About Me

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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ted Cruz to Hispanics: Economy Matters More Than Immigration

By Heidi Przybyla
April 29, 2015

Senator Ted Cruz said Wednesday that Republican Mitt Romney's rhetoric about working class Americans — not an immigration stance that is similar to his own — cost the 2012 Republican presidential candidate support among Hispanics.

On the same day that one of his potential rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, was touting a plan to provide legal status for many of the nation's illegal immigrants before a Hispanic audience in Cruz' home state, the Texas Republican defended his opposition to such a plan before a Hispanic business audience in Washington.

The two events, within hours of each other, highlighted one of the challenges facing Cruz: He is competing for Hispanic votes with Senator Marco Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush, both of Florida and both of whom have deeper ties with the Latino community.

“There is no stronger advocate of legal immigration in the U.S. Senate than I am.”

Senator Ted Cruz
Hours after Bush delivered a speech to Hispanic evangelicals in Houston, Cruz became the first 2016 candidate to be featured at a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce forum series. He was questioned, at times pointedly, by the group's President Javier Palomarez, who previously questioned whether Cruz is abandoning Hispanics for political reasons.

In March, Cruz skipped the chamber's annual legislative summit, where Palomarez took exception to his absence. "I hope it is not indicative that he's backing away from the Hispanic community in order to get through the primary," Fox News Latino quoted him as saying.

Palomarez pressed Cruz for carrying different messages in his English and Spanish-language television ads. Palomarez asked Cruz why he has omitted references to his opposition to Obamacare and the president's recent orders easing deportations in his Spanish-language ads.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz waits off stage as he is introduced to speak at a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce discussion at the National Press Building on April 29, 2015, in Washington.

"I would encourage the same consistency in Spanish as in English," said Palomarez.

Though Cruz would not commit specifically to including his immigration and Obamacare positions in future Spanish ads, he added: "My messaging is going to be consistent throughout."

He advanced a theory as to why a candidate with his views can succeed with the Hispanic vote, insisting that Romney's tough talk on immigration had noting to do with the relatively anemic 27 percent of the Hispanic vote he mustered in his 2012 campaign.

"The media repeatedly said the reason Mitt Romney got clobbered in the Hispanic community was because of immigration," Cruz said during a question-and-answer session at the National Press Club.

"The data don't bear that out," said Cruz, adding that Hispanics care most about the economy. "The Obama economy has been a disaster for the Hispanic community," he said.

The reason Cruz Romney got "clobbered" was his "infamous comment" that Republicans don't have to worry about the 47 percent of all Americans vote reliably Democratic because they feel entitled to government services. "I can't think of a statement in politics I disagree with more strongly," said Cruz.

Like Cruz, Romney spoke in favor of actions to stem the flow of undocumented immigrations coming into the U.S. without supporting a path to legalization for those already here, though Romney also called for immigrant self-deportation.

Though Cruz is the son of a Cuban immigrant, he's at odds with many of Hispanic voters on some key issues, mainly immigration. Cruz has become a leading voice against President Barack Obama's recent orders easing deportations for individuals brought to the U.S. as children and for their parents.

He also voted against a 2013 bipartisan Senate bill to create a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants who pay a fine and have no criminal record. The bill, championed by Rubio, would have granted "amnesty" to illegal immigrants who've broken the law, Cruz argues. Cruz offered amendments he said would increase legal immigration. This year, there's no expectation that any immigration legislation is likely to move in Congress.

"There is no stronger advocate of legal immigration in the U.S. Senate than I am," said Cruz. At least one other potential candidate in the Republican field, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, has proposed reducing legal immigration at times of high unemployment.

Cruz represents Texas, where more than 37 percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino, a population that tends to vote Democratic.  Last fall, a national poll by Latino Decisions found 89 percent support of Hispanic voters support Obama's use of executive authority to ease deportations.

Speaking to the Hispanic Chameber of Commerce, Cruz stood by his opposition to a path to citizenship that was included in the Senate's bipartisan bill, calling it "profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants" who are here legally.

"Legal immigrants get left out and treated unfairly over and over again," said Cruz.

