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, January 29, 2016

Debate Takeaways: Without Trump, Spotlight on Cruz, Rubio

January 29, 2016

It was clear, even before it started, that Thursday night's Republican presidential debate would be dramatically different.

GOP front-runner Donald Trump had voluntarily given up his regular place at center stage. He skipped the debate, preferring to mount a rally across town to punish Fox News Channel for "toying" with him.

The billionaire businessman's absence was addressed early and then his Republican rivals quickly moved on, getting a far better opportunity to shine. Overall, the two-hour affair featured a sober tone focused more on substance than personality.

There were exceptions, of course. Ted Cruz defended his authenticity and Marco Rubio faced pointed questions on immigration.

But just days before Iowa's leadoff caucuses, there were none of the breakout moments that have sometimes characterized the more colorful debates featuring Trump, battling Cruz for first place in the 2016 primary season's opening contest.

Some takeaways from Thursday's Republican debate:



Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to dominate the stage. There is little doubt he helped his rivals by not showing up.

He was mocked early and largely forgotten. Cruz set the tone with a sarcastic impression of his top rival: "I'm a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly," Cruz said. "Now that we've gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way ..."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also weighed in: "It's not about Donald Trump. He's an entertaining guy. He's the greatest show on earth."

Beyond a few playful jabs, the two-hour debate was a Trump-free zone, one of the few such events in the race so far.



Cruz fought to make sure he was positioned at center stage in Trump's absence, but did little to take advantage of the opportunity. He tried to embrace the role of de facto front-runner at the outset, pointing out that he was being attacked by several rivals — even before there were any pointed exchanges.

Cruz later faced sharp questions on immigration, national security and, perhaps most importantly, whether he was trustworthy. Trust is the theme of the fiery conservative's campaign, and several candidates questioned his authenticity.

"Ted, throughout this campaign, you've been willing to say or do anything in order to get votes," Rubio charged.

Cruz fought back by accusing Rubio of bending to the will of donors on immigration, but it was hardly a decisive victory.



Rubio did not help himself among the conservatives who question his position on immigration. The issue is by far his greatest vulnerability as he tries to convince skeptical GOP activists that he doesn't support so-called amnesty.

The debate moderators played a series of video clips highlighting Rubio's apparent shift on the issue, which put the first-term senator on the defensive at the outset of a key exchange.

At best, Rubio may have clouded the issue of whether he had backed off his earlier calls for comprehensive legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship.

But rival Jeb Bush seemed to get the best of him in an exchange in which Bush questioned Rubio's retreat on the issue.

"You shouldn't cut and run," Bush charged.



Bush repeatedly beat back questions about his long-term viability in the 2016 contest, insisting he has a path to the nomination and would ultimately defeat leading Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"We're just starting. The first vote hasn't been counted. Why don't we let the process work?" Bush said.

Overall, Bush had more success on the debate stage without having to contend with Trump. His strength — and full-steam-ahead approach — was a pointed reminder that the fight for the party's mainstream wing is far from over.

Bush and Rubio are competing with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich to win over the GOP's centrist wing. Some party officials hoped Rubio would have emerged as the consensus choice by now.

Bush defended rounds of anti-Rubio attack ads.

"This is beanbag compared to what the Clinton hit machine is going to do to the Republican nominee," Bush said.



It was a risky move politically, but Donald Trump helped raise $6 million to benefit veterans at an event three miles away from the debate stage.

Instead of going after his rivals on national television, Trump read out the names of wealthy friends who'd pledged major contributions to veterans' causes. When he announced he'd pledged $1 million himself, the crowd erupted in cheers.

He explained to the Drake University crowd that he had little choice but to skip the debate. Trump admitted he didn't know if the decision would hurt him in the polls, but tried to cast it as a sign of strength.

"You have to stick up for your rights. When you're treated badly, you have to stick up for your rights," he said.

As for the debate, Trump predicted it would have far fewer viewers without him on the stage. That may be true, but Iowa voters will decide in four days whether Trump hurt his chances in the 2016 race simply to prove a point.

