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


Friday, August 29, 2014

145 Immigration Activists Arrested in Front of W.H.

By Seung Min Kim
August 28, 2014

More than 140 immigration activists were arrested in front of the White House on Thursday as they loudly protested President Barack Obama over deportations of undocumented immigrants.

The scores of arrests, which come as Obama is preparing to unveil changes to his deportation and immigration policies, amounted to one of the largest shows of civil disobedience at the White House over immigration.

“Today, on this national day to fight for families, we call on President Obama to do everything in his power to enact humane and compassionate administrative relief that will end our suffering,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA de Maryland, a Latino advocacy group that organized Thursday’s demonstration.

The midday demonstration began at the headquarters of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in southwest Washington, where the hundreds gathered to chant: “Si se puede!” and “Not one more!” and children wore T-shirts that pleaded: “Don’t Deport My Mom.”

The activists then walked on streets that had been blocked off by police to the White House — about a mile and a half from ICE’s offices — with the protesters leading the march hauling a banner that read: “Pres. Obama Stop Deporting.”

When they reached 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — still chanting — the large group of activists blocked a significant portion of the sidewalk in front of the White House as they continued to protest, prompting the arrests.

The U.S. Park Police said in a statement that 145 people were arrested and charged with blocking passage — a citation that carries a $50 fine. The protesters were being processed at the Park Police facility in Anacostia Park, and the sidewalk in front of the White House reopened around 3:15 p.m.

Obama is expected to make highly-anticipated administrative moves on immigration sometime in September. Activists are calling on Obama to provide the broadest executive action possible, such as expanding a program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportations to millions more who are living here without legal status.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Labor Leader Urges Obama to Go Big on Immigration

By Alex Rogers
August 28, 2014

Seeking a change in deportations policy and an energized liberal base for the midterm elections

A top labor leader predicted Thursday that President Barack Obama will use his executive authority to make changes in immigration policy without congressional cooperation, but also castigated him for the high rate of deportations under his watch.

“He’s going to do something; I just hope it’s bold enough to be worthwhile,” Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. “No matter what he does the right wing is going to go bonkers and say he doesn’t care about anything—[that] he isn’t enforcing the law.”

Obama has been under pressure from liberals to work around congressional opposition to comprehensive immigration reform by issuing executive orders. Trumka said that could be politically savvy with the midterm elections approaching—so long as Obama goes far enough to energize the liberal base.

“If he goes mild he’ll energize the right but he won’t energize the center and the left,” Trumka said.

The AFL-CIO, an umbrella union group, wants the President to defer deportations, grant work authorization to “low-priority” undocumented immigrants, and restore the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s authority over local law enforcement, among other demands.

Trumka said Thursday that the current “deportation policy doesn’t make sense,” and that Obama fell into a “classic trap” set by Republicans, raising the number of the deportations without guaranteeing a comprehensive immigration bill in return.

“What it did do is undermine the support [Obama] had in the Latino community because those communities really believe that they are under attack right now,” Trumka said. “You’re seeing families split up.”

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Obama Signals Timing of New Immigration Measure in Question

By Roberta Rampton
August 28, 2014

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he still planned to take steps on his own to improve the U.S. immigration system but that his timeline for taking action has been affected by the need to deal with a flood of migrant children from central America.

Obama had previously said he planned by the end of summer to find ways to change immigration regulations, unilateral action he said was made necessary by the failure of Congress to pass comprehensive reforms.

But at a news conference on Thursday, Obama was circumspect about the timing of his announcement, which will be controversial ahead of November midterm elections where Democratic control of the U.S. Senate is at stake.

Asked whether he would delay his decision on immigration changes, Obama talked about the time his administration has invested on apprehending migrant children, nearly 63,000 of whom have come across the southwestern border since October 2013.

"Some of these things do affect timelines, and we're just going to be working through as systematically as possible in order to get this done," Obama said.

"But have no doubt: in the absence of congressional action, I'm going to do what I can to make sure the system works better," he said.

In 2012, Obama gave temporary legal status to some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Hispanic groups have pressed him to expand that policy to millions of family members of those children.

But 70 percent of Americans believe undocumented immigrants threaten the nation's culture and economy, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed earlier this month.