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

Cruz Walks a Careful Line on Immigration Reform

By Alex Altman
April 29, 2015

The GOP presidential hopeful opposes a path to citizenship, but casts himself as a supporter of legal immigration

Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz cast himself as a supporter of immigration reform on Wednesday, while criticizing Democrats for killing prospects of a bipartisan deal by insisting on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“I consider myself a proponent of immigration reform,” Cruz said during a question-and-answer session in Washington hosted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “There is no stronger advocate of legal immigration in the U.S. Senate than I am.”

Cruz was an outspoken detractor of the bipartisan rewrite of U.S. immigration laws that passed the Senate in 2013, which in the eyes of many Republicans would have shored up the party’s moribund support among Hispanic voters. His comments offer a telling glimpse of how he will attempt to find a delicate balance on a pivotal issue during his campaign.

The GOP presidential hopeful opposes citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but he stressed Wednesday the need to celebrate and encourage legal immigration. And he noted his support for dramatically increasing the available number of high-tech visas. His remarks drew an implicit contrast with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a likely rival for the GOP nomination, who recently took a protectionist stance on legal immigration levels.

Cruz declined to directly answer a question from TIME about whether he would support a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S., indicating a legislative fix should first focus on shoring up border security.

The freshman Senator said he believed there was significant bipartisan agreement around securing the borders and streamlining the legal immigration system. He criticized Democrats for crippling the recent reform plan in Congress by insisting on the “poison pill” of citizenship.

“They are treating immigration as a political cudgel,” Cruz said, “where they want to use it to scare the Hispanic community. And their objective is to have the Hispanic community vote monolithically Democrat.”

Many Republicans argued Mitt Romney’s hardline position on immigration was largely to blame for his dismal performance with Latino voters in the 2012 presidential race. But Cruz said his view—born out by his Senate campaign’s internal polling—was that Romney had alienated Hispanics with a message that appeared to denigrate middle-class Americans while venerating the wealthy.

Cruz argued that Republicans could win over Hispanics with a message of economic opportunity, saying Republicans “should be the party of the 47%.”

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

Mike Huckabee Tells Hispanic Evangelicals U.S. Is Losing Its Way

Wall Street Journal
By Colleen McCain Nelson
April 29, 2015

Mike Huckabee, a likely presidential candidate, made an impassioned appeal to Hispanic evangelicals Wednesday with promises to protect life and religious liberty, telling them that he may not speak the same language but he shares the same faith.

“I do not come to you tonight with the ability to speak Spanish,” Mr. Huckabee, a Republican and former Arkansas governor, said during an appearance at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “But I do speak a common language. I speak Jesus.”

Mr. Huckabee, who is expected to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination next week, told the group that the U.S. is losing its way and letting go of foundational values that were taken from scripture.

As he reached out to Hispanics, a voting bloc that GOP candidates have struggled to connect with, Mr. Huckabee cast himself as an Arkansas everyman who grew up having more in common with the kitchen staff than those seated at the head table.

Mr. Huckabee’s speech to Hispanic evangelical conference came after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wooed the same crowd, speaking both in Spanish and English. Mr. Bush promised to fix a broken immigration system and give undocumented workers a chance to earn legal status.

Mr. Huckabee, during a dinner address, offered no insights into his views on immigration policy, saying there was no time to argue the issue this evening.

Earlier, though, during his availability to media, Mr. Huckabee expressed support for a fence to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Fences are not negative,” he said, suggesting that immigrants in the U.S. would agree that it is appropriate for the government to control the border.

“I don’t think that that’s an insult to anybody,” he said. “If I were a person immigrating here, I would want to know that the doors that I came through were also secure.”

Mr. Huckabee declined to say whether he would support a pathway to citizenship or legal status for immigrants who had come to the U.S. illegally. First, the border must be controlled, he said, and until that is accomplished, such discussions spark unnecessary controversy.

In 2006, Mr. Huckabee called a pathway to citizenship a “rational approach,” but he has used tougher language in recent years and has been a critic of President Barack Obama’s executive actions giving safe harbor from deportation to many illegal immigrants.

At the dinner Wednesday night, Mr. Huckabee warned that these are “perilous times, where people who are Christian are on the brink of being criminalized for their convictions.” He previously suggested that allowing same-sex couples to marry would lead to the criminalization of Christianity.

As the Supreme Court wrestles this week with the question of same-sex marriage, Mr. Huckabee said he respects the court but that it can’t “change what God created.”

