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, October 31, 2014

No Good Options for GOP on Obama’s Immigration Move

By Alex Rogers
October 30, 2014

Republicans may sue the president, but it's not likely to get far in the courts.
When President Obama signs an executive order giving temporary deportation relief and work authorization for millions of undocumented immigrants, Republicans across the country and on Capitol Hill will blow up. But there’s not much they can do about it that will make a difference.
All Republican options have fatal flaws. Pass a bill to overrule the executive action? Obama will veto it. Try to override the veto? Not enough votes in the Senate, even if Republicans control it. Attach a rider to a government funding bill? End up with another unpopular government shutdown. Sue the president? Spend lots of taxpayer money and wait months if not years only to get rejected by a judge.
Still, the last option on the list may be the one Republicans go with.
While they are keeping their options open before the President shows his hand—as my colleague Alex Altman reports, it’s still unclear how big he will go—some have coalesced in favor of a lawsuit as the bare minimum response to what they think will be a monumental case in executive overreach.
This week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said on Fox that his recommendation to the Republican congressional leadership is to “immediately bring suit and seek an injunction restraining the president,” adding that he and his staff have been in “considerable communication” with House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy about how to respond to the President’s actions.
Other Republicans have advocated for a lawsuit, including Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who would “absolutely” support litigation to prevent the President’s executive action, according to spokesman Mike Reynard. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) have supported it in the past. And on Wednesday, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul implied that he would too.
“Our Constitution requires the President to work with Congress to enact laws, not ignore Congress or the will of the people,” said McCaul in an emailed statement. “If the President decides to once again go it alone and grant amnesty through executive order by the end of the year, my colleagues and I will have no choice but to do everything in our power to stop him.”
Over the summer, the House passed a Blackburn-sponsored bill designed to freeze the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—limiting the number of children granted deferred deportation and work permits—and bar the President from taking future executive actions to expand efforts to postpone deportations. But the bill went nowhere in the Democratic-majority Senate and even under a Republican Senate it would face an Obama veto.
A senior House Republican aide familiar with the issue says that expanding the litigation the House authorized in July over the Affordable Care Act is “certainly one option,” although no decisions have been made by the party conference. All that would need to happen to sue the president over his executive order is for the House to take another vote. (One reason, perhaps, why the previous suit has not yet been filed—first pointed out by Washington Monthly—is that the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service agreed with legal experts in that the claim had no legal merit.) “We’ll continue to consult with our members and make a decision if and when the president acts,” says the aide.
The Republicans’ response could very well depend on what the President does, “if and when” that occurs. Expanding DACA to include some family members of those already eligible could provoke a different reaction than smaller measures, such as expanding work permits for those in the agricultural or high-skilled tech sector, which business groups have pushed. Immigration advocates counter that Obama might as well go big—affecting the lives of several million undocumented immigrants instead of around a million—because the GOP response is going to hold the same shrieking tenor no matter what.
A lawsuit may have little merit besides making some noise. Last month, the National Immigration Law Center and the American Immigration Council distributed a letter sent to the White House signed by 136 immigration law experts claiming that the President has the authority to use prosecutorial discretion in preventing large numbers of undocumented immigrants from being deported. In July, one of those experts, Stephen Yale-Loehr of Cornell University Law School, told TIME that the President has “wide discretion when it comes to immigration,” adding that expanding DACA falls “within the president’s inherent immigration authority.” In a one-word statement, distinguished Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence H. Tribe told TIME that the GOP claim was “unlikely” to have standing.

Of course, the legal merit of the lawsuit may not be all that important—simply announcing one could keep GOP Congressmen content with a ready response to constituent and reporter questioning in the immediate term. If and when the conservative backlash dies down, the party will be fully focused on 2016, when the GOP can undo Obama’s legacy by repainting the Oval Office red.

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

GOP Senators Urge Obama to Hold Off on Immigration


By Donna Cassata

October 30, 2014

GOP senators urge Obama to hold off on immigration 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The three Republican senators responsible for comprehensive immigration legislation, which remains stalled in Congress, on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to hold off on any steps to shield millions of people from deportation.

"Acting by executive order on an issue of this magnitude would be the most divisive action you could take — completely undermining any good-faith effort to meaningfully address this important issue, which would be a disservice to the needs of the American people," Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida wrote to Obama.