Immigration has been a hot issue for lawmakers at meetings in their home states this summer and Conservatives who object to Obama's immigration policies have threatened to tie a must-pass budget bill to the issue, raising the specter of a government shutdown.

But if Obama delays, that would infuriate Hispanic groups, an important base of support for Democrats.


The numbers of children showing up at the border have dropped but could rise again when the summer heat dissipates. The White House wants to make sure that a high-profile announcement from Obama doesn't inadvertently spur a renewed surge of migrants.

"We don't want to see people resume taking this dangerous journey to the border in the coming months," a White House official said on condition of anonymity.

"The timing of any potential action on immigration could influence migrations to the border," the official said.

Democrats are wary ahead of November midterm elections. If they lose control of the U.S. Senate, Obama would face setbacks for the final two years of his presidency.

There is anxiety about any controversy, including immigration, lest it tip the balance in key races, said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who is a former aide to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.

"I'm willing to say that I found his comments a bit odd and he seemed to suggest that there's a pretty big debate going on within the White House about when exactly is the right time to issue this executive order," Manley said in an interview.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

President Forges Ahead on Immigration Order

The Hill
By Justin Sink
August 28, 2014

There should be "no doubt" that the White House is willing to move forward unilaterally on immigration reform, President Obama said Thursday amid bipartisan calls for him to avoid acting alone.

"It continues to be my belief that, if I can't see the congressional action, that I need to do at least what I can in order to make the system work better," Obama told reporters at a news conference.

The president said that his preference continued to be for lawmakers to act on a comprehensive fix, and that "hope springs eternal" for Congress to take up the issue after the midterm elections. But in the meantime, Obama said the administration is plowing ahead with proposals for executive action.

"Have no doubt: in the absence of congressional action, I'm going to do what I can to make sure the system works better," Obama said.

Earlier this week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Gang of Six that developed the Senate's comprehensive reform bill, sent a letter to the president warning that an executive action would "close the door to any chance of making progress on immigration reform for the foreseeable future."

Some vulnerable Senate Democrats have also expressed concern about the president acting in lieu of Congress.

"This is an issue that I believe should be addressed legislatively, and not through executive order," Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) told The Wall Street Journal.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), in a statement, said although he was also frustrated by partisanship in Washington, "that doesn't give the president carte blanche authority to sidestep Congress when he doesn't get his way."

Obama dismissed suggestions that the administration should be focusing its energies on addressing the tens of thousands of migrant children who have crossed the southern border.

The president said the administration had worked "systematically" and "in a serious way" to shift resources to the border to deal with the influx. He also said he was encouraged that it appeared fewer minors are now crossing the border.

"It would have been helped along if Congress had voted for the supplemental that I asked for. They did not. That means that we've got to make some administrative choices and executive choices about, for example, getting more immigration judges down there. So that has kept us busy," the president said.

"But it has not stopped the process of looking more broadly about how do we get a smart immigration system in place while we're waiting for Congress to act."  

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Obama Wants Immigration Action

By Jennifer Epstein
August 28, 2014

President Barack Obama still intends to take executive actions on immigration, he said Thursday, at the tail end of a summer in which his administration has been reviewing options for moves he can take on his own.

“If I can’t see congressional action, I have to do at least what I can,” he told reporters at the White House. “Have no doubt: In the absence of congressional action, I’m going to do what I can to make sure the system works better.”

Obama noted the White House has had “a lot of stakeholder discussions.”

Among them are with big business leaders such as representatives for high tech, agriculture and construction interests, who have put forward a range of suggested fixes, from recapturing unused green cards to tweaking existing work authorization programs.

But the biggest ask from immigration-reform advocates is halting deportations for millions of immigrants living here legally and granting them work authorization — similar to the reprieve given to more than 580,000 young undocumented immigrations under a 2012 Obama administration directive.

Earlier Thursday, 145 immigration-reform activists were arrested outside the White House for blocking the streets as they called on Obama to grant broad relief from deportations for undocumented immigrants.

On Thursday, Obama did little to hint at what specific policy changes will result from his review, which is being led by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and was formally launched in March. Nor did he give a firm timeline of when those actions will be announced — a topic of much speculation among immigration-reform advocates.

