and largest advocacy groups are scrambling to develop a strategy to counter what they see as efforts to shortchange immigrants in health bills on Capitol Hill. Many of them believe that a health-care overhaul is vital to their community, which is disproportionately uninsured and suffers from a host of chronic illnesses. But with the current bills excluding more than a million Hispanics – mostly legal immigrants – the debate runs into the issue of immigrants' rights.

Potential San Francisco Showdown Over Immigration

New York Times: Setting up a potential showdown with the mayor, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors reinstated an ordinance on Tuesday requiring that juvenile offenders who are illegal immigrants be convicted of a crime before they are turned over to the federal immigration authorities. The ordinance had been passed by the board in October but was quickly vetoed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, who said that it very likely conflicted with federal immigration law. On Tuesday, the board overrode that veto on an 8-to-3 vote.

US Officials Begin Push Against Human Trafficking

Associated Press: Fourteen cities are being targeted in a new campaign aimed at alerting people about human trafficking, federal immigration officials have announced. The "Hidden in Plain Sight" initiative, sponsored by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, features billboards highlighting "the horrors and the prevalence of human trafficking," which the agency says is equivalent to "modern-day slavery."

Monday, November 09, 2009

After Immigrant Killed in N.Y., Others Tell of Abuse

Associated Press: There had been other high-profile attacks on a growing Hispanic population on eastern Long Island before Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero was stabbed to death a year ago Sunday on a street corner. But it wasn't until the seven teens accused in the killing told police of the attacks — and Hispanic residents who had been long silent about hate crimes came forward to confirm the stories — that officials began to realize what they were dealing with.

Poll Shows Gloomy View In California

The Politico reported that the Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll interviewed 1,500 registered voters from October 27 to November 3. It was conducted by Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and the GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies. And 54 percent of voters preferred Congress to change immigration laws to allow illegal immigrants to become citizens if they have clean records, pay a fine and meet other requirements. Thirty-nine percent favored an immigration overhaul that would emphasize stronger border controls and deporting people who are here illegally.

ICE Arrests Migrants with Permits to Be in the Country Legally

Los Angeles Times: Two women who had applied and been approved under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that gives them permits to be in the country legally report being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, arrests that landed them in jail, in one case for an entire month. Elvira Ayon, 26, who also was approved under VAWA, was arrested in Delano, California, and later taken to an immigration detention center in Arizona where she spent a month before a lawyer gained her released. Jorge Mario Cabrera, spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) says such cases are common and calls them proof of the “racial profiling” practiced by ICE.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Health Care Debate Focuses on Legal Immigrants

The New York Times reports that the debate over health care for illegal immigrants continues to percolate in Congress despite the Obama administration’s efforts to put it to rest, with lawmakers in both houses also wrangling over how much coverage to provide for immigrants who have settled in the country legally. Latino leaders, worried that Congress might quietly cut back benefits for legal immigrants, have started an 11th-hour campaign to eliminate waiting periods for them in the proposed legislation and to cancel the existing five-year wait for Medicare and Medicaid programs. “You can either keep those immigrants healthy now, or exclude them and wait until they get really sick, then pay for it down the line,” said Prof. Steven P. Wallace, associate director of the U.C.L.A. research center. “If you don’t pay now, you’re going to pay for them later.”

A Welcome Sign

Houston Chronicle: The United States has long been a resolute, generous leader in the international struggle to eliminate AIDS, but for the past 22 years it has also been one of a handful of countries to refuse entry to HIV-positive visitors, both tourists and those seeking to become legal residents. But last week, as he prepared to sign a bill reauthorizing funds for HIV/AIDS programs, President Barack Obama announced an end to the ban, calling it a policy “rooted in fear rather than fact.”

Democrats Confront Coalition Strains

The Wall Street Journal reports that elections this week left Democrats scrambling to renew the coalition that elected President Barack Obama after independent voters, whose power to determine U.S. elections is rising with their numbers, broke heavily toward Republicans. One indicator of how Mr. Obama will respond to the election might be reflected in his decisions over the overhaul of U.S. immigration laws. The president's approval rating remains sky-high with Latino voters, one official said, but they didn't come out to vote Tuesday. To turn them out, Democrats may have to press ahead with a broad overhaul of immigration laws next year, including the creation of a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Denver Immigrant Asylum Center Latest to Close

Associated Press: A Denver center that offered counseling and legal help to immigrants who sought asylum after they were tortured in their home countries has closed after losing its federal grant. The Rocky Mountain Survivors Center closed last month.