Obama has said he would act after next week's midterm elections as Congress has failed to pass legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration system. The president said he would take steps to increase border security, upgrade the processing of border crossers and encourage legal immigration.

He also said he would offer immigrants who have been illegally in the United States for some time a way to become legal residents, pay taxes, pay a fine and learn English.

The president had promised to act this past summer, but delayed any decisions until after the elections, drawing the wrath of immigration advocacy groups and complaints from Republicans of "raw politics."

The three senators said in the letter that no presidential action should be taken until "we have properly secured our southern border and provided for effective enforcement of immigration laws." They complained that any executive action would undermine congressional efforts to reform the system.

McCain, Graham and Rubio were members of the so-called Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group that put together a broad overhaul of immigration that boosted border security, increased visas for legal immigrants and a provided a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.

The Senate passed the measure on a bipartisan vote in June 2013, but the Republican-led House has failed to act on any broad measure despite promises from GOP leaders that they would address the issue. Time is running out on the Senate-passed bill, with no indication that the House would vote during a postelection, lame-duck session.

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

GOP Not Budging on Executive Action

By Seung Min Kim
October 30, 2014

In case President Barack Obama forgot, congressional Republicans really – really — don’t want him to take executive action on immigration, like he has promised.

Three GOP senators stressed that point again on Thursday, when Arizona Sen. John McCain, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio warned Obama that sweeping unilateral action would be “detrimental” to a more permanent fix to the immigration system.
Obama is poised to issue a directive sometime before the end of the year that’s expected to ease deportations for potentially millions of immigrants here illegally. He had pledged to do so after House Republicans failed to take up a legislative overhaul this year.

In a letter sent Thursday to the White House, McCain, Graham and Rubio said they “strongly urge” Obama against an executive order and that immigrants here illegally should not be given legal status until the southern border is secured and immigration laws are being enforced. They also questioned whether Obama had the legal authority to take such a wide-scale executive action.
“In this regard, acting by executive order on an issue of this magnitude would be the most divisive action you could take – completely undermining any good-faith effort to meaningfully address this important issue, which would be a disservice to the needs of the American people,” the three senators wrote.
McCain, Rubio and Graham were three GOP members of the so-called Gang of Eight that co-authored the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill. A fourth Republican senator involved in those efforts, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, did not sign on.
The Republicans’ message came after three key House Democrats penned an op-ed earlier Thursday, where they laid out their rationale for why Obama has the legal authority to act on his own on immigration.
For instance, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush took executive action through the so-called “Family Fairness” program to protect spouses and children of immigrants granted legal status under a 1986 law, wrote the lawmakers – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.).
“The fact is, just as presidents before him, President Obama has broad authority to make our immigration system better meet the needs of our country and reflect our shared values,” the Democrats wrote. “And every administration since President Dwight D. Eisenhower has used executive authority to do just that.”

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Immigration Advocates Warn Obama Not to Think Small

By Alex Altman
October 29, 2014

Reformers urge the president to sign an expansive order allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S.

Immigration activists are ratcheting up the pressure on Barack Obama, warning the President that a failure to live up to expectations for executive action on immigration would jeopardize his party’s standing with the Hispanic community.

“We won’t take any more excuses,” says Cristina Jimenez of the immigration-reform group United We Dream. “What we expect from the President is for him to use his legal authority to enact a program that will protect as many people from our community as possible.”

Obama pledged over the summer to take executive action this fall on immigration in the absence of legislation to fix a broken system. That promise crumbled under political pressures, as vulnerable Democrats in red states cajoled the White House into postponing the move until after Nov. 4. Now, as the midterms draw near, some reformers fear they’re about to be brushed off once more.

As the White House begins to weigh the scope of executive action, the early whispers among immigration reformers are that Obama may fall short of the lofty targets the movement has set for him. The President is considering an order that would grant temporary protection from deportation and work authorization to a sizable number of the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., a step he could take unilaterally by expanding the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The overarching question is how many undocumented immigrants he will protect. The White House signaled over the summer that it could extend administrative relief for up to several million undocumented immigrants and their families. By delaying the decision for political reasons, Obama has nudged expectations even higher.