Still, Obama did hint that he still holds out some hope for congressional action. “Hope springs eternal that after the midterms, Congress will act,” ?he said.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Obama Sets No Timeline for Action on Immigration

Associated Press
August 28, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a self-imposed deadline looming, President Barack Obama said Thursday he still intends to act on his own to change immigration policies but stopped short of reiterating his past vows to act by end of summer.

Obama raised the slim hope that Congress could take action on a broad immigration overhaul after the midterm elections in November. He said that if lawmakers did not pass an overhaul, "I'm going to do what I can to make sure the system works better."

But for the first time since pledging to act by summer's end, he signaled that such a target date could slip. He said that the administration had been working to reduce the flow of unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the border and noted that the number of apprehensions at the border had fallen in August.

"Some of these things do affect time lines and we're just going to be working through as systematically as possible in order to get this done," he said in a news conference where he also addressed Russian aggression in Ukraine and action against Islamic State militants.

Two months ago, Obama angrily conceded that the House did not intend to take up immigration legislation this year and ordered Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to come up with actions the president could take on his own.

"I expect their recommendations before the end of summer and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay," he said at the time.

Since then, the administration was forced to deal with the sharp rise of young migrants from Central America who were crossing the southwest border. Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion to deal with the flow, a request that Republican lawmakers rejected.

At the same time, some Democrats worried that if Obama took action on his own to reduce deportations it would mobilize Republican voters in hotly contested Senate races.

Frank Sharry of the pro-immigrant group America's Voice said there were no indications the White House planned to delay the announcement, and lots of evidence Obama is preparing for an announcement in September.

"If for whatever reasons they decide to delay, it's going to be a huge problem for an immigration reform movement that has worked tirelessly for years and been promised action for years," Sharry said. "I don't think people are going to take a delay without a big response."

Obama said Thursday that addressing the inflow of unaccompanied minors has not stopped the process of looking into "how do we get a smart immigration system in place while we're waiting for Congress to act.

"And it continues to be my belief that, if I can't see the congressional action, that I need to do at least what I can in order to make the system work better."

The most sweeping, controversial step under consideration involves halting deportation for millions, a major expansion of a 2012 Obama program that deferred prosecutions for those brought here illegally as children.

Roughly half a million people have benefited from that program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

In a sign of how heated the demands on Obama to act have become, 145 protesters were arrested midday Thursday in front of the White House in an act of civil disobedience. Demanding a halt to deportations, protesters draped themselves in American flags and held signs saying "I am a witness for justice" as onlookers cheered them on. The U.S. Park Police said the protesters were charged with blocking the sidewalk.

Republicans are already hinting they'll consider legal action to thwart what they've denounced as a violation of the separation of powers. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a conference call this month with GOP House members, accused Obama of "threatening to rewrite our immigration laws unilaterally."

"If the president fails to faithfully execute the laws of our country, we will hold him accountable," Boehner said, according to an individual who participated in the call.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., predicted Thursday that Congress would not tackle an immigration overhaul before the fall elections.

"There are too many members of the House that are scared of the tea party, and they are afraid to death that they won't get the extremist support in the election," Nelson told reporters in Orlando, Florida. "There is nothing being done on immigration until after the election, and probably not until we get a better sense of where we're going into next year."

The House has passed legislation to block Obama from expanding DACA and, through its power of the purse, could attempt to cut off the funds that would be needed to implement the expansion. House Republicans could also consider widening or amending their existing lawsuit against Obama over his health care law, a case both parties have suggested could be a prelude to impeachment proceedings.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Thursday, August 28, 2014

9 Mexicans Can Return to Contest Deportations

New York Times
By Jennifer Medina and Julia Preston
August 27, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Nine Mexican immigrants who agreed to be deported from the United States during the last five years will be allowed to return to fight their expulsions under an agreement announced Wednesday that could also include other Mexicans who consented to leave.

In a lawsuit against the federal government brought last year, the American Civil Liberties Union argued that enforcement agents had coerced the nine into accepting a type of removal known as voluntary return by failing to advise them of their rights or warn them of the consequences. After deportation, most immigrants living here without papers cannot legally come back for at least three years and often as long as a decade.

The immigrants contended they had strong cases for staying and would have made them in court if they had known they had that option. They said agents gave them “gross misinformation” about their choices and pressured them to sign removal papers, resulting in departures that were anything but voluntary.