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

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz Duke It Out Over Immigration

Daily Beast
By Gideon Resnick
January 28, 2016

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz reminded the audience at Thursday night’s GOP debate about the party’s original big issue in this campaign: immigration.

Touting his disavowal of the Gang of Eight bill, a bipartisan piece of legislation for comprehensive immigration reform, Cruz went on the attack against Rubio, one of the co-authors of the bill.

“Ask people like Jeff Sessions and Steve King and Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, all of whom say—as Jeff Sessions said, responding to these false attack attacks just recently in Alabama—he said if it wasn't for Ted Cruz, the Gang of Eight Rubio/Schumer bill would have passed. But because Ted stood up and helped lead the effort, millions rose up to kill it,” Cruz said, listing some of his biggest fans and referring to himself in the third person.

Rubio wasn’t having it and called Cruz a fake conservative.

“This is the lie that Ted's campaign is built on and Rand [Paul] touched upon it—that he's the most conservative guy and everyone else is, you know, everyone else is a RINO [Republican in Name Only],” Rubio said.

“The truth is, Ted, throughout this campaign you've been willing to do or say anything to get votes. You worked for George Bush's campaign. You helped design George W. Bush's immigration policy. When you got to the Senate, you did an interview with CBS News … you said on the issue of people here illegally, ‘We can reach a compromise.’”

And of course, Rubio had to refer to Cruz’s main rival in the race, notably absent from the room: Donald Trump.

“Now you want to trump Trump on immigration,” Rubio said. “You can't—we're not going to beat Hillary Clinton with someone who's willing to say or do anything to win an election.”

Cruz has come under fire from fellow Republicans for waffling on immigration when it was politically convenient over the years. And he’s gone on the offensive recently against Rubio, launching an ad campaign that accuses the the Florida senator of “betray[ing] our trust” for helping to author the Gang of Eight bill.

Rubio, hoping to bring the issue of immigration back to the fore in a debate that included a surprising amount of substantive talk, also tussled with fellow Floridian Jeb Bush, despite having largely similar views on the issue for many years.

Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly challenged Rubio for opposing citizenship for undocumented immigrants during his 2010 Senate campaign, before eventually sponsoring the 'Gang of Eight' immigration bill after he joined the Senate. The Gang of Eight immigration reform package included a pathway to citizenship. Rubio stumbled at her question, saying that he only opposed "blanket amnesty."

Bush, who supports a legal status for undocumented immigrants, said Rubio abandoned the package as soon as he felt it was becoming unpopular. It was an odd exchange between two Republican candidates who both, at one time or another, supported a legal status for immigrants who entered the country illegally.

"You shouldn't have cut and run," Bush told Rubio, though the two have had similar positions on immigration over the years. "Now it's harder and harder to actually solve this problem."

"You are not going to be able to ram down the throat of the American people your approach," Rubio responded.

Without the specter of Trump, the man against whom the other candidates could direct their attacks, it seemed that Rubio and Cruz were fishing for a fight. And they ended up taking it back to where it all began.

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

Trump On Immigration In 2013: “You’re Dealing With Human Beings,” “Do The Right Thing”

Buzzfeed News
By Andrew Kaczynski
January 28, 2016

From the very start of his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump has appealed to hardliners and nativists on the issue of immigration, calling undocumented Mexican immigrants “murderers” and “rapists,” proposing the construction of a wall on the United States’ southern border that Mexico will pay for, and promising as president to deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country.

Immigration has become Trump’s signature issue and a major part of his appeal, but the businessman did not always speak about the issue as he now does as a presidential candidate. At an event in Iowa less than two months after the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill, Trump made an appeal to “do the right thing” on immigration, emphasizing the humanity of immigrants while also cautioning that any solution must be “smart and methodical.”

“When it comes to immigration, you have to do the right thing,” Trump said at the FAMiLY Leadership Summit in Ames in 2013. “You have to, in your own heart, you’re dealing with lives, you’re dealing with human beings, you have to do the right thing. But it’s got to be done in a very, very smart and methodical method.”

Trump did issue a warning to Republicans that any solution giving undocumented immigrants the right to vote could be disastrous for the party.