At a “bare minimum,” said Pablo Alvarado, executive director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the immigration orders should include “an extension of work authorization to everyone who would qualify under the Senate bill and an end to the Secure Communities program and policies that criminalize immigrants. The President has the legal authority, the moral obligation, and the political capital required to take these important steps.” The Senate bill, which passed the upper chamber in June 2013 with 68 votes, would provide relief to some 8 million undocumented immigrants.

“This is an action that frankly we believe the President should have taken months ago,” said Marielena HincapiĆ©, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “The president has broad legal authority to do this. It’s really about his political will.”

But there is growing concern that Obama may lack the will to make a bold unilateral move, especially if his party suffers sweeping losses in elections that were, in many ways, a referendum on his policies. Two anonymous sources cited by Buzzfeed, which reported Tuesday that final recommendations were being sent to Obama, pegged the number in the low seven figures. And even some of Obama’s allies worry that a President with a mixed record on immigration and an instinct for the middle ground will disappoint the Hispanic community once again.

“We’re definitely concerned,” says a Democratic source involved with the immigration-reform push, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid angering the White House. “The history of this presidency is one of trying to accommodate the opposition.”

Timing is a mystery as well. The White House continues to say that Obama will act this year. But some in the immigration-reform movement worry the deadline could push once again. On Nov. 9, Obama leaves for a weeklong trip to Asia. The Thanksgiving lull arrives soon after. Then Congress needs to hammer out a deal to extend government funding, which expires in mid-December, amid a crammed lame-duck calendar. Executive action on immigration could throw a wrench in those budget talks.

Immigration reformers urged Obama to withstand those pressures. “Some might worry the backlash against a bold program will be too great,” said HincapiĆ©. But that backlash will exist whether the President extends relief to one person, 1 million or many more. “We’re holding the president to his word,” she added. “There are no more excuses.”

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

Immigration Reform 2014: Some Activists Worry Obama’s Executive Action Will Exclude Undocumented LGBT Immigrants

International Business Times
By Brianna Lee
October 29, 2014

President Barack Obama is expected to make a move on immigration reform in the later months of this year, after he delayed plans to issue executive orders until after the Nov. 4 midterm elections. The president may extend deportation relief to potentially millions of undocumented immigrants. But some groups fear that relief may leave out the undocumented who are also lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
One of the most hotly anticipated, and politically polarizing, moves the Obama administration is considering involves expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was launched by executive order in 2012. Undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children can get a reprieve from deportation under DACA. Several reports have speculated that Obama could extend that protection to family members of DACA-eligible immigrants, or even undocumented parents of U.S. citizens.
But the idea of a formal family relationship requirement for relief concerns some groups who say LGBT communities have a much harder time establishing formal family ties. “LGBT people didn’t have access to marriage equality for so long -- and in some cases, still don’t have that,” said Aaron Morris, legal director for Immigration Equality, an organization that provides legal assistance to LGBT immigrants. “For families, it can be really complicated to have a formally recognized document that proves you are a child’s mother or a spouse of an individual.”
There are an estimated 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants in the United States. Immigration Equality, along with around a dozen other LGBT activist groups, sent a letter to the White House in August to prod the administration to expand any potential deportation relief beyond just those with formal family ties.
“We urge you to expand affirmative relief through a second track for individuals who have strong, long-standing ties with their communities as demonstrated through long-term residency,” the letter read. “This flexibility recognizes that certain types of equities – such as marriage and child-rearing – are significantly harder for undocumented LGBTQ immigrants to have accumulated since their arrival in this country or during recent legal developments in the past few years.”  
The Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling overturning a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act opened several new pathways for people in same-sex binational couples to bring spouses and children into the United States (provided one partner is a U.S. citizen). But many of those benefits are still limited to those living in states that recognize same-sex marriages.
Morris said another major concern was protections for immigrants who come from countries that persecute LGBT people. Staffing more asylum officers and increasing privacy for LGBT immigrants were both measures the Obama administration could take to increase those protections, he said. “Right now, a lot of paperwork we send [to embassies in foreign countries] for married couples makes it obvious they are the same sex,” he said. “It has caused a lot of extreme nervousness among families because they don’t want a homophobic country to know they’re same-sex. We want to ensure their privacy and safety.” 
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department are reportedly sending in their final recommendations this week on actions the president should take on immigration reform. But the administration has largely stayed tight-lipped about when these actions would come about and what they might look like. Last week, White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissed rumors that the administration was looking to potentially double its stock of green cards, and said Obama had not made any final decisions about the measures to take.
Immigration advocates, meanwhile, have been visibly angry at the administration’s delays, saying that immigrant families would continue to face fear of deportation and separation the longer the president waits to act.  