“It is not the supreme being,” he told an enthusiastic crowd that repeatedly interrupted his remarks with applause. “It cannot overrule God.”

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

Bernie Sanders on the Issues [EXCERPT]

New York Times
By Gerry Mullany
April 30, 2015

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a registered independent and self-described socialist who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, has made a name for himself in Congress attacking the financial industry and “the billionaire class.” Though he is considered unlikely to mount a serious challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton, his positions on major issues could help push her to address the concerns of more left-leaning voters. Here is a look at some of those positions.


Mr. Sanders supported Mr. Obama’s 2014 executive action shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. But he has also called for reining in the guest-worker program that provides many businesses with low-wage immigrant labor, saying it fuels youth unemployment.

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

Obama Lives up to Pledge to Slow Immigrant Deportations

By Alicia Caldwell
April 29, 2015

President Barack Obama has failed to live up to a campaign promise to push through immigration legislation, but he has met a postelection pledge to slow deportations with or without approval from Congress.

Since October, the Homeland Security Department has sent home the fewest immigrants in the country illegally since Obama took office in 2009, according to internal government data obtained by The Associated Press.

In fact, with 127,000 removals though the first six months of the government's fiscal year that started in October, the administration is on track to remove the fewest immigrants since the middle of former President George W. Bush's second term in 2006.

Beginning shortly before his re-election in 2012, Obama has taken a series of steps to slow deportations, including creating a program to allow some young immigrants to stay and work in the country illegally for up to two years at a time.

His effort to shield more than 4 million immigrants from deportation by expanding that protection program to the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents is on hold after a federal judge in Texas blocked its start.

But the legal wrangling and an ongoing standoff with congressional Republicans hasn't stopped the slowdown.

In 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent home a record of more than 409,000 immigrants, but since then the agency's work has steadily slowed. ICE, as the agency is known, is responsible for finding and removing immigrants living in the country illegally,

The latest removal figures, contained in weekly internal reports not publicly reported, show that ICE sent home an average of about 19,730 people a month for the first six months of the budget year.

If that trend continues, the government will remove about 236,000 by September — the lowest figure since 2006, when 207,776 people were sent home.

As the legal fight over Obama's latest executive action continues, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has directed immigration authorities anew to focus on finding and deporting immigrants who pose a national security or public safety threat, those who have serious criminal records and those who have recently crossed the Mexican border. Roughly 11 million immigrants are thought to be living in the country illegally.

"With the resources we have ... I'm interested in focusing on criminals and recent illegal arrivals at the border," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing Tuesday.

He said a variety of factors, including fewer arrests of immigrants caught crossing the border, have led to the drop.

Last week, Johnson said the Border Patrol had arrested about 151,800 people trying to cross the Mexican border illegally, the fewest number of people caught at the border during the same period over the last four years.

"There's lower intake, lower apprehensions," Johnson said Tuesday. "There are fewer people attempting to cross the southern border, and there are fewer people apprehended."

Homeland Security officials have repeatedly attributed the drop in deportations to the changing demographic of border crossers.

Historically, the Border Patrol is responsible for sending home immigrants caught at the border, a process that can be done quickly when the arrested immigrants are from Mexico. But last year immigrants from countries other than Mexico outpaced those from Mexico and border agents had to deal with a flood of tens of thousands of children and families, mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Neither the children nor the families, many of whom are asking the U.S. government for asylum, can be quickly sent home. ICE shifted a variety of resources to the border, including deploying agents to quickly opened family detention centers.

The continued slowing of deportations is likely to do little to quell concerns among Republican lawmakers that immigration laws must be enforced before new legislation can be considered.

"It's clear to me that the department no longer seems to have a will to enforce immigration laws," said Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Grassley also described Johnson's explanation of moving resources to the border "a red herring."

The number of children caught traveling alone has dropped by about 45 percent compared to the same time last year, while the arrests of families have declined about 30 percent.

Johnson said again Tuesday that those changes make it more difficult for ICE officials to quickly remove people.

"They are increasingly from noncontiguous countries, and the process of a removal of someone from a noncontiguous country is more time-consuming," Johnson said. "You see greater claims for humanitarian relief, for asylum, and so it's not as simple as just sending somebody back across the border." 

