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


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.