“We need him to do it, whatever the package is, the day after the midterms,” Morris said. “Every day that goes by we’re hearing from LGBT people who are being deported.”

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

Few Latinos 'Angry' over Obama Immigration Policy, but Support Slips

Los Angeles Times
By David Lauter
October 29, 2014

Only a small minority of Latino voters report that they are “angry” over President Obama’s decision this year to delay executive action on immigration reform, but disappointment over his deportation policies is widespread, and Democrats have suffered a decline in support from a crucial voting bloc, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

Separately, a survey of Americans younger than 30 also shows a decline in support for Democrats. The poll by the Harvard Institute of Politics showed Obama’s approval rating among members of the millennial generation had dropped to 43%, with 53% disapproving. That group's level of support for Obama was down from 47% this spring, though still slightly greater than a year ago.

The poll of younger Americans also showed a sharpening division along racial lines, with whites disapproving of Obama by 31% to 65%, African Americans still overwhelmingly approving of the president (78% approve, 17% disapprove) and Latinos almost evenly divided.

Taken together, the two surveys show stresses on the coalition of voters who elected Obama. They come as the country approaches a midterm election in which the president’s party is likely to suffer significant losses in part because of an expected mediocre turnout by key parts of that coalition.

The Pew survey showed that Latino support for Democrats has receded on a couple of key measures, including party identification and a question about which party better represents their interests. But the decline was modest, noticeable mostly by contrast with very high levels of support achieved in 2012, when Obama won reelection.

Just over six in 10 Latinos said they either consider themselves Democrats or lean in that direction, down from 70% in 2012 but still at a historically high level.

One in four Latinos said they identify with or lean toward the Republicans, up slightly over the past few years and back to the level of support during the George W. Bush presidency.

Asked which party “has more concern for Latinos,” half named the Democrats and 10% said Republicans, with just over one-third saying they saw no difference. On that question, too, the Democrats’ standing has dropped from a high point reached during Obama’s reelection, but only to the level that prevailed during most of his first term. The Republican standing has not changed significantly.

One factor buoying Democrats is that Latinos remain more positive about the nation’s direction than are Americans overall. Just over four in 10 Latino voters said they are satisfied with the way things in the country are going, compared with fewer than three in 10 voters overall. Among foreign-born Latinos, more than half said they were satisfied with the country’s direction.

But deportations remain a significant point of tension.

More than six in 10 Latino adults said they disapproved of the administration’s record on deportations, with only one-quarter approving. The numbers are slightly less negative, with 55% disapproving and 33% approving, among Latino registered voters.

Although administration officials insist that they have tried to focus deportations on those unauthorized immigrants who have criminal records, one in four Latinos said they personally knew someone who had been deported or detained for immigration reasons in the last 12 months. That share rose to almost one in three among Latinos with at least one immigrant parent.

After the House failed to act on immigration reform legislation, Obama said he would take executive action to protect significant numbers of unauthorized immigrants from deportations. In early September, he decided to put off that action until after next week’s midterm elections.

Immigration activists have heckled Obama and other Democratic officials at recent public events and have vowed to keep up pressure on the administration.

But the poll indicates that relatively few Latino voters are so upset.

About one in four Latino registered voters said they were “disappointed” by the delay, but only 9% described themselves as “angry” about it. Almost one in five said they were “pleased.”

Latinos who primarily speak Spanish were somewhat more likely to have heard about Obama’s delay and to have negative feelings about it, the survey showed, with 17% describing themselves as “angry.”

Protection against deportations remains the top priority of Latino voters in any immigration reform package. Just over half of Latino voters said that being able to live and work in the U.S. without threat of deportation was more important than a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants. Four in 10 said citizenship was the top priority. Those figures were little changed from last year.