“If you do something where they get a vote — and just remember, and I think I was the first one to say it, I don’t know if you remember, but I said this a long time ago when this first came up — everyone of those people, virtually, will be voting Democratic. They’re not voting Republican. And whether Sen. Rubio is leading the fight — and that’s the immigration fight — or not, it’s irrelevant. They’re just going to be voting Democratic. That’s the way it is, and the Democrats have taken hold of this issue, and they love the issue.”

“Do what’s right,” Trump said again. “But be very careful cause it could be a death wish for the Republican Party.”

Earlier in the speech, Trump underscored the importance of border security, saying, “You either have a country, or you don’t.”

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

New ad attacks Trump on immigration

The Hill
By Rebecca Savransky
January 28, 2016

A super-PAC intent on defeating Republican front-runner Donald Trump has released a new ad that slams him for skipping Thursday’s presidential debate and questions whether he is a real conservative.

The 60-second ad, from Our Principles PAC, accuses Trump of skipping the final GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses because he “can't handle tough questions.”

“Like why he'd let millions of illegal immigrants stay in America and even supports a pathway to citizenship,” a narrator states.

The ad then cuts to clips of Trump talking about giving immigrants in the country a way to achieve citizenship.

“How do you throw somebody out that's lived in this country for 20 years,” he says in a clip in the ad. “You just can't throw everybody out.”

The ad argues that Trump supports a path to citizenship because he makes “big money off illegal immigrants.”

“Amnesty for illegal immigrants. Big money for himself,” the ad concludes. “Can conservatives trust Donald Trump?”

Our Principles PAC was started by Katie Packer, the former deputy campaign manager for 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The group, which started its campaign earlier this week, released a radio ad on Saturday that quizzes listeners on liberal positions taken by Trump in the past, including issues related to gun control and healthcare.

Immigration has been a central theme of Trump’s campaign; he has promised to build a wall along the southern border and make Mexico pay for it.

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

Huffington Post Says Donald Trump Is Uniquely Xenophobic Candidate. They Are Wrong.

By Josh Israel
January 28, 2016

After abandoning its previous attempts to cover GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump only in its “entertainment” section, the Huffington Post said Thursday that it will now carry a disclaimer on all Trump stories highlighting Trump’s extreme anti-immigrant views.

At the bottom of a story Wednesday night, the online news site wrote: “Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

A Huffington Post spokesperson told Politico that they were doing this only for Trump: “Yes, we’re planning to add this note to all future stories about Trump … No other candidate has called for banning 1.6 billion people from the country! If any other candidate makes such a proposal, we’ll append a note under pieces about them.”

But contrary to that claim, Trump is in good company in the GOP primary field when it comes to xenophobia. Among his opponents:

Jeb Bush
Bush has proposed a religious test for Syrian refugees, suggesting that only those “who can prove [they] are a Christians” should be allowed to emmigrate. His suggested screening method would be looking at the last names applicants. While he once called unlawful immigration an “act of love,” he more recently told critics to “chill out” over his use of the offensive slur “anchor babies.”

Ben Carson
Carson opposes birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants and opposed accepting any Syrian refugees, comparing them to “rabid dogs.” He also defended Trump’s claim that Mexican immigrants were rapists, scolding the “PC police.”

Chris Christie
Christie abandoned his onetime support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and now proposes treating immigrants like FedEx packages. He opposed allowing Syrian refugees — even singling out “orphans under the age of five“. While he has said he does not believe Trump’s deportation strategy would work, he has suggested effective enforcement could encourage self-deportation and wants to reconsider the 14th amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship.

Ted Cruz
Cruz proposed a ban on all non-Christian Syrian refugees and commended Trump’s plan to prohibit all Muslims from entering the U.S., saying “I commend Donald Trump for standing up and focusing America’s attention on the need to secure our borders.” He has embraced a deportation plan for 11.3 million undocumented immigrants that is even tougher than Trump’s, ruling out letting them apply for citizenship in the future. Asked by an undocumented teenager earlier this month if he would deport her, Cruz assured her that he would, telling her that “violating the laws has consequences.” Moreover, he said in December, he would not just build Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, but would hire Trump to oversee the effort.