In the agreement, federal officials did not admit any wrongdoing but agreed to alter the practices of border and enforcement agents to have them inform immigrants more thoroughly about their rights and about the obstacles to returning if they leave.

The authorities “use voluntary return as an option for individuals who may request to be returned home in lieu of removal proceedings, but in no case is coercion or deception tolerated,” said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman in California for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in a statement on Wednesday.

Although the case involved only nine immigrants deported from San Diego and Los Angeles, it could apply to many more if a judge approves a section of the agreement that would extend it to all Mexicans who left from Southern California by voluntary departure after June 2009 and who would have had viable claims in immigration courts.

The two sides gave different estimates of how many people would be affected. The A.C.L.U. said “potentially hundreds or thousands” of deportees might qualify. An immigration official said that about 30,000 foreigners left in voluntary departures during the time period, but that only “a very small fraction” would qualify to return.

The federal judge who will decide, John A. Kronstadt of the Central District of California, is not expected to rule until next year. As part of the already agreed changes, immigration and border agencies will set up a telephone hotline with information for people considering voluntary departure and will provide lists of lawyers and times to consult them as well as better access for lawyers to meet with those who are detained.

“This is a substantial reform of how Border Patrol and ICE do business,” said Sean Riordan, senior staff attorney for the civil liberties union in San Diego, using the acronym for the enforcement agency. The agreement allows the A.C.L.U. to monitor the agencies’ compliance for three years.

Lawyers for the group said the settlement was a rare instance when significant numbers of people who have been deported can come back. They will not be given any new legal status, but will be able to take up their cases where they stood before deportation. A law firm, Cooley LLP in San Diego, also worked on the case.

Mr. Riordan said the immigrants in the suit were living without legal status in Southern California and were detained when they were going about daily routines such as driving to work or waiting at a bus stop.

One plaintiff, Gerardo Hernández Contreras, went out in San Diego to pick up ice cream for his young children, who are both American citizens, when he was stopped by local police officers. According to court documents, he was turned over to the Border Patrol and signed a voluntary departure after agents told him his wife, also an American citizen, would be able to obtain a visa for him to return. He has been living in Tijuana since 2012.

Another plaintiff, Isidora López Venegas, was stopped on the street in San Diego three years ago and signed a voluntary departure to avoid being detained and separated from a young son who is autistic. Ms. Venegas said her son was not receiving adequate care where she now lives in Mexico.

The nine Mexicans in the suit will be allowed to come back within 30 days.

Angelica Salas, the executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, which was a plaintiff, said the agreement would work immediately to discourage agents from pressuring people to depart. “The cowardly practice of coercing immigrants to sign a so-called voluntary departure notice has come to an end,” she said.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Marco Rubio's Immigration Answer

U.S. News & World Report
By David Catanese
August 27, 2014

ANDERSON, S.C. — Marco Rubio seemed to sense his speech to a gathering of conservative activists would lure detractors. So like any smart politician, he sought to preempt their plot with a dash of humor.

“If there are any hecklers here tonight, if you could wait until about 10 minutes into the speech, because that’ll give me time to go for water,” quipped the freshman Republican Florida senator, invoking memories of his now famed grab for a water bottle that took him jarringly out of the television frame during his 2013 State of the Union response.

They didn’t heed his advice. On four separate occasions during the first four minutes of Rubio’s address at Rep. Jeff Duncan’s 4th annual barbecue fundraiser Monday, protesters who were planted in different parts of the cavernous Anderson Civic Center leapt to their feet and began chanting over his remarks.

Heading into the event — Rubio’s first appearance in the first-in-the-south presidential primary state since 2012 — it’s safe to assume his advisers believed the biggest challenge would be allaying the concerns of hardline conservatives still angry at him for supporting 2013 immigration legislation they saw as a pathway to amnesty. Rubio’s original comprehensive approach would have balanced new border security measures with a plan to legalize millions of undocumented Americans over time.

Instead, Rubio drew a group of hecklers advocating for the DREAM Act — an idea he says he still supports in concept. It would allow students in good moral character of undocumented parents to attain legal status and remain in the country. But having been castigated by the right for embracing further legalization before broader border security measures are implemented, Rubio has shelved his embrace of a multi-pronged reform package.

