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, January 28, 2010

Illegal Immigrants Make 1,500-Mile March to Washington

ABC News: South Florida college students, Felipe Matos, 23, Carlos Roa, 22, and Gaby Pacheo, 25, say their lives as illegal immigrants have become so "unbearable," they decided it was time to take their stories to the nation’s capital...on foot. The trio has embarked on a four-month, 1,500-mile campaign, walking from Miami to Washington, D.C., to advocate for immigration reform legislation that would give them a path to citizenship.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Secrets of the Immigration Jails

The New York Times reported that "Americans have long known that the government has been running secretive immigration prisons into which detainees have frequently disappeared, their grave illnesses and injuries untreated, their fates undisclosed until well after early and unnecessary deaths. What we did not know, until a recent article in The Times by Nina Bernstein, was how strenuously the government has tried to cover up those failings – keeping relatives and lawyers in the dark, deflecting blame, fighting rigorous quality standards, outside oversight and transparency. These deficiencies endure today."

Mexican Asylum Cases at U.S. Border on the Rise

The Associated Press reported that: More Mexicans are going to the U.S. border ports, asking for political asylum – a newspaper analysis. The Arizona Republic reported information from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services showed that in 2002, 50 Mexican nationals went to a U.S. port of entry and asked for asylum. As of August 2009, 303 asylum cases have been received. In 2008, U.S. immigration officials reported that were 312 asylum requests from Mexican nationals at a U.S. port of entry. There has also been a jump in asylum applications from Mexicans already in the U.S. There were 1,410 applications in 2006, compared to 2,144 applications in 2008, according to CIS data.

Immigrants Often See Peril in Reporting Domestic Abuse

Los Angeles Times: Though Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies and community organizations have made advances in responding to domestic violence in immigrant communities, attorneys and advocates say many victims still face obstacles in reporting abuse and seeking help. Language barriers, financial dependence and lack of information keep victims from coming forward. And those here illegally worry about being sent back to their native countries. Many victims do not know that they may be eligible for special visas for victims of crime and domestic violence.

U.S. Official Offers Aid to Haitians in L.A.

Jane Arellano of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says visitors from the quake-ravaged country are now eligible to apply to extend their stays in the United States by 18 months, the Los Angeles Times reported. But fielding the myriad immigration questions was Jane Arellano, Los Angeles district director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In her first appearance before the Los Angeles Haitian community, Arellano announced that Haitian visitors were now eligible to apply to extend their stays in the United States by 18 months. The "temporary protected status (TPS)," granted to nationals of Haiti last week by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, allows the extended stays so people do not have to return to unsafe conditions, such as wars or natural disasters.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Immigrants in Detention to Be Sent Out of State

The New York Times reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will close a controversial detention center in Greenwich Village next month and transfer the center’s roughly 300 detainees to a county jail in New Jersey, federal officials announced on Thursday. Officials said that the jail, in Hudson County, will house immigration detainees at half the cost — $111 a day per detainee, compared with $253 at the Village center, the Varick Street Detention Facility.

Demonstrators Press for Haitian Advocate’s Release

New York Times: Against the backdrop of the earthquake in Haiti, dozens of protesters gathered outside a Greenwich Village detention center on Thursday to demand the release of Jean Montrevil, a Haitian immigrant rights advocate and a community leader in New York who has been detained since December while awaiting deportation.

U.S. May Grant Undocumented Haitians Legal Status

The Department of Homeland Security could grant legal status to undocumented Haitians in the United States in the wake of that country's devastating earthquake, a top U.S. official said. "We are aware of the devastation and loss that the people of Haiti are suffering," Alejandro Mayorkas, the chief of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Thursday in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We are considering all alternatives available to us in extending a helping hand to Haiti," Mayorkas said. He confirmed those considerations include temporary protected status for Haitians.