Rand Paul
Paul opposes Syrian refugee immigration, proposing to block visas for refugees from all “countries with a high risk of terrorism,” and calling their acceptance “misplaced humanitarianism.” He has proposed deporting undocumented kids by cutting funding for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Marco Rubio
Once a strong backer of comprehensive immigration reform, Rubio helped kill his own bill and abandoned its direct path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Moreover, he has vowed to deport DREAMers, the undocumented kids protected under DACA. He opposes allowing Syrian refugees, claiming, “It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that we can’t.”

Though the Republican National Committee’s post-2012 autopsy called for a change of approach and tone on immigration, the party’s problem with xenophobia clearly extends well beyond Trump.

There appears to be no plan to add similar disclaimers to coverage of these and other candidates — implicitly suggesting that their views are less xenophobic and more acceptable.

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

Obama administration defends immigration raids despite Democratic furor

By Seung Min Kim and Lauren French
January 28, 2016

The Obama administration is continuing to defend raids targeting immigrants in the United States illegally in a new letter to Capitol Hill, renewing frustration from Democratic lawmakers who have lashed out against the administration over the controversial strategy.

In a Jan. 27 letter to Democratic lawmakers, Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson stressed that for many of the women and children from Central America caught at the border, “the reality is that not all those … seek or successfully establish that they qualify for [humanitarian] relief.”

More than 140 House Democrats, as well as 22 of their Senate counterparts, have signed onto letters to the administration denouncing the raids and urging officials to take a different tack to stem the recent wave of illegal migration at the southern border.

“We will continue to conduct enforcement actions in line with existing laws and policies, including the apprehension and removal of individuals with final orders of removal who have exhausted or waived all appeals,” Kerry and Johnson wrote to lawmakers in the three-page letter, obtained by POLITICO. “The enforcement actions referenced in your letter are consistent with this approach.”

The administration has shown no signs of backing off the raids since they were disclosed in late December, and the first of the operations took place earlier this month. On Jan. 13, the administration said it would launch new efforts to expand access to the refugee admissions program for people from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — a move welcomed by Democrats and advocates, but one that did not ease their concerns about the raids.

“I’m certainly disappointed,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, who has called on the administration to halt the raids, said in an interview Thursday. “Let us deport everyone who is a danger to this country, but the notion of deporting people who are innocent, are no danger to this country, splitting up families, that should not be our policy.”

But there is little Democrats on Capitol Hill can do aside from continuing to press the administration. The issue arose during a private question-and-answer session with Vice President Joe Biden at the House Democratic retreat in Baltimore, when Biden stressed that the administration is allowed to prioritize how they enforce immigration laws and pushed back against the notion that these raids don't amount to "mass deportations," according to a source in the room.

Biden said the total number of immigrants already deported to their home countries was 67 out of the 121 swept up in the raids, although a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it was 77 people.

"He made it very clear that the president is trying to do this best with the broken immigration system," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said of Biden's remarks. "What the vice president made clear is that not only are they trying to do it in a constructive and legal [way], but also in a humane way."

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

U.S. Placed Immigrant Children With Traffickers, Report Says

New York Times
By Emmarie Huetteman
January 28, 2016

The Department of Health and Human Services placed more than a dozen immigrant children in the custody of human traffickers after it failed to conduct background checks of caregivers, according to a Senate report released on Thursday.

Examining how the federal agency processes minors who arrive at the border without a guardian, lawmakers said they found that it had not followed basic practices of child welfare agencies, like making home visits.

The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations opened its inquiry after law enforcement officials uncovered a human trafficking ring in Marion, Ohio, last year. At least six children were lured to the United States from Guatemala with the promise of a better life, then were made to work on egg farms. The children, as young as 14, had been in federal custody before being entrusted to the traffickers.

“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the subcommittee. “But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”

In addition to the Marion cases, the investigation found evidence that 13 other children had been trafficked after officials handed them over to adults who were supposed to care for them during their immigration proceedings. An additional 15 cases exhibited some signs of trafficking.