So four young non-white protesters unfurled a large white sign that read “Rubio Me Quiere Deportar” which means “Rubio Wants To Deport Me”

“This country is the most generous nation in the history of mankind on immigration,” Rubio attempted to respond over the yells, eliciting rounds of cheers from Republicans seated in the audience before him.

But just moments after the first four protesters were ejected from the arena, two others stood up and began their own demonstration.

“What side are they on? I can’t understand,” he said onstage responding to them. “Are they for it or against it? I couldn’t tell. What they’re asking for is completely unrealistic.”

Rubio remained largely calm and composed throughout the melee, noting his detractors enjoyed a very American right to express themselves.

Afterwards, one of his advisers mused they should find out exactly who the protesters were to send them thank-you cards.

After all, in a span of just a few minutes, the author of bipartisan immigration reform looked sympathetic to an assemblage of influential conservatives who could have easily been predisposed to be suspicious of the senator’s conversion.

A year ago, Rubio was lambasted for lurching too far to the left to court Hispanics; now he’s being blasted for selling out to the unyielding base of his party. Perhaps Rubio’s newest immigration tack is just right.

Duncan, who invited Rubio to his home district — described by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. as a place that reveres “God, Guns & Guts” — said the senator handled himself “like a champ” and appeared to give him the benefit of the doubt on the issue.

“I hope folks will give him a mulligan on that,” Duncan told U.S. News when asked about Rubio’s prior immigration position. “I think he went into that with the right intentions and in good faith and I think the other side muddied the bill up some. Look, he’s got to overcome that. I’m not going to defend him or the issue, he’s got to do that.”

But given the warm reaction Rubio received in this deeply conservative part of the Palmetto State, overcoming his immigration past doesn’t seem like an insurmountable feat anymore. In fact, it could ultimately turn into an advantage if he’s able to position himself as a pragmatic reformer who listens to the movement.

If Rubio pursues the presidency, the immigration attack is likely to be the earliest and easiest swipe at him in a GOP primary. He’s been searching, and at times, struggling, for a punchy way to explain his reversal. But he seemed to have found clarity in his response to reporters after the speech.

In essence, it’s a 4-step program: I tried, I failed, I listened and I learned.

“I’ve been there, I tried it, it doesn’t work. You are not going to have the support in Congress for the sort of comprehensive approach they’re insisting upon,” he said of his hecklers. “And I think the approach they’ve taken, that they have some sort of right, is the wrong approach. I actually think it sets back the cause.”

This answer allows Rubio to fall neatly in line with his party’s base on the white-hot issue in the short term, while also lending him an argument geared towards the center in the long term, explaining a valiant well-intended effort.

This summer’s migrant crisis on the Texas border only bolstered Rubio’s point.

“It’s clear that our border is not secure and it is clear that people’s distrust of government’s willingness to enforce the law is more justified than ever,” he said.

That means before any “Dreamer” is granted a waiver for citizenship, Rubio wants enhanced border protection, an E-Verify system to screen employment and a way to address those who overstay their work visas.

To be sure, Rubio will be forced to explain himself to skeptics, but that’s exactly what Graham did.

‘The conventional wisdom is that may hurt him with the base. But he was where Lindsey was,” says longtime GOP consultant Richard Quinn, who has polled extensively on the immigration issue in South Carolina.

Graham supported the same bill Rubio did last year and still lapped six GOP primary opponents in June, clinching 56 percent of the vote.

“I don’t think [immigration] is anything he can’t overcome,” says Quinn. “It’s a matter of educating. Rubio looks impressive. He has a lot of the ingredients.”

Before and after his speech, as he was swarmed by attendees for pictures and autographs, Rubio didn’t encounter dismayed conservatives. They gravitated to him like the “savior” he was once hailed to be, with many profusely apologizing for the unruly guests.

“That’s ok, that’s what makes it America,” Rubio replied, always keen to revert to an answer trumpeting the country’s inherent openness and diversity.

It’s a sunny worldview that has aided Rubio in weathering the arc of his immigration firestorm.

Jerry Smiley, a California native who now resides in Anderson, South Carolina approached Rubio to tell him how his mother immigrated here legally from Mexico. He understands the importance of a nation of laws, but also cherishes the native heritage his mother gave him. He wanted to convey to Rubio he respected his efforts at trying to forge a compromise.