"Toughest Sheriff" Stumps in OC Sheriff's Race

The San Jose Mercury News reported that about 50 immigrant rights activists have shown up at an Orange County campaign fundraiser to protest an appearance by the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America."

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio spoke Thursday at the fundraiser for former sheriff's Lt. Bill Hunt, who is challenging Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in June.

Supreme Court Query Puts Janet Napolitano on the Spot

Politico: A simple query from the Supreme Court is forcing the Obama administration to wrestle with the limits of states’ authority to enforce immigration laws — and also is throwing an uncomfortable spotlight on Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. On Monday, the justices asked the Justice Department to provide its views on Arizona’s attempt to force employers to verify the immigration status of potential employees. The law being challenged in the cases was signed by Napolitano in 2007, when she was governor of Arizona. Napolitano, who was a defendant in the litigation, has stated that she believes the law is constitutional.

Two Hot Buttons: Senate and House bills limit coverage for illegal immigrants and abortion; but critics aren't satisfied.

Los Angeles Times: Sponsors of the healthcare reform bills in Congress have tried hard to steer the legislation around the hot-button issues of abortion and illegal immigration, but to no avail; controversies about both continue to threaten the measures. Supporters say the bills respect the government's long-standing approach to abortion and undocumented immigrants; opponents, however, argue that the bills would flout current policy by allowing tax dollars to finance abortion on demand and nonemergency medical care for people who are here illegally.

Senate Blocks Census Citizenship Question

The Associated Press reported that Senate Democrats Thursday blocked a GOP attempt to require next year's census forms to ask people whether they are U.S. citizens. The proposal by Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter was aimed at excluding non-citizens from the population totals that are used to figure the number of congressional representatives for each state. Critics said Vitter's plan would discourage immigrants from responding to the census and would be hugely expensive. They also said that it's long been settled law that the apportionment of congressional seats is determined by the number of people living in each state, regardless of whether they are citizens.

In Round One of the Census Battle, Vitter and Bennett Lose

Newsweek: The 2010 census has sparked a battle over whether undocumented immigrants should be part of the count and thus included in state tallies used to reapportion Congressional seats, as has been the case in past cycles. The opening round of that fight was a proposed amendment sponsored by Republican Senators David Vitter and Robert Bennett that would have added a question to the census survey asking whether the respondent is a citizen or not. The aim was to later strip out non-citizens when it came time for reapportionment. Well, the senators lost that round.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Slump Sinks Visa Program

Wall Street Journal: A coveted visa program that feeds skilled workers to top-tier U.S. technology companies and universities is on track to leave thousands of spots unfilled for the first time since 2003, a sign of how the weak economy has eroded employment even among highly trained professionals. The program, known as H-1B, has been a mainstay of Silicon Valley and Wall Street, where many companies have come to depend on securing visas for computer programmers from India or engineers from China. Last year, even as the recession began to bite, employers snapped up the 65,000 visas available in just one day. This year, however, as of September 25th -- nearly six months after the U.S. government began accepting applications -- only 46,700 petitions had been filed.

City Seeks Ways to Adapt Parks to Immigrants

The New York Times: How should city parks adapt to immigrants? Various cities have been considering the question. In Minneapolis, for example, a large influx of immigrants from Somalia meant more soccer and cricket pitches, and fewer tennis courts. In Chicago, the city’s large Mexican immigrant population is attracted to city parks less for the jogging trails and more as a type of town plaza for large social gatherings.

City Leaders Spar Over Immigration, 287(g)

KHOU Houston: The immigration issue hit Houston City Hall today and bounced straight into the mayoral race. It’s over 287(g), a partnership between local and federal authorities that gives local law enforcement the power to enforce immigration laws.

Arrestees Claim Rights Were Violated During New Haven Immigration Raids

The Hartford Courant reported that ten city residents arrested during U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in the summer of 2007 are suing the agency in federal court, claiming their civil rights were violated. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in New Haven, naming the agents who conducted the raids, their supervisors and senior ICE officials as defendants.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is Immigration Reform Back?

Over 100 Congressman signed a letter sent to President Obama reminding him of his administration's commitment to passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform.The letter urged President Obama to make Immigration Reform a top priority in the beginning of next year.