The report also said that it was unclear how many of the approximately 90,000 children the agency had placed in the past two years fell prey to traffickers, including sex traffickers, because it does not keep track of such cases.

“Whatever your views on immigration policy, everyone can agree that the administration has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the migrant kids that have entered government custody until their immigration court date,” Mr. Portman said.

In the fall of 2013, thousands of unaccompanied children began showing up at the southern border. Most risked abuse by traffickers and detention by law enforcement to escape dire problems like gang violence and poverty in Central America.

As detention centers struggled to keep up with the influx, the Department of Health and Human Services began placing children in the custody of sponsors who could help them while their immigration cases were reviewed. Many children who did not have relatives in the United States were placed in a system resembling foster care.

But officials at times did not examine whether an adult who claimed to be a relative actually was, relying on the word of parents, who, in some cases, went along with the traffickers to pay off smuggling debts.

Responding to the report, the Department of Health and Human Services said it had taken measures to strengthen its system, collecting information to subject potential sponsors and additional caregivers in a household to criminal background checks.

Mark Greenberg, the agency’s acting assistant secretary of the Administration for Children and Families, said it had bolstered other screening procedures and increased resources for minors.

“We are mindful of our responsibilities to these children and are continually looking for ways to strengthen our safeguards,” he said.

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

Report finds U.S. government sent Central American immigrant children to abusive home

By Nidki Prakash
January 28, 2016

Reports emerged earlier this week of children from Central America, many of them refugees, being sent by government agencies to private homes where they face abusive conditions, including sexual abuse and human trafficking. Today, a Senate subcommittee will examine those claims, and the process that’s used to move immigrant children from public shelters to private homes.

In an investigative report released Monday, The Associated Press found that since April 2014, the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gradually phased out identity and criminal history checks before sending Central American children to live in private homes:

Since the rule changes, the AP has identified more than two dozen children who were placed with sponsors who subjected them to sexual abuse, labor trafficking or severe abuse and neglect.

“This is clearly the tip of the iceberg,” said Jacqueline Bhabha, research director at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. “We would never release domestic children to private settings with as little scrutiny.”

A spokesperson for the agency said that the background checks and fingerprinting have since been re-instated. “We are committed to placement of unaccompanied children with appropriate sponsors that serve the best interest of the child,” Bob Carey, the director of the Office for Refugee Resettlement (part of HHS), said in a statement.

More than 125,000 Central American children and teenagers were stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border since 2011, according to the Washington Post, with some being sent to shelters. “We have a large percentage of these kids that disappear, and I don’t know what happens to them,” Jessica Ramos, a lawyer with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, told the newspaper.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations conducted its own research in the past six months, finding “more than 30 cases involving serious indications of trafficking and abuse,” said Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican senator from Ohio.

The plight of Central American refugees has been highlighted in recent weeks by a backlash against what advocates say are unnecessarily punitive Immigration and Customs Enforcement home raids targeting Central American women and children who have fled violent circumstances in their home countries.

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

Poll: Obama's Immigration Policy Is Actually Popular

Talking Points Memo
By Tierney Sneed
January 28, 2016

A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that Americans approve of President's Obama's actions on immigration when described broadly -- especially when his name isn't attached. That support shrank once the question posed to respondents mentioned that they were executive actions taken by the president, but a majority of American still were okay with the plan.

Sixty-one percent of Americans supported Obama's plan -- which shields some undocumented immigrants from deportation -- when they were not told Obama had taken the action, according to the poll released Wednesday. While half of Republicans rejected the plan when described this way, 42 percent of Republicans supported it.

When pollsters attached Obama's name to the immigration action, 54 percent of Americans supported it, and opposition grew to 62 percent among Republicans.

As for Democrats, their support for Obama's immigration plan increased when told he was behind it, from 78 percent when he was not mentioned to 80 percent when he was.

The online poll, which as a sample size of 1,200 people, was conducted the week after the Supreme Court took up a case earlier this month challenging the President's immigration actions.