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fewer Children Are Entering U.S. Illegally as Mexico Cracks Down

New York Times
By Randal C. Archibold
April 28, 2015

A significant drop in the number of children apprehended at the United States-Mexico border in recent months sprang from Mexico’s record number of deportations of minors traveling without a guardian, according to an analysis released Tuesday.

The analysis, by the Pew Research Center in Washington, noted that the flow of children not authorized to enter the United States had dropped precipitously, to 12,509, from October to February. The vast majority of the children were Central American.

That was down from 21,402 in the same period a year ago, amid a wave of children fleeing violence in their home countries and drawn by false promises of amnesty in the United States. That surge eventually prompted President Obama to declare an emergency.

Mexico, pushed by the United States and other countries, stepped up law enforcement in its southern border region in ways not seen in years, with raids on freight trains that migrants sneak aboard to travel north and more frequent immigration checks on hotels and vehicles. Officials returned 3,819 minors to their home countries in the period studied, a 56 percent increase over the previous year.

Children making their way from Honduras, where crime, violence and the rumors of amnesty were strongest, slowed to the point that Guatemala now accounts for the largest share of children apprehended in Mexico, according to the study.

“The broad conclusion is that the increase in deportations in Mexico is having an effect on the flow of unaccompanied minors,” said Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, the Pew research associate who prepared the analysis using data from the Mexican and American governments.

The period studied tends to be one of the slower ones for migrants trying to reach the United States. But Ms. Gonzalez-Barrera said that the significant drop in the same period year to year indicated that the flow had slowed and that the change had coincided with Mexico’s crackdown.

Mexico’s get-tough approach has led to complaints from advocates for migrants. They say that the police have been heavy-handed and have detained many migrants unable or unwilling to pay bribes to pass through, and that the government has made it difficult for people to apply for asylum. At the same time, workers at migrant shelters have said that many people are simply finding new routes north, evading the authorities’ focus on traditional routes and jeopardizing their lives by crossing treacherous terrain.

The Washington Office on Latin America, an advocacy group in Washington, said in its own report this month questioning the crackdown, “The humanitarian consequences could be severe.”

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

Scott Walker Hits Back at WSJ Piece Criticizing His Legal Immigration Comments

Washington Times
By David Sherfinski
April 28, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is hitting back at a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that criticized him for recent comments he made saying American workers and American wages should be kept in mind when making decisions on legal immigration.

Mr. Walkertold radio host Howie Carr his position on immigration is “simple” and that it starts with securing the borders and having an effective E-Verify system.

“No amnesty,” Mr. Walker said. “If you want to be a citizen, that’s a whole different thing. You got to go back to your country of origin and get back in line like anybody else.”

On legal immigration, he said, “right now, there are restrictions in America - that column and others acted like there’s no restrictions. There are restrictions on legal immigration today - they just don’t make a whole lot of sense.”

He said the Journal has been right for defending him in some of his battles with labor unions in Wisconsin, but “in this one - really wrong on so many levels.”

The Journal piece points out that Mr. Walker mentioned recently he’s talked to GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, one of Capitol Hill’s staunchest opponents of illegal immigration who has spoken out against expanding H-1B visas for guest workers.

“Mr. Walker is right that the GOP needs to focus on raising the incomes of average Americans, but the way to do that is with policies that increase growth and improve upward mobility. Zero-sum labor economics will do neither,” the piece says.

Mr. Walker, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, recently told talk show host Glenn Beck: “It is a fundamentally lost issue by many in elected positions today. What is this doing for American workers looking for jobs? What is this doing to wages? And we need to have that be at the forefront of our discussion going forward.”

Mr. Walker defended his position in his conversation with Mr. Carr that “a strong economy should be paramount,” “and priority number one in that regard should be making sure that we think about the impact on American workers and American wages.”

When unemployment is high and labor participation rates are low, he said, “you don’t have very much immigration because you don’t want to flood the market.”

If, over time, unemployment goes down and labor participation rates go up, “then you can change things,” he said.

“I just said make American workers and their wages your number one priority,” he said. “If we’re always thinking about the impact on the hard-working Americans, we’re gonna be fine and [if] we don’t think about that, well, then we get bad policies in America.”

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

In Puerto Rico, Jeb Bush Says He Lives ‘the Immigrant Experience’

New York Times
By Jeremy Peters
April 28, 2015
Jeb Bush visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday and spoke in personal terms about “the power of the immigrant experience” as he challenged his party to be more respectful of Latino communities if it ever hopes to win back their votes.

