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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


Monday, December 19, 2011

Immigrant-Advocacy Group Expands

Winston-Salem Journal reported that: El Cambio, the immigrant-advocacy group based in Yadkin County, is branching out.

Wooten Gough, the group's spokesman, said Sunday that it is setting up new chapters in Surry County, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, among other places, including Forsyth Technical Community College, Salem College, UNC Greensboro and N.C. A&T University.

The goal is to build "people power" and "electoral power" to get in-state tuition for immigrants who have been raised in the United States but do not have legal permission to be in the country, he said.

Under North Carolina law, such students must pay out-of-state tuition.

For Martin Rodriguez, who was brought illegally into the U.S. from Mexico when he was a child, getting an associate degree at Forsyth Tech could cost about $16,800, according to credit-hour and tuition information on the school's website.

His sister, Silvia, a U.S. citizen, would pay about $4,300 for the same degree.

Both were at a two-day meeting with about 70 people that El Cambio organized at a motel in Yadkinville over the weekend.

New recruit Osbin Perdomo, a 21-year-old student at Forsyth Tech, was also at the meeting. Born in Honduras, Perdomo is in the U.S. legally. But it is important to help others gain access to an education, he said.

"This is something that affects all of us," he said.

Some North Carolina lawmakers say that the granting of in-state tuition would be a bad idea because it would make the state a magnet for illegal immigration. They see it as another bad piece of legislation, such as the proposed DREAM Act in Congress, which would provide young immigrants without a serious criminal record a pathway to legal status.

Conversely, a Fox News poll released in October showed that a majority of registered voters sampled support that type of legislation.

According to the poll, 63 percent of respondents said "yes" when asked this question: "Do you think illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States since they were children should be eligible for legal citizenship, or not?" In contrast, 31 percent of the respondents said "no," and 6 percent said "Don't know."

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