“I like his stance on it where he’s not being too forceful with it and trying to work both sides,” Smiley says. “When you hear him out, you realize what he’s trying to do.”

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

Rubio's New Tone on Immigration Loud and Clear

Wall Street Journal
By Laura Meckler
August 28, 2014

If there is any doubt that Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) has changed his tone on immigration, it was extinguished this week.

He says an Obama administration program that protects young illegal immigrants from deportation should end. He says Congress should put off any legislation addressing the undocumented immigrants until border security and other reforms are in place. And he says he wouldn’t vote for the Senate immigration bill he helped write if it were on the floor today.

Asked directly how he would vote if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought the same bill to the floor now, he said he would vote no because passing the bill now wouldn’t be productive.

“At this point, bringing the Senate bill back to the floor would be a show vote,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “It would set us back even further—taking an issue that’s already divided people and actually going to stir the pot and poison the well even further. Why would I support an effort to do that?”

In a series of interviews—some with conservative media outlets such as Breitbart.com–and in a letter to President Barack Obama, Mr. Rubio is talking tougher than ever on immigration. It’s a striking contrast to his support last year of the Senate bill, which offered a path to citizenship for qualifying illegal immigrants. That bill proved toxic with House Republicans, and amid a battering from conservatives, Mr. Rubio, who is mulling a 2016 presidential run, soon backed off from his support.

In his interview with the Journal, the Florida Republican said he still supports immigration reform, and a spokesman made clear that Mr. Rubio doesn’t regret his support for last year’s Senate bill, which also called for enhanced border security and an overhaul to the legal visa system.

But his letter to Mr. Obama, sent Tuesday, Mr. Rubio says Congress should abandon efforts to pass a comprehensive bill. He also backed off the idea of “piecemeal” legislation, where different parts of the immigration system are tackled in individual bills. Instead, he said the matter should be addressed in “sequential” pieces of legislation.

Under this vision, lawmakers would first pass enforcement measures, then legislation to modernize the legal system for visas. Only after those two pieces were in place would Congress take up legislation addressing those already in the U.S. illegally, he said.

Immigration rights advocates and their supporters in Congress oppose that approach, saying that the undocumented should not have to wait for aid. They also fear Congress would stop after tackling the politically easier elements of immigration.

But Mr. Rubio says it’s the only way to move legislation through Congress. “I don’t think we’ll have the votes to get to the third step until we do the first two,” he said in the interview.

Immigration legislation died in the GOP-controlled House this year. Some Republicans opposed the idea of “amnesty” for lawbreakers and some wanted to avoid a divisive fight in an election year.

As a result, Mr. Obama is now considering executive action to shelter and give work permits some undocumented immigrants from deportation. In his letter, Mr. Rubio warned him that such an action would kill any chance for immigration legislation “for the foreseeable future.”

In the Breitbart interview, he raised the possibility of using the budget to force a showdown over the issue if Mr. Obama takes sweeping executive action on immigration.

“There will have to be some sort of a budget vote or a continuing resolution vote, so I assume there will be some sort of a vote on this,” he said. “I’m interested to see what kinds of ideas my colleagues have about using funding mechanisms to address this issue.”

Some read that as raising the possibility of a government shutdown, but a spokesman for Mr. Rubio said the senator wasn’t implying that he would consider such a move.

Mr. Rubio also says he wants to end a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gives safe harbor and work permits to some people brought to the U.S. as children. He said the government should cut off new enrollments in the coming months and, at some point, end protections for those in the program now.

“Eventually at some point, that program, at some point in the future, will have to come to an end,” he said in the Journal interview. “It cannot be an indefinite policy of the United States.” He said it should end even if legislation has not passed to offer these people permanent protections. “The policy cannot be that an entire category of people is exempt from the applications of our laws.”

Mr. Rubio also appears to be taking a different tone when confronted by protesters.

During a speech in South Carolina on Monday, he admonished young illegal immigrants who call themselves Dreamers that they are hurting their cause.

“We are a sovereign country that deserves to have immigration laws,” Mr. Rubio said at a “Faith and Freedom” fundraiser on Monday, according to a CNN account. “You’re doing harm to your own cause because you don’t have a right to illegally immigrate to the United States.” He waited for them to be escorted from the room.