Latinos who are disillusioned with President Obama are willing to listen to Republicans like himself, Mr. Bush said at a campaign appearance at the Universidad Metropolitana. “But the fact is,” he added, “we’ve got to give that message, and we haven’t campaigned in communities to show respect and to listen.”

“This is not crazy talk,” Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, went on. “This is just human nature. If you show respect for people and you have a message that gives them some hope that life can be better, they’re more open to voting for you.”

Speaking in both Spanish and English during a question-and-answer session at the university, Mr. Bush drew on his own story. “Trust me,” he said. “I know the power of the immigrant experience because I live it each and every day. I know the immigrant experience because I married a beautiful girl from Mexico. My children are bicultural and bilingual.”

Mr. Bush is not a stranger to the island, as he reminded the crowd at the university, which included a few students but seemed mainly to be made up of supporters of the former governor, Luis Fortuño, a Republican.

When Mr. Bush’s father, George Bush, ran for president in 1980, he sent Jeb to Puerto Rico to help organize for the island’s primary. (Though Puerto Rico has no votes in the Electoral College, it does send delegates to both parties’ national conventions.)

Jeb Bush recalled that experience fondly. “I learned how to organize intensely here, I learned the passion,” he said, adding: “I learned how to drink a lot of Puerto Rican rum. I had a blast.”

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Black, Latino Leaders Cool on Christie

Wall Street Journal
By Josh Dawsey and Heather Haddon
April 27, 2015

Gov. Chris Christie worked hard to win endorsements of blacks and Latinos in his re-election campaign and has frequently touted his inroads in minority communities in the buildup to a potential presidential run.

But many of the influential people he wooed back then have grown disillusioned with the governor, disturbed by what they see as his rightward turn and neglect of New Jersey as he has taken his message on the road. In interviews with more than a dozen people who endorsed Mr. Christie in his 2013 campaign, none yet were willing to support his potential 2016 bid for the White House.

While it is unusual for endorsements to occur before a candidate officially announces, many of those who endorsed Mr. Christie in 2013 said they would likely support a Democrat instead.

Some said they had endorsed the governor because they wanted more attention paid to their towns but have been disappointed with the level of communication after the George Washington Bridge scandal erupted. Others said they had backed Mr. Christie because his 2013 opponent, Democrat Barbara Buono, was a weak candidate.

“I don’t think he does well with urban residents in 2016,” said Bishop Reginald Jackson, a prominent Newark pastor whose 2013 endorsement of Mr. Christie was widely publicized. “They’re not going to back him in a presidential election.”

Aides to Mr. Christie said the governor is proud of his work with minority communities and has visited many places that typically don’t support Republican governors.

Like fellow 2016 hopefuls Rand Paul and Jeb Bush, Mr. Christie has often spoken about his outreach to minority communities, saying the Republican Party needs to attract a wider coalition. In New Jersey, his push to loosen the state’s bail laws for poor nonviolent offenders and expand its drug courts has won him credit among black and Hispanic voters.

He has spoken at the state’s NAACP conference and often attended New Hope Baptist Church, a Newark church with a predominantly black congregation. He won 51% of the Hispanic vote and 21% of the African-American vote in 2013, winning more than 60% in a Democratic state.

Camden Mayor Dana Redd, a Democrat, said Mr. Christie has pushed for better schools and safer streets in her city, often visiting and providing state help. Improvements have been made in both areas, helped by record corporate incentives for companies. “I don’t think he’s doing this for political brownie points,” she said, but declined to endorse him for president.

Many of Mr. Christie’s 2013 backers said they notice him taking more conservative positions to win over activists in places like Iowa and New Hampshire. Mr. Jackson, the pastor, and others said there was a perception he had lost focus on New Jersey and needed to visit troubled cities like Newark more.

Mr. Christie has pushed for changes to Newark’s school system, including opening more charter schools and reorganizing others, but he has largely avoided the city since Mayor Ras Baraka, a critic of Mr. Christie, took over.

“Wherever there are willing partners operating in good faith to find common ground, the governor will be there to work with them,” said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts.

Other former backers are frustrated by the state’s continued economic struggles. New Jersey’s unemployment rate was 6.5% in March, one percentage point above the national average, and jobs have returned at slower rates than neighboring states.