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

Candidates Vowing To End Obama’s Immigration Plan May Want To Ask What Their Constituents Think

Think Progress
By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee
January 28, 2016
Republican presidential candidates often promise that once they’re made president, they will do away with President Obama’s executive action to show leniency towards some undocumented immigrants. But they may want to take note that many of their constituents disagree. That’s according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, which found that a majority of Americans support Obama’s plan to allow certain undocumented immigrants to stay in the country legally.

The poll found that 61 percent of Americans — including 42 percent of Republicans — would support an immigration plan granting temporary deportation reprieve and work authorization for undocumented immigrants, particularly “when it is described in general terms without using Obama’s name,” Reuters reported. When the same plan was identified as an executive action taken by Obama, support fell 7 percent, with only 31 percent of Republicans supporting such a plan. The inverse was true for Democrats, whose support for the plan went up 2 percent once Obama’s name was attached to it.

That two-part plan, formally announced in November 2014 as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Residents (DAPA) and a similar program targeted at younger undocumented immigrants, was Obama’s signature executive action on immigration during a time of congressional inaction on a permanent bill. DAPA and its sister program built upon a previous 2012 initiative, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to extend smilar benefits for so-called DREAMers who came to the country as children.

But soon after Obama announced the DAPA program, a group of Republican-led states and lawmakers filed suit to challenge the president’s authority to take action for upwards of four million immigrants. A Texas judge issued an injunction last year, blocking the government from implementing the DAPA and the updated DACA program. The Supreme Court recently decided to take up the case, with a decision likely set for June.

The online poll of 1,200 respondents was taken in the week following the Supreme Court decision.

It may be unsurprising that support dropped when the plan was attached to Obama’s name. This partisan divide was observed last year when a similar Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey found that 76 percent of respondents, including 67 percent of Republicans, support the specifics of Obama’s executive action when it’s not linked to his name. With Obama’s name attached, however, support dropped to 51 percent. (Similarly, the “Obama Effect” has also been observed in health care policy, with polls showing that more Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act when it’s linked to his name.)

Although poll after poll indicates Republicans broadly support immigration legislation that would provide some pathway for undocumented immigrants to contribute more to American society, many Republican candidates are still insistent about doing away with Obama’s executive action.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in November 2015 that he would eventually let the DACA program end. When questioned about what he would do with the DACA program, Donald Trump broadly said that undocumented immigrants “have to go.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently told a DACA recipient that he would deport people like her, building on a previous statement about making it a “top priority” to end the initiatives. And former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) called the initiatives “unconstitutional” in June 2015 and threatened to undo the programs in April 2015.

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

Rep. Gutierrez to launch naturalization tour

By Eliza Collins
January 28, 2016

Rep. Luis Gutierrez announced on Thursday an ambitious goal to get 1 million citizens naturalized by May so they can vote against Donald Trump.

Gutierrez’s first stop on what he calls the “Stand up to hate tour” will be his home state of Illinois, where he will work with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). The trip will also include stops in key battleground states like Colorado and Nevada.

The Illinois Democrat has teamed up with Latino Victory Foundation, National Partnership for New Americans, Mi Familia Vota, iAmerica Action and SEIU on a month of action to get new citizens. The partnership will include more than 100 workshops across the country, and Gutierrez will attend some of them.

“Our goal is to have 1 million to become new US citizens this year and we’ve gotta get it done by the end of May, this is realistic,” Gutierrez said in a press call Thursday, noting that in a normal year 650,000 people naturalize and this year is different.

The November presidential election is what sets 2016 apart, he said.

“One of the main reasons we’re recommending people naturalize now is to stand up to the hate rhetoric of this political season,” Gutierrez said, adding that Trump’s rhetoric about undocumented immigrants wasn’t “making America great; it’s tearing us down.”

“Get angry but then naturalize, register and vote,” he said.

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

How the GOP’s dishonesty led to the rise of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz

Washington Post (Opinion)
By Fareed Zakaria
January 28, 2016

To understand why the current conservative crack-up so confounds the Republican establishment, you have to recognize that the party is facing two separate but simultaneous revolts: one led by Ted Cruz, the other by Donald Trump.