That’s a striking contrast to how he replied to similar protesters at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in 2012. At that event, he asked security to let the protesters stay.

“These young people are very brave to be here today. They raise a very legitimate issue,” he said. “I don’t want them to leave. I want them to stay.”

In his Journal interview, he said the difference between then and now is that he has proven that he is willing to address their concerns but doesn’t appear to be getting any credit for it.

“I’ve actually done as much as anyone to address their concern,” he said. “I’m trying to lay out a path forward to reach a result. These groups don’t seem willing to give any consideration of that.”

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

White House: Shutdown Threat Won't Deter Executive Action on Immigration

The Hill
By Justin Sink
August 27, 2014

President Obama won't be deterred from taking executive action on immigration despite threats from some congressional Republicans to force a government shutdown, the White House said Wednesday.

Asked if threats from Republicans would make the president "think twice" on his plans for executive action, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said flatly, "no, it won't.

"The president is determined to act where House Republicans won't, and there is strong support for that all across the country," Earnest said.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday that "all bets are off" on a continuing resolution this fall if the president moved forward on immigration.

"If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear," King said. "I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have also suggested the GOP could use the budget process to halt administrative actions being contemplated by the White House.

Earnest said it "would be a real shame if Republicans were to engage in an effort to shut down the government" over the president's attempts to address immigration reform, noting that the shutdown last year had a negative impact on the economy.

The president is expected to unveil his administration’s steps on immigration by the "end of summer.” White House officials, though, insist no final decisions have been made yet.

The administration is reportedly considering a dramatic expansion of the number of individuals who can receive green cards or who would be eligible for the deferred action program that pauses deportation proceedings for those who have entered the country illegally. 

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Immigration Clash Could Lead to Shutdown

New York Times
By Michael D. Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis
August 27, 2014

WASHINGTON — As President Obama nears a decision on taking broad executive action to reshape the nation’s immigration system, Republicans are threatening to force a confrontation over what they describe as a power grab by refusing to finance some or all of the moves.

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, has said his party could seek to prevent Mr. Obama from taking unilateral action on immigration by removing the funding for it in the annual budget, which will be the top order of business when Congress returns from its break and must be passed by the end of September.

Injecting the immigration issue into the annual budget discussions raises the possibility of a spending stalemate that could lead to another government shutdown in the fall. Such a confrontation would pose a risk for both parties: Republicans were largely blamed for the shutdown last year, and many Democrats are wary of an immigration vote just before they face voters in November.

“There will have to be some sort of a budget vote or a continuing resolution vote, so I assume there will be some sort of a vote on this,” Mr. Rubio said Tuesday in an interview with Breitbart, a conservative website. “I’m interested to see what kinds of ideas my colleagues have about using funding mechanisms to address this issue.”

Republican leaders in the House and Senate say they have no intention of shutting down the government just weeks before the midterm elections. But the conservatives who are the most passionate opponents of any immigration action could press the issue when lawmakers return.

“If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear,” said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, according to The Des Moines Register. “I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized, and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that.”

Democrats have eagerly seized on the possibility of a shutdown fight, predicting Wednesday that voters will punish Republican candidates if the party uses the budget negotiations to block an immigration overhaul.

“They’re willing to treat people who simply want to make a better way of life for themselves and their families inhumanely and use their Tea Party ideology to beat the president into submission if they don’t get their way,” Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.

At the same time, Democratic candidates for the Senate have urged Mr. Obama to delay any sweeping action on immigration. Democrats campaigning for re-election in conservative states worry that the president could fire up conservative voters if he acts unilaterally.

One of those senators, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, said the president’s  frustration with Republicans who oppose an immigration overhaul did not give him “carte blanche authority to sidestep Congress when he doesn’t get his way.”

White House officials said they had no intention of letting Republicans’ threats influence the timing or substance of an immigration announcement from Mr. Obama. The president has promised to reveal his intentions soon. He has said he is considering a unilateral move because of the refusal of the Republican-controlled House to pass an overhaul of the immigration system.

If Republicans were to force a shutdown over the issue, it “would put not just their efforts to take the Senate, but potentially their efforts to keep the House, in great danger,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama.

Mr. Rubio said in a letter to Mr. Obama on Tuesday that he was “increasingly alarmed” by reports that the president could remove the threat of deportation for millions of illegal immigrants without consulting Congress.