Several prominent black leaders said his continuing criticism of President Barack Obama has soured them and that further cuts to benefits for public workers, as well as not funding the state’s pension system at promised levels, are damaging to middle-class workers. Many said they were surprised by the George Washington Bridge scandal and Mr. Christie’s frequent out-of-state travel, saying the two had swallowed much of his attention.

Many of the people who endorsed Mr. Christie in 2013 have expressed excitement over Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

“If they were to run head-to-head, the governor is going to have a very tough race with her,” said FiorD’Aliza Frias, a Hudson County official who endorsed Mr. Christie in 2013. She is now supporting Mrs. Clinton, a Democrat.

Voters often look for different qualities in statewide candidates than national ones, said Ben Dworkin, a political-science professor at Rider University, and are more likely in presidential elections to stick with party ideology.

In Mr. Christie’s 2013 campaign, he didn’t have to take on certain hot-topic issues, like immigration or foreign policy, instead focusing on how he would use state resources and programs to help struggling communities.

When Mr. Christie signed on to a lawsuit that attempts to block Mr. Obama’s amnesty policy last month, Hispanic officials were incensed. “We expected a more moderate stance because of some of his comments, some of his actions, like his trip to Mexico,” said Carlos Medina, chairman of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, whose endorsement was promoted by Mr. Christie’s campaign. “I don’t think there was a expectation he’d take such a hard line.”

One of Mr. Christie’s biggest Hispanic endorsements in 2013 came from the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey. At the time, it noted Mr. Christie’s funding of the state’s pension system, expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Health Care Act and his agreement that “comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue.”

Its president, Martin Pérez, wanted Mr. Christie to approve Mr. Obama’s amnesty program for immigration and was shocked by Mr. Christie’s executive action, he said, which tries to block it.

Mr. Christie seems to be working to change some of the perceptions. He met earlier this month with Mr. Pérez at the governor’s mansion and has promised to meet with his board members soon. Mr. Pérez said he hoped the relationship would improve.

Mr. Christie said he wanted to push the president to work with Congress on an immigration solution instead of acting unilaterally. Of his detractors in the Latino community, he said they remained friends of his, “but we’re not going to agree on every issue.”

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

Head Start for Jeb Bush Campaign Is Part of Scott Walker’s Plan

New York Times
By Patrick Healy and Nicholas Confessore
April 27, 2015

It is a gamble at once audacious and born of necessity: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a likely Republican candidate for president, has put campaign plans in motion that cede early momentum to his chief rival, Jeb Bush, in favor of beating Mr. Bush and other opponents with a long-game strategy designed to achieve financial and political success next winter.

The strategy, described in interviews with advisers and donors to Mr. Walker, is an acknowledgment that despite leading in some early polls and earning praise from party kingmakers, Mr. Walker faces serious obstacles — money, readiness, stature — to becoming his party’s standard-bearer.

Advisers said Mr. Walker, conceding that he has no hope of raising more than Mr. Bush this spring and summer, is devoting considerable time instead to addressing a weakness that could derail him with a single gaffe no matter how much some donors love him: his lack of depth on issues facing a president, especially national security. He is attending near daily policy briefings and working on Wisconsin’s next state budget, while his team is quietly recruiting volunteer fund-raisers, known as bundlers. They now number about 50 in 30 states — a shadow corps ready to compete with Mr. Bush as soon as Mr. Walker officially announces his candidacy, which is likely to be in June.

At the same time, Mr. Walker — who enthusiastically enjoys fund-raising, his advisers say — is personally courting megadonors like Todd Ricketts, who will back Mr. Walker if he runs, and David H. and Charles G. Koch, the conservative billionaires, according to the advisers and donors, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to maintain their access to confidential campaign planning. Several top-tier Republican donors joined Mr. Walker for a dinner last week at the Ricketts apartment in the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, including David Koch; Mr. Ricketts and his father, Joe; the investor Roger Hertog; and the supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis.

In emphasizing their long-range strategy, Mr. Walker’s advisers are seeking to lower expectations ahead of the first fund-raising totals for most candidates and their “super PACs,” which will be made public in mid-July. They also want to minimize expectations at this stage for Mr. Walker as a head-to-head competitor against Mr. Bush, who talks about policy with greater ease and confidence.