The first is well described by E.J. Dionne Jr. in his important new book, “Why the Right Went Wrong.” For six decades, he explains, conservatives promised their voters that they were going to roll back big government. In the 1950s and early ’60s, they ran against the New Deal (Social Security). Then they railed against the Great Society (Medicare). Today it is Obamacare.

But they never actually did anything. Despite nominating Goldwater and electing Nixon, Reagan and two Bushes, despite a congressional revolution led by Newt Gingrich, these programs endured, and new ones were created.

The simple reason for this is that while Americans might oppose the welfare state in theory, in practice they like it. And the bulk of government spending is on the middle class, not the poor. Social Security and Medicare take up more than twice as much of the federal budget as all non-defense discretionary spending . One middle-class tax exemption — for employer-based health care — costs the federal government more than three times the total for the food stamp program.

Whatever the reality, Republicans kept promising something to their base but never delivered. This has led to what Dionne calls the “great betrayal.” Party activists are enraged, feel hoodwinked and view those in Washington as a bunch of corrupt compromisers. They want someone who will finally deliver on the promise of repeal and rollback.

Enter Cruz. How did a first-term senator, despised within his party both in Washington and Texas, get so far so fast? By promising to take on the party elites and finally throttle big government. Cruz has said that he will repeal Obamacare, abolish the IRS and propose a constitutional amendment to balance the budget — which would mean hundreds of billions of dollars in spending cuts.

Trump’s supporters, on the other hand, are old-fashioned economic liberals. In a powerful analysis, drawing on recent survey data from the Rand Corp., Michael Tesler shows that the Trump voter is very different from the Cruz voter. “Cruz outperforms Trump by about 15 percentage points among the most economically conservative Republicans,” he writes. “But Cruz loses to Trump by over 30 points among the quarter of Republicans who hold progressive positions on health care, taxes, the minimum wage and unions.” Trump is well aware of this fact, which explains why he has said repeatedly he won’t touch Social Security or Medicare, spoke fondly of the Canadian single-payer system, denounces high chief executive salaries, promises to build infrastructure and opposes free-trade deals.

Trump’s voters reflect an entirely different revolt. Since the 1960s, some members of the United States’ white middle and working classes have felt uncomfortable with the changes afoot in the country. They were uneasy with the social revolutions of the 1960s, dismayed by black protests and urban violence, and enraged by the increasing tide of immigrants, many of them Hispanic. In recent years, they have expressed hostility toward Muslims. It is this group of Americans — many of them registered Democrats and independents — who make up the core of support for Trump. (Obviously there are overlaps between the two candidates’ supporters, but the divergences are striking.)

In his analysis, Tesler shows that, statistically, “Trump performs best among Americans who express more resentment toward African Americans and immigrants and who tend to evaluate whites more favorably than minority groups.” The New York Times’s Nate Cohn points out that Trump’s support geographically is almost the opposite of that of the last major populist businessman to run for president, Ross Perot. Perot did well in the West and New England, but poorly in the South and industrial North. Trump’s support follows a different but familiar pattern. Cohn writes: “It is similar to a map of the tendency toward racism by region.” To be clear, many people back Trump for reasons entirely unrelated to race, religion or ethnicity, but the correlations shown by scholars are striking.

Could these revolts have been prevented? Perhaps, if the Republican Party had been honest with its voters and explained that the welfare state was here to stay, that free markets need government regulation, and that the empowerment of minorities and women was inevitable and beneficial. Its role was to manage these changes so that they develop organically, are not excessive and preserve enduring American values. But that is the role for a party that is genuinely conservative, rather than radical.

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

On Immigration, California Offers a Cautionary Note for the National GOP

Los Angeles Times
By George Skelton
January 28, 2016

California long has been considered a trendsetter. And right now, that should be worrying the Republican Party.

Things often happen here first. Auto smog controls. Taxpayer rebellion. The fight against climate change.

California also is where the Republican Party virtually destroyed itself by scaring Latinos while bashing illegal immigration.

Like GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump has been doing.

One of his main rivals, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, sounds almost as insulting. And none of the party's White House wannabes is exactly Reaganesque.