The problem is that there is a very narrow window of opportunity to get Comprehensive Immigration Reform past early next year, before it gets too close to the 2010 elections, making passage nearly impossible, since incumbents won't want to risk taking a controversial vote too close to the election. Therefore, these Congressman urged President Obama to push Immigration Reform immediately after health care reform is resolved. However, there are several other issues vying for his attention, including energy legislation re: climate change, and regulation of the financial industry.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Employers: Get ready for E-Verify

Miami Herald: DHS' Secretary Janet Ann Napolitano pledges to increase the focus on criminal punishment for employer violators and encourages employers to work with federal immigration agents to establish sound compliance programs. Run by the DHS' U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, in conjunction with the Social Security Administration, E-Verify offers a glimpse into the future of immigration and opens new doors to complex issues that will greatly impact all industries.

Asylum Seeker Realized Her Dream But Now Is Missing

New York Times: Abandoned by her Muslim family for converting to Christianity, she has shuttled from one address to the next, terrified of being deported to her native Iran, where apostasy can be punished by death. Last year, Ghanipour stumbled upon a retired immigration judge and his Pepperdine University Law School students, who championed her quest for asylum.Ghanipour won the case. But she doesn't know it. The devoutly religious woman vanished shortly before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delivered on her dream at the end of August

CNN Special on Latinos Stokes Debate Over Dobbs

The New York Times: Instead of being simply a draw for Hispanic viewers, CNN’s four-hour documentary, “Latino in America,” turned into a political rallying cry for activist groups who are calling on the cable news channel to fire Lou Dobbs, a veteran anchor with well-known views on immigration. An array of minorities held small protests in New York and other cities on Wednesday, the first night of CNN’s presentation. They are trying to highlight what they say are years of lies about immigration by Mr. Dobbs, who anchors the 7 p.m. hour on CNN.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Avvo Answers

Minority lawmakers: No census citizenship question

Associated Press: A coalition of black, Latino and Asian lawmakers on Thursday expressed opposition to a proposal that would require next year's census forms to ask about the status of a person's citizenship. The House lawmakers criticized a proposal by Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Bob Bennett, R-Utah, as a political ploy designed to discourage immigrants from participating in the high-stakes count, which begins April 1.

Gay partners seeking immigration changes

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Today, Mr. Smith's partner, Steve Orney, will appear at a congressional briefing on a House bill that would give gay couples the right to obtain lawful permanent resident status, in the same manner that spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents petition for foreign-born husbands and wives -- by showing that they are in a "permanent partnership."An estimated 36,000 same-sex couples, many with children, face similarly wrenching separations under U.S. immigration law, noted Rachel Tiven, executive director for Immigration Equality, a New York-based group

Plan targets Frederick illegal immigrant students

The Baltimore Sun reported that Frederick County officials are considering asking state lawmakers to require a count of students with questionable immigration status in the county's public schools. Republican commissioners Charles Jenkins and John L. Thompson introduced the plan Tuesday as a legislative proposal.

Congress removes a draconian fate for foreign-born spouses of U.S. citizens who die

With a 79-19 Senate vote, Congress has corrected one of the more draconian immigration policies to be visited upon foreign-born spouses of American citizens. Called the "widow's penalty,'' the policy allows immigration officials to annul spouses' applications for permanent residency when their American husbands or wives die before the marriage is two years old.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Citizenship Fees: Immigrant Advocates Urge U.S. Against New Increase. Applications Dropped Sharply Since Last Fee Increase Two Years Ago, Group Says

Chicago Tribune: Pointing to a steep drop in the number of immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship since federal processing fees were raised two years ago, immigrant advocates in Chicago called on U.S. officials Wednesday not to raise them again in the face of a looming budget shortfall.Higher processing fees for citizenship applications and other services are being considered to close a projected $118 million budget gap next year, said Chris Ratigan, spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington.

US Workers, Immigrants Unite vs. Work Visa Program

The Associated Press reported that Toribio Jimenez says an asbestos removal company used a guest worker program to trap him in virtual servitude, then fired him when he complained, forcing him to work illegally. Robert Martin believes the same company kept him unemployed by hiring foreigners like Jimenez. The men have become surprising allies in a lawsuit that claims a long-standing guest worker program harms American and immigrant workers alike. The program has issued visas for 22 years amid steady complaints, and both sides of the immigration debate say it warrants close scrutiny as the Obama administration prepares to tackle comprehensive immigration reform next year.