Two-thirds of Latino voters said immigration reform was either a “very” or “extremely” important priority. And more (45%) blamed Republicans in Congress for the failure so far than blamed congressional Democrats (14%) or Obama (20%).

More than one in three Latino voters said they would not vote for a candidate who disagreed with them on immigration policy, even if the candidate agreed with them on most other issues. Just over half said they would vote for such a candidate.

Among voters whose chief language is Spanish, the share calling immigration policy a deal breaker rose to half.

Despite the importance of immigration, Latino voters were more likely to rank three other policy areas – education, jobs and healthcare – as very or extremely important to them.

More than nine in 10 said education and jobs and the economy were very or extremely important, and 86% gave that rating to healthcare. Just under three-quarters said immigration was very or extremely important. Those rankings have been consistent in recent years.

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

Democrats Edge Among Latinos Slips

Wall Street Journal (Washington Wire)
By Laura Meckler
October 29, 2014

Democrats maintain a significant—but shrinking–advantage with the fast-growing bloc of Latino voters, according to a new survey that may hold greater significance for the 2016 elections than for next week’s midterm contests.

The survey by the Pew Research Center also found more than half of these voters say a candidate’s position on immigration is not a deal-breaker in determining their vote, a hopeful sign for Republicans, many of whom do not support the sort of overhaul that is broadly popular in the Hispanic community.

The survey was conducted in September and early October, after President Barack Obama announced he would put off executive action to stem deportations until after the elections, and after it was clear that the GOP-controlled House would not act on immigration legislation.

The survey found 54% said they would vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on immigration policy if that person agreed with them on most other issues. The poll asked about five different issues, and found 73% of Latinos saying immigration was extremely or very important. But the ratings for education, jobs and the economy and health care were all higher.

Another worrisome sign for Democrats: Hispanics are no more motivated to vote this year than they were in 2010, when the group turned out at much lower rates than non-Hispanic black and white voters.

Already, Democrats have been worrying that Latino voters would not turn out next Tuesday, in part due to frustration over inaction on immigration in Washington. The Pew survey found just over half of Latino voters said they are absolutely certain they would vote in the midterm elections, the same as 2010. In 2010, just 31.2% of Latino eligible voters actually cast ballots.

Even if they voted in high numbers, their impact is likely to be limited. Only a few of the most competitive races this year are in states with significant Latino populations—notably the Senate and gubernatorial races in Colorado. Activists also point to Kansas, where 6% of eligible voters are Latino, arguing they could make a difference in a close Senate race.

In 2016, by contrast, a number of traditional presidential battlegrounds have large Latino populations, making their votes more significant to the national results. In 2012, 71% of Latinos voted to re-elect President Obama, helping him overcome a deep deficit with white voters.

But looking ahead, the poll holds cautionary numbers for Democrats. It found 57% of Latino registered voters support or lean toward the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, vs. 28% for Republicans. That’s a sizable edge, but down from the 65% support that Democrats had in 2010, the last midterm election.

Similarly, 63% of Latinos said they identify or lean toward the Democratic Party, down from 70% who said so in 2012. The portion that identifies or leans toward the Republicans rose to 27% from 22%. And 50% now say that the Democrats are the party that has more concern for Latinos, down from 61% who said the same in 2012.

Those opinions could change later this year if Mr. Obama goes through with promises to use his executive authority to make changes to the immigration system. Most significantly, he is expected to offer a measure of protection to possibly millions of people in the U.S. illegally who are not priorities for deportation. Republicans are certain to decry the move.

If all that happens, many activists in the Hispanic community predict that views of the Democratic Party will improve.

As is, 55% of registered Latino voters—and 63% of all Latino adults—said they disapprove of the way the Obama administration has handled deportations.

The Pew survey of 1,520 Hispanic adults, including 733 registered voters, was conducted in English and Spanish Sept. 11 through Oct. 9. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points for the full sample and plus or minus 4.8 percentage points for registered voters.

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

Latino Support for Democrats Drops a Bit, Poll Says

New York Times
By Julia Preston
October 29, 2014

With the immigration debate in Washington frozen, support for Democrats among Latinos has declined slightly going into the midterm elections next week, but they still heavily favor Democrats over Republicans, according to a national bilingual poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

The biggest change was among Latinos with no party preference, with 35 percent of registered Latino voters saying that neither party was particularly concerned about them. During the 2012 election cycle, that number was 23 percent.