This is what Ronald Reagan — the revered Republican icon — had to say about Mexican migrants during a 1980 primary debate with George H.W. Bush:

"Rather than talking about putting up a fence, [we should] make it possible [for Mexicans] to come here legally. … It's the only safety valve right now they have with [their high] unemployment."

Reagan and Bush had been asked by someone in the audience whether the children of "illegal aliens" should be allowed to attend public schools. Bush answered first:

"If those people are here," he said, they should "get what their neighbors get." He added: "These are honorable, decent, family-loving people.... Good people, strong people, part of our family" and making their "6- to 8-year-old kids totally uneducated" is wrong.

That portrait is the opposite of the one Trump painted of Mexicans migrating illegally. "Rapists," drug dealers and violent criminals, he called them last year, adding that only "some, I assume, are good people."

"I can't imagine Trump giving an inaugural speech," says Ken Khachigian, a longtime GOP strategist who wrote Reagan's first swearing-in address. "I can't place him there, putting that mantle of dignity on him, looking out over those monuments."

As president, Reagan signed legislation granting amnesty to immigrants here illegally. These days, Republican presidential candidates consider "amnesty" a dirty word.

They, especially Trump, are making the old California GOP rhetoric sound like a Sunday sermon.

While running for reelection in 1994, Republican Gov. Pete Wilson crusaded for Proposition 187, which denied most government services — including schooling — to immigrants here illegally. Voters passed the measure overwhelmingly. But the federal courts later ruled it unconstitutional.

The ugliest part of the pro-187 campaign was a TV ad that showed grainy news footage of a group of people running north across a U.S.-Mexico border checkpoint. It proclaimed in a doomsday, Darth Vader tone: "They keep coming."

Yes, they did. Straight to the voter registrar — at least their citizen cousins and sisters did. And they turned against Republicans.

Since 1994, more than 3 million Latinos have been added to the voter rolls, according to Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc.

Latinos make up 23% of the California electorate. And their share will only climb. They now account for roughly 40% of the population. As voters, Mitchell says, they're aligned 54% Democrat, 24% independent, 17% Republican.

"Although many were probably only 6 or 8 years old when Prop. 187 passed," Mitchell says, "it still lingers with them, as well as with people who weren't even born then."

California has basically changed its 1990s view: A poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 78% of likely voters believe people here illegally should be allowed to stay "if certain requirements are met"; 61% consider immigrants a benefit to the state.

It might seem preposterous to think that the Republican Party nationally could be sent tumbling downhill by rhetoric insensitive to Latinos, especially given its strong control of Congress and domination of statehouses.

But consider this: 22 years ago, California reelected a Republican governor and chose GOP candidates for four of its other six statewide partisan offices. Republicans also won a slim majority in the state Assembly. Today, no statewide elected official is a Republican. And Democrats outnumber the GOP nearly 2 to 1 in each legislative house.

During a 40-year stretch of presidential elections, Republicans carried California nine out of 10 times. But since 1992, we have been solidly blue.

In 1994, Republicans were 37% of the registered voters. Today they're 28%. Democrats also have fallen, from 49% to 43%. Independents have gained the most, from 10% to 23%, largely among young Latinos.

The GOP should be especially leery of following California's path in western states — particularly in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas — where Latino populations are growing.

"If Republicans aren't careful," says veteran GOP consultant Rob Stutzman, "they could essentially lose the entire West."

"Texas is going to go from a red state to a blue state in the next 10 years," predicts Stu Spencer, Reagan's top political strategist. "Look at the numbers."

To the California GOP's credit, its candidates have significantly tempered their anti-illegal immigration demagoguery in the last five years. And they have tried to lay off the social issues — principally abortion — that turned many libertarian-minded Californians against them.

But now comes Trump, who also has bellowed about barring all Muslims from entering the country. Not just terrorists, but anyone of that religion.

"It's the height of constitutional absurdity," Stutzman says. "Unless Trump is broadly condemned by the party, he could have a hugely damaging effect."

Mike Madrid, the grandson of Mexican immigrants who is a Republican consultant, puts it this way: "The party that began with Lincoln may end with Trump. That would be a sad American story."

If there's any California trend that Republicans nationally should follow, it's the recent calming of rhetoric.

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