Advisers to Mr. Walker do not see any choice: Mr. Bush is raising money prodigiously, telling donors at a private gathering in Miami last weekend that his political organization was set to break political fund-raising records. Mr. Walker believes his best shot is to peak as a well-prepared, solidly financed candidate as Iowa, New Hampshire and other states start voting in February and March.

“It’s clear Bush has the most bundlers today,” said Jonathan Burkan, a New York financial adviser and fund-raiser for Mr. Walker. “But it’s only April. And Walker has enough of them to do what he needs to do to win the nomination.”

Mr. Walker’s planning reflects how thoroughly the rise of super PACs has changed presidential politics. Instead of formally joining the field and building a large network of medium-size donors, Mr. Walker and other likely candidates are using the early months to court small circles of wealthy patrons who can write six- and seven-figure checks to outside groups supporting their future campaigns.

The Walker team’s top goal is to have enough funds to survive early rounds of anticipated attack ads from the pro-Bush super PAC. Mr. Bush’s political organization is expected to raise as much as $100 million during the first half of 2015, while Mr. Walker’s allies believe they can bring in at least $25 million by the end of June.

Of that total, the Walker team has already raised $5 million for a political committee, Our American Revival, that houses senior campaign-staff-in-waiting, advisers say. Many of the donors Mr. Walker is courting backed him in his 2012 recall battle and 2014 re-election campaign, races in which he became a hero to conservatives for his successful fights against labor unions.

The governor’s bet is that Mr. Bush, who has spent most of this year courting donors, will fail to connect with grass-roots conservatives, and that Mr. Walker’s executive experience in Wisconsin will contrast favorably against the three senators in the race: Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.

These are big assumptions and risks, but Mr. Walker is confident enough that he has taken to telling people that he is not only the first choice of his own supporters, but the second choice of most other candidates’ supporters.

“It’s a great thing when you have a big field that eventually will not be as big,” said Chart Westcott, a Dallas businessman and Walker supporter. “There’s a lot of love in Texas for different candidates, but Governor Walker has a unique ability to unite the party — evangelicals and libertarians, the establishment and the Tea Party. That’s the appeal he’s used to make inroads in Texas.”

The governor’s allies expect the new pro-Walker super PAC, Unintimidated, to raise between $50 million and $75 million by the end of the 2016 nominating contest.

Mr. Walker’s strategy is, on one level, an attempt to try to avoid the fate of Republicans like Tim Pawlenty — another well-regarded Midwestern governor of a purple state — who withdrew less than five months after joining the 2012 race, short of cash and unable to break through to voters in Iowa.

The key question is how many of the biggest conservative donors will offer Mr. Walker help in the next few months.

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

Obama Amnesty Greater Threat to Blacks than Police Brutality, Experts Say

Washington Times
By Kellan Howell
April 27, 2015

Economic and civil rights experts say increased immigration spurred by President Obama’s executive orders poses a bigger threat to the black community than police brutality or racial profiling, which have sparked protests in black communities across the country.

“It’s a bigger threat to black livelihood,” Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said, adding that illegal immigration “dwarfs” the more inflammatory issues of police brutality, saying, “When you look at the hundreds of thousands of blacks thrown out of work over the years as a result of the competitive pressure the downstream effects are profound.”

The number of unemployed black workers in the U.S. is soaring, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over 12.2 million black people of working age were not in the labor force in March, meaning they had neither been employed nor actively sought a job for at least four weeks.

The labor force participation rate for black men ages 20 and older is more than 5 percentage points lower than it is for white men, and for those in the labor force, the black unemployment rate is more than double the white unemployment rate, at 10.1 percent versus 4.7 percent.

Loosened immigration policy will only compound the problem.

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said ... more >
As more illegal immigrants enter the U.S., encouraged by the president’s sweeping executive actions, they flood low-skilled labor markets once dominated by blacks, which ultimately decreases wages and increases job competition for low-skilled black workers, said Mr. Kirsanow.

“The long-term, large-scale flow of immigration into the United States has worked to erode both the wages and employment prospects of African-American workers,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interests, in a statement to The Times.

“Yet the Senate’s ‘Gang of Eight’ plan would have doubled future immigration from its existing record levels. As a nation, our first duty is always to our own citizens, especially those who have sacrificed so much for this country. Any responsible immigration plan must promote higher wages, rising employment and improved working conditions for people already living here,” he said.