In the poll, 57 percent of Latino voters said they would vote for a Democratic congressional candidate this year, and 28 percent said they would vote for a Republican. In a similar Pew poll before the 2010 midterms, Latinos said they would vote 65 percent for Democrats and 22 percent for Republicans.

Latino voters are impatient for Congress to pass an overhaul of the immigration system, with two-thirds saying they want to see legislation soon, according to the poll. This year, the Republican-led House did not take up a bill passed in 2013 by the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. And President Obama twice delayed executive action he had promised on reducing deportations.
Democrats hope blunt ads being distributed in Southern states like Arkansas and Georgia will draw more black voters to the polls.

Latinos are spreading the blame around a little more evenly this year, with 45 percent of voters saying Republicans are responsible for the failure of legislation, and 34 percent are faulting President Obama or Democrats in Congress.

There were other signs of possible openings for Republicans who court Latinos on issues other than immigration. In the survey, 54 percent said they would vote for a candidate who disagreed with them on immigration but agreed with them on issues like education and jobs.

At the same time, the White House does not seem to be suffering terribly from the president’s delays. Only about one-third of Latino voters said they were angry or disappointed with the president over the delays, and 26 percent said they were pleased.

A campaign event for Senator Mark Udall of Colorado in Thornton, Colo., on Saturday. Groups leaning toward both Republicans and Democrats have been working to gain Latino votes here.

Also, by 56 percent to 35 percent, Hispanics said that work permits and protection from deportation were more important to them than legislation opening a pathway to citizenship. Those results suggest Mr. Obama could regain some of his standing with those voters if he took measures to expand deportation protections after the election.

One question deep in the survey suggests why immigration continues to be a pressing issue for Latinos. One-quarter of the registered voters in the poll said they knew someone who had been detained by the immigration authorities or deported in the past year.
Over all, the Pew poll finds that Latino interest this year is about the same as the midterm elections in 2010, with about 50 percent of registered voters saying they are certain to vote, almost 20 percentage points lower than Americans in general.

But because the Latino population is growing rapidly, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials has estimated that a record number of 7.8 million Latinos will turn out to vote this year, an increase of more than 1.2 million over the 2010 midterms. Latino voter organizations have been working in several states with close governor’s or Senate races to register voters and get them to the polls.

In Georgia, voter groups have registered more than 7,000 newly naturalized citizens over the past year, said Jerry Gonzalez, the executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. Latinos are now about 4 percent of the Georgia electorate, enough to sway the vote if the Senate race remains close between Michelle Nunn, a Democrat, and David Perdue, a Republican.

In Florida, Latino groups have registered more than 128,000 new voters this year, according to Maria Rodriguez, a leader of the Florida Immigrant Coalition. In Colorado, where the Senate and governor’s races are close, groups leaning toward both Republicans and Democrats have been working to gain Latino votes.

Organizers have called on Hispanics to build their voting numbers even if they are frustrated by the lack of progress on their issues. “The only way we can guarantee that promises to us are kept is by increasing our political power,” said Ben Monterroso, the executive director of Mi Familia Vota (My Family Votes).

The Pew poll, based on a national telephone survey in English and Spanish from Sept. 11 through Oct. 9, was conducted with 733 Hispanic adults who said they were registered to vote. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points.