Study: Legalizing Undocumented Adult Latinos Would Be Boon to State's Economy

The Los Angeles Times reported that California could reap an economic boon worth $16 billion by legalizing its 1.8 million undocumented adult Latino immigrants, according to a USC study released today. The economic benefits would come as newly legalized immigrants earned higher wages, spent more consumer dollars, paid more taxes and helped create jobs, according to the study by the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. "People keep using our economic condition as an excuse to not do comprehensive immigration reform," said Manuel Pastor, one of the study’s authors. "It’s just the opposite: What we need to do to right our economy and move forward is create a path to legalization."

Friday, January 08, 2010

A Special Visa Program Benefits Abused Illegal Immigrants

New York Times: Her legal status came about through what is known as a U visa – a humanitarian "island of niceness," as one advocate called it, in a sea of restrictive United States immigration laws. Victims of domestic violence are often deeply reluctant to press charges, fearing retaliation or simply hoping their abusers will change. The risk of deportation on escalates the aversion to go to the police. That is a main reason that Congress passed legislation in 2000, creating the U visa.

Despite Aiding U.S., Iraqi Is Denied a Green Card

New York Times: Mr. Alrais came to the United States in the spring of 2008 after his life had been threatened for working as an interpreter for the United States Army in Iraq. Unable to find a job during the recession and without a green card, he returned in February to the country he had fled to work again for the Army through a private contractor. Federal officials at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of the Department of Homeland Security, will not give Mr. Alrais credit for the time he has spent on a United States military base overseas so he can fulfill an American residency requirement to get the green card. His application was denied in November. Mr. Alrais, 51, struggles to understand a system that would have given him a green card if he had stayed in the United States for the full year without a job, instead of working with American forces in Iraq.

Legalizing Unauthorized Immigrants Would Help Economy, Study Says

CNN: Legalization of the more than 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States would raise wages, increase consumption, create jobs and generate more tax revenue, two policy institutes say in a joint report Thursday. The report by the Center for American Progress and the American Immigration Council estimates that "comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes currently unauthorized immigrants and creates flexible legal limits on future immigration" would yield at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over a 10-year period.

Immigration’s New Year

The New York Times reported that: The quest for overhauling immigration received two very welcome lifts on New Year’s Day. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, at his inauguration, pledged to help the Obama administration pass immigration reform. On the same day, four young people in Miami, current or former students at Miami Dade College, began their own determined march to Washington in an effort to bring pressure from the grass roots. Three of the four were brought to this country illegally as children.

Health Experts Say 22-Year Ban Reflected Ignorance About Disease

ABC News reported: In a move public health and human rights advocates have hailed as a "victory," the so-called HIV travel ban, which barred entry to the U.S. by people living with HIV or AIDS, has been officially revoked, bringing to a close years of work to end the measure. For more than 20 years, people living with HIV or AIDS needed look no further than the United States’ front door for a reminder of the stigma associated with their disease. A U.S. immigration measure first imposed in 1987 after politicians reacted to the outbreak of AIDS prohibited all infected persons from obtaining U.S. tourist visas or permanent residence status unless they obtained a special waiver.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Whither the Dream

New York Times: NO federal law prohibits illegal immigrants from attending college in the United States, or requires them to disclose their situation. Most colleges don’t even check immigration status when students apply for financial aid – only 31 percent, according to a survey last year by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Still, illegal students face numerous barriers to higher education.

Somalis Seeking Asylum Take Back-Door Route to U.S.

The Washington Post reports: Kheire is one of hundreds of Somalis in the past two years to have staked everything on a wild asylum gamble by following immigration routes to the United States traditionally traveled by Latinos. With the suspension of a U.S. refugee program and stepped-up security in the Gulf of Aden and along Mediterranean smuggling routes, more overseas migrants from Somalia are pursuing asylum through what one expert calls the "back door." "The U.S. has closed most of the doors for Somalis to come in through the refugee program, so they've found alternative ways to get in," said Mark Hetfield, senior vice president for policy and programs at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. "This is their new route." About 1,500 people from around the world showed up in U.S. airports and on the borders seeking asylum during the 2009 fiscal year, according to statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.