Growing Common Ground Between Liberals and Conservatives on Immigration

Is the idea of common ground between liberals and religious conservatives a pipe dream? Not when it comes to one of the major goals of President Obama's first term: immigration reform. One reason the president and his party have better odds at winning over religious conservatives on immigration than on abortion is that some influential evangelicals have changed their thinking on a path to citizenship for illegals. That includes some evangelical groups and figures who sat out President Bush's unsuccessful 2007 push for comprehensive reform or opposed the effort outright.

Legal Scholars Dissect SF Sanctuary Policy

The New York Times reported that the Board of Supervisors voted 8-to-2 yesterday to overturn a policy enacted last summer by Mayor Gavin Newsom that rolled back the city’s sanctuary policy as it relates to contacting immigration authorities when a juvenile is arrested on felony charges. The new rule would require the city to contact immigration authorities only after a juvenile has been convicted of a felony.

Monday, October 19, 2009

County Agrees to Rules on Immigration Enforcement

The Washington Post reported that The Prince William Board of County Supervisors authorized the police chief Tuesday to enter into a new agreement with the Department of Homeland Security that will effectively give federal officials more authority over the local illegal immigration enforcement program. The board's decision came three months after changes were made to the federal 287(g) illegal immigration program

Clergy's Role Grows in Migrant Discussion

But just which side God is on has increasingly become the subject of debate as pro-immigration and anti-immigration forces bring dueling religious leaders to the nation's capital to argue over whose cause is the most righteous. Krikorian and other anti-immigration leaders have begun trying to counter that immigrant-friendly, pro-reform sentiment with public appearances and speeches by religious leaders and scholars who argue that religion should not be used to condone illegal immigration.

Does McCain back ban on Arpaio immigration sweeps?

Politico reports that Sen. John McCain -- a fervent sponsor of immigration reform -- is once again being dragged into the messy border war of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is defying the Obama administration's ban on his highly controversial illegal immigrant sweeps in the Phoenix area. McCain's office wouldn't say whether he supported or opposed the move. But late Friday, McCain wrote Napolitano asking for an explanation, asking for her to "please provide the rationale for terminating the Task Force Model in Maricopa County and the criteria that made the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office ineligible to continue in the Task Force Model."

Migrants Going North Now Risk Kidnappings

For 37 days, the Salvadoran immigrant was held captive in a crowded room near the border with scores of people, all of them Central Americans who had been kidnapped while heading north, hoping to cross into the United States. He finally got out in August, he said, after the Mexican Army raided the house in the middle of the night to free them. But Mexican human rights groups that monitor migration say the threats foreigners face as they cross Mexico for the United States have grown significantly in recent months.

U.S. Alters Disputed Immigration Rules for Police

The New York Times reported that, addressing one of the most contentious immigration policies in recent years, the Obama administration unveiled changes Friday in a program that allows state and local police officers enforce federal immigration law. As promised in July, the Department of Homeland Security said it had revamped the program to focus on rooting out illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes. The changes also require law enforcement officers enrolled in the program to abide by federal anti-discrimination law. In addition, federal officials pledged to supervise the program more closely, flag problems and field complaints from the public.

Immigrant activists call out "Illegal Alien" costumes

Immigrant rights activists are calling on U.S. retailers to stop selling two controversial "illegal alien" costumes that have surfaced for Halloween, saying that the outfits are a broadside on illegal immigrants.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Immigration to revise detention system

In a major policy move, the Obama administration indicated that it intended to make major revisions to the Immigration detention system. It intends to convert hotels and nursing homes into facilities for housing immigrants, who are not flight risks, who are awaiting their hearings.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Immigration complicates Health Care Debate

Anti-Health Care advocates are using the issue of the availablity of health care to aliens to complicate the health care reform debate.

Obama puts Immmigration Reform on the back burner

The Obama Administration has backed off of its campaign promise to enact comprehensive immigration reform this year. It has indicated that it will push the issue in early 2010.

Latest H-1B Numbers

There are still almost 20,000 H-1B visa numbers available. File your petition now.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Latest H-1B numbers from Immigration

Immigration has just announced the latest numbers of H-1B applications received so far: 44,900. Therefore, there are still 20,100 visas available from the 65,000 cap.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Eli Kantor appointed as Media Liaison

The American Immigration Lawyers Association, AILA, has appointed Eli Kantor to serve as its Media Liaison for the Southern California Chapter for the 2009 -2010 term.