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

Advocates Worry Obama May Scale Back or Delay Immigration Action

October 30, 2014

(Reuters) - Immigration activists close to the White House worry that President Barack Obama could delay or scale back executive actions on immigration that he has promised to take before the year ends.
Advocates have pressed the Obama administration to provide relief from the threat of deportation to more than 5 million undocumented immigrants but fear, after some were briefed by administration officials, that the plan could be reduced to 3 million or fewer, a significant drop.
"There's growing nervousness that instead of going big and bold that the administration might play it cautiously," said Frank Sharry, executive director of advocacy group America's Voice.
The fears are rooted in politics and a history of perceived broken promises.
Advocates worry the president might be less aggressive if Republicans take over the Senate in Tuesday's congressional elections. Republicans have vowed to pass legislation to prevent Obama from implementing the planned actions.
The president could remove the deportation threat for about 3 million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for 10 years and have children who are U.S. citizens. But activists want the parents of so-called Dreamers, children who have already been granted deportation relief, to be covered too.
"Ultimately it is about political will," said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.
She said Department of Homeland Security officials had briefed her and other advocates about a scenario in which 2-3 million people were covered and one in which closer to 5 million were covered.
"They are more likely to take a more cautious approach that they think will be palatable to both Republicans and Democrats, but also probably to the American public," Hincapie said.
The White House said Obama had not made a decision yet and that final recommendations from Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson were pending.
"We expect to make an announcement about these decisions before the end of the year," said White House spokeswoman Katherine Vargas, seeking to tamp down concern about a delay.
"It is premature to speculate about the specific details including the scope or number of immigrants who will benefit since final recommendations from Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Holder, and final decisions by the president, have not been made," she said.
Obama put off his reform plan last month because of concern that it would hurt Democrats running in the November elections.
It may not be clear on Tuesday which party will control the Senate because tight races in Louisiana and Georgia could trigger run-off elections. Advocates fear that the White House might postpone action if that is still unclear by the end of the year.
"It depends on the outcome of the election," said Angela Kelly, an immigration specialist at the Center for American Progress, which has close ties to the White House.
"It's more likely to be a December holiday surprise or holiday gift."
About 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. Obama has promised to implement broad reform of the U.S. system but has been unable to get Republican support in the House of Representatives for a new law.

Another delay could hurt his legacy and spur criticism from potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidates such as Hillary Clinton.

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Obama Heckled By Immigration Activist; Crowd Members Again Leave Early

The Hill
Justin Sink
October 29, 2014

President Obama’s campaign event Tuesday in Wisconsin was interrupted by an immigration demonstrator, the second time in the past two weeks the president has had to pause his remarks to address a crowd member protesting his decision not to take executive action to slow deportations.

The president acknowledged the protester advocating for immigration reform, but told the crowd “she should be protesting the Republicans who are blocking it in Congress.”

Obama drew applause from the crowd at the rally for Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, and it appeared that security escorted the protester outside the high school gym.

The president responded similarly when a protester disrupted a rally for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown earlier this month.

Video captured at the event showed members of the crowd leaving before the president's remarks were over. Crowd members also left early during Obama’s campaign appearance for Brown.

Obama has come under fire from immigration activists after breaking a promise to unveil new executive action on immigration at the end of the summer. The White House now says the actions will be unveiled after the midterm election, arguing that a rollout before voters head to the polls would risk politicizing the issue. Last week, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama had not made a final decision yet on what those executive actions would be.

But the president spent the bulk of his speech encouraging supporters to vote.

"If you just sit home and complain, then of course nothing is going to change,” Obama said. “I can’t change it on my own.”

He encouraged the Milwaukee crowd to vote early, and even took a swipe at his hometown — and home to many of Wisconsin’s great sports rivals.

“You can only vote once,” Obama said. “This isn’t Chicago, now.”

The president clarified that he was just “teasing” Chicago and “that was a long time ago.”

Obama also looked to draw contrast with Republican Gov. Scott Walker, saying Burke “doesn’t put political ideology first, who isn’t thinking partisan first.”

He said the GOP was “like a broken record: they just keep on offering the same worn out tired theory of the economy.”

For the president, the event appeared a welcome escape from Washington, where headlines are dominated by the Ebola crisis, unrest in the Middle East, and the likelihood his party could lose control of the Senate next week.

The crowd of more than 3,500 warmly received the president, and Burke, who's embraced Obama despite how close she’s running in the polls.

"I know you’re all fired up to hear him," Burke said of the president. "I am thrilled that he is in Wisconsin to help us out."

Crowd members included “West Wing” actor and Wisconsin native Bradley Whitford, who said he was hopeful the president would help boost turnout among African American voters.

“It is a Democratic disease: apathy around midterms,” Whitford said.

The president admitted he was happy to be back in the midwest and away from Washington, citing meteorological reasons.

"I was saying it's good to be back in the Midwest because it's a little too warm in DC. Those of us from the Midwest like it a little bit nippy,” he said.

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