Increasing unemployment rates in the black community can lead to numerous other negative social consequences, Mr. Kirsanow said.

“When unemployment rates increase, black institutionalization rates also increase. Individuals who don’t have jobs are less likely to be married or to get married, which means you are more likely to have kids out of wedlock. It’s a self-perpetuating negative cycle,” Mr. Kirsanow said. “These are the things that the Congressional Black Caucus and the president have refused to address and are things that are tremendously harmful to the prospects of black Americans economically, socially and culturally.”

A spokeswoman for the Congressional Black Caucus did not reply to a request by The Times for comment.

While Mr. Kirsanow opposed the president’s immigration policies, his colleagues on the Civil Rights Commission came out in support of President Obama’s executive orders issued in November, jumping on the political bandwagon at the time.

However, a 2008 briefing report to the Civil Rights Commission on the effects of immigration on wages and employment opportunities for black workers clearly stated that more illegal immigration hurts low-skilled black workers.

“About six in 10 adult black males have a high school diploma or less, and black men are disproportionately employed in the low-skilled labor market, where they are more likely to be in labor competition with immigrants,” the report reads. “Illegal immigration to the United States in recent decades has tended to depress both wages and employment rates for low-skilled American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are black men.”

Commission Chair Martin Castro, who was not a member of the commission when the 2008 study was conducted, has said that the report was missing key data that contradicted the overall findings and plans to call for a review of the study.

Some economists say that increased immigration doesn’t hurt low-skilled American workers because the two groups don’t typically do the same jobs.

Low-skilled Americans, nearly all of whom speak English, tend to work in jobs that require communication skills, while low-skilled immigrants, who mostly don’t, tend to do jobs that require manual labor, Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, explained.

He cited research from economists Gianmarco Ottaviano and Giovanni Peri, who found in their studies in 2008 and 2010 that more immigration tends to raise overall wages for U.S.-born workers.

But while economists agree that immigration improves living standards and wages on average, studies are divided on whether immigration reduces wages for certain groups of workers. Some studies suggest that immigration has reduced wages for low-skilled workers without a high school diploma and college graduates.

A 2007 study by economists George Borjas and Lawrence Katz found that increases in immigrant workers from 1990 to 2006 reduced the wages of low-skilled workers by 4.7 percent and college graduates by 1.7 percent.

In 2009 Mr. Borjas, a Harvard professor, specifically studied the effects of immigration on the economic status of black men and found that a 10 percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced black wages by 2.5 percent, lowered the employment rate of black men by 5.9 percentage points and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by 1.3 percentage points.

“It is evident that there is a negative correlation between changes in employment propensities and the immigrant share, and that the correlation is stronger for black men,” Mr. Borjas wrote.

But Mr. Nowrasteh explained that more people coming in to the country is good for the U.S. economy, and said that the bigger threat to wages for low-skilled workers is technological change.

“Studies on skilled-bias technological change find a lot of the new machines, computers [and] ways to automate manufacturing increase the wages of high-skilled people a lot more and potentially decrease the wages of lower-skilled people,” Mr. Nowrasteh said, adding that the same economic effects have been observed in countries that don’t accept many immigrants.

Multiple polls show that Americans across the board, regardless of race or political alignment, want less immigration.

In a nationwide survey conducted between August and October of 2014, The Polling Company, Inc. asked over 1,000 adults: “If U.S. businesses have trouble finding workers, what should happen?”

In total, 75 percent said businesses should raise wages and improve working conditions to attract American workers, while only 8 percent said more immigrants workers should be allowed in to the country to fill those jobs.

Eighty-six percent of blacks surveyed said businesses should increase wages rather than hire more immigrants, and 71 percent of Hispanics said the same thing.

Seventy-four percent of Republican responders and 79 percent of Democratic responders also said businesses should increase wages to attract American employees.

In a January 2015 Gallup poll, 39 percent of Americans said they were dissatisfied with current immigration levels and wanted less immigration rather than more.

Mr. Kirsanow explained. But the effect on low-skilled minority workers must be considered by lawmakers in forming comprehensive immigration reform policies, he said, adding that it must start with following the laws already in place.

“We are not serious about securing the border; we are not serious about enforcement; we are not serious about e-verify. All of these things would be extremely helpful to low-skilled workers and, particularly, black Americans,” Mr. Kirsanow said

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