“If indeed you move forward on such a decision, I believe it will close the door on any chance of making progress on immigration reform in the foreseeable future,” Mr. Rubio said in the letter.

Aides to the senator said he was not advocating a government shutdown to protest the president’s immigration actions. But they said that Mr. Rubio would want, and expect, a vote on any presidential immigration action to come up during the budget debate.

What could happen next is uncertain. In 2013, Republican leaders in the House and Senate said they did not want the new health care law to lead to a government shutdown. But several conservative lawmakers had other ideas, and the resulting stalemate closed the government for 15 days last fall.

Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said he hoped that Republicans “wouldn’t do the same thing again, to shut down the government over a common-sense, bipartisan effort to try to mitigate at least some of the worst problems that are caused by our broken immigration system.”

Mr. Earnest said the president would not think twice about taking executive action on immigration because of the Republican threats. “The president is determined to act where House Republicans won’t,” he said.

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Immigration Could Set Stage for Big U.S. Budget Showdown

By Richard Cowan
August 27, 2014

(Reuters) - Conservatives in the U.S. Congress who object to President Barack Obama's immigration policies are threatening to tie a must-pass budget bill to the issue, making for a possible showdown in September and raising the specter of a government shutdown.

When lawmakers return from their summer recess on Sept. 8, they hope to sprint to another long break beginning around Sept. 19. That gives them little time to agree on temporarily funding federal agencies on Oct. 1, the start of a new fiscal year.

One year ago, Congress faced a similar task. But Republican leaders' plans for smooth passage of legislation disintegrated when Tea Party-backed lawmakers led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas insisted on using the spending bill to gut Obama's landmark healthcare program known as Obamacare.

Federal agencies were shut down for 16 days because of a lack of funds, before a bruised Republican Party relented.

Now, with partisanship running high ahead of November's congressional elections, infighting over the spending bill - known as the continuing resolution, or CR - could become even more acute.

In part, that is because Congress left for recess unable to cut a deal on Obama’s request for emergency funds, which he said were needed to deal with an influx of Central American children illegally entering the country.

If Obama renews his request, which most Republicans oppose, it could spark a battle over the bigger bill to keep the government operating.

That would be nothing compared to the fight Obama could touch off in September if he announces unilateral actions giving temporary legal status and work permits to millions of undocumented residents.

Such a move could prompt some Republicans to retaliate by holding up the government-funding bill unless it prohibits Obama from carrying out immigration policy changes - a step Senate Democrats likely would oppose.

Obama has said he will use his executive powers at the end of summer because Republicans have blocked changes to an antiquated, unworkable U.S. immigration law.

According to one Senate Republican aide, "The focus is on doing everything ... to force Senate consideration" of a bill passed by the Republican-controlled House on Aug. 1.

That measure would reverse Obama's 2012 policy giving temporary legal status to some undocumented residents who were brought to the United States as children years ago by their parents. It would also stop Obama from expanding the policy, possibly to parents of those children.

"An area of focus is the CR," said the aide, who added that several senators are ready to join the effort.

But with Republicans on the verge of a November election win that could see them expand their majority in the House and capture the Senate, the last thing party leaders and many rank-and-file members want is to raise the possibility of a government shutdown - something voters do not tolerate.

At the same time, Democrats, according to congressional aides, will have to calculate whether they could be damaged in November by a September fight over immigration.

If either side blinks, there could be swift passage of a bare-bones temporary spending bill, delaying the showdown until after the elections.

Besides Cruz, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has been an outspoken opponent of steps giving special consideration to any of the 12 million or so undocumented people living in the United States. Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Representative Steve King of Iowa are among other lawmakers who have taken a high-profile stance against immigration legislation.

In an interview this week with the conservative news and opinion website Breitbart, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida backed using budget bills to roll back Obama's immigration policies.

"There will have to be some sort of a budget vote or a continuing resolution vote, so I assume there will be some sort of a vote on this (immigration)," he said.

It's an effort that could have the backing of the conservative group Heritage Action for America, where spokesman Dan Holler mulled the possibility of linking the urgently needed funding bill with language to stop Obama's executive actions on immigration.

The immigration policy controversy, he said, is having "a freezing effect on what September looks like" in Washington.

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