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, March 31, 2016

The Republican stance on immigration is evolving

The Atlantic
By Priscilla Alvarez
March 31, 2016
A new survey released on Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute found younger Republicans are more likely to see immigrants as a boon to the United States than Republicans older than 30. In fact, among those 65 and older, only 22 percent share the belief that “immigrants strengthen American society” compared with 51 percent of Republicans ages 18 to 29. The generational divide is not only evident in attitudes about how immigrants fit into American society, but also on immigration reform itself—all of which might provide a glimpse into the future of the Republican Party.

Immigration has been a hot-button issue this election cycle. Donald Trump notoriously made it a central pillar of his presidential platform, declaring that he’d build a wall (to be paid for by Mexico) and deport the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. His hard-line stance on immigration worked. It attracted notable congressional endorsements, like those from Senator Jeff Sessions and Representative Duncan Hunter, and subsequently forced his rivals to take hard-right positions on the issue as well. Take Ted Cruz: He toughened his position on immigration—going from supporting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants to “leading the fight against amnesty”—and said that he too would deport undocumented immigrants. And it all appears to be paying off in votes.

In general, the party shares a negative view of immigration, according to the survey’s findings, which were gathered from 42,586 telephone interviews between April 2015 and January 2016. Among Republicans, 53 percent said that immigrants “constitute a threat to traditional American customs and values,” according to the survey. But when broken down, a contrast between conservative, moderate, and liberal Republicans emerges. Among conservative Republicans, for example, 58 percent have an unfavorable view of immigrants, but only 45 percent of moderate Republicans and 41 percent of liberal Republicans agree.

On immigration reform, the age divide resurfaces. The numbers have stayed fairly stable throughout 2015 when it comes to what Republicans think should be done about illegal immigration—whether immigrants should be allowed to become citizens after meeting certain requirements, should be identified and deported, or should be allowed to become permanent legal residents. A majority of younger Republicans “support providing immigrants currently living in the country illegally a path to citizenship,” compared with 47 percent of GOP seniors. This is to say, the hard-line stance on immigration adopted by candidates in pursuit of the White House may not resonate with the next generation of the GOP, which will soon make up a bigger fraction of the Republican electorate.

It’s unclear how this affects the 2016 race, if at all. While the survey didn’t mention candidates, its findings coincide with the trends seen thus far in the presidential primary. Trump and Cruz have swept several states, far outpacing their rivals (many of whom have since exited the race). In reviewing the electorate in some of those states, age was a key factor. As shown on Super Tuesday, for example, voters 65 and older helped Trump emerge as the victor in seven of the 11 states. And in Massachusetts, a state with a largely white electorate, he raked around 52 percent of the vote from age groups 45 to 64 and 65 and older.

In addition to age, the survey also sheds some light on the characteristics of voters who are attracted to the immigration policies put forward by Trump and Cruz. White evangelical Protestants are most likely to share the view that immigrants be deported. Also in that category: voters who are older, white, have a high-school degree or less, and fall under the conservative-Republican rubric. It’s the voter bloc that Trump and Cruz have courted and successfully attained.

To be sure, there’s no indication that these voters will shift their views in this election cycle, but it does signal a change for the Republican Party as younger voters more tolerant of immigration get older. Even among young white evangelical Protestants, 55 percent said, “Newcomers from other countries strengthen American society,” drawing a contrast from the majority of senior white evangelicals.

Taken altogether, what does this mean for the party moving forward? Only time can tell, but it could mean the voter bloc supporting Trump and Cruz today will be gone tomorrow.

The surge in Central American migrant children and teens crossing Mexico’s northern border peaked in summer 2014, reigniting a contentious debate around immigration policy in the U.S. It was ultimately met with President Barack Obama’s request for $400 million in contingency funds to accommodate unaccompanied minors on top of $950 million that had already been allocated to deal with the issue.

If the intent was to simply stop migrants from reaching America, it paid off: An increased number of Central American migrant children are now being apprehended and detained in Mexico, the new report says. At the same time, the number of unaccompanied Central American minors fleeing violence has never been higher and reports of poor conditions in Mexican detention are raising concerns.

Between 2014 and 2015, apprehensions of unaccompanied Central American children in Mexico rose by 70 percent as such U.S. detentions dropped 22 percent. The correlation implies that Mexico is succeeding in heading off children before they can reach the southern U.S. border.

Underage migrants in U.S. custody haven’t fared well over time, with some having alleged abuses, including insults from guards, sexual assaults, and having to drink toilet water.

In Mexico, however, Bochenek said that the worst part of detention for most child and teen migrants is the simple fact that they’re held like prisoners.

“There are problems with the length of time they are there, and the fact that they’re there in the first place,” he explained. “…A lot of kids have family in Mexico and can be released to family, but they aren’t.”

Human Rights Watch found that in Mexico “wide discrepancies” exist between the law and how it’s enacted.

For example, although Mexican law says migrant children should be quickly transferred to the custody of Mexico’s national child protection agency and detained only in exceptional circumstances, the majority of kids are locked up in prison-like conditions anyway, then subsequently deported.

“Children who may have claims for refugee recognition confront multiple obstacles in applying for refugee recognition from the moment they are taken into custody by immigration agents,” the report reads.

Agents fail to inform two-thirds of migrant children of their right to seek refugee recognition in Mexico, and government authorities don’t screen children to see whether or not they have credible refugee claims, according to the report. Lastly, no legal help or assistance is offered to refugee children who do apply for refugee status, a problem that also plays out for migrant kids in the United States, where a senior immigration judge recently ruled that three- and four-year-olds can represent themselves in court.

At least 27,000 unaccompanied minors entered Mexico over the first ten months of 2015, the Mexican government reported. Human Rights Watch said that's likely a significant underestimate.

That’s because, around the same time, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows the apprehensions of 28,000 unaccompanied child migrants from Central America along the U.S. southern border between October 2014 and September 2015.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that up to half Central American kids entering Mexico have credible claims for asylum, but the new report says Mexico’s emphasis has remained on immigration enforcement.

That focus on apprehension and deportation has no corresponding regard for children’s protection needs, Bochenek said.

The United States has encouraged Mexico’s crackdown with funding and equipment including scanners and vehicles.

The Washington Post reported in December that U.S. officials “plan to spend about $150 million on two major programs, including a biometric system for Mexico to keep track of the migrants it detains and a series of cellphone towers along the rural [southern] border to help government agencies communicate.”

In July 2014, U.S. Special Counsel to the Secretary of State Tom Shannon told the Senate Appropriations Committee that because Mexico was cooperative in starting a new initiative, Programa Frontera Sur, the State Department offered to “match this level of cooperation” with $86 million in funding “to provide support to Mexico’s southern border initiative.”

By September 2014, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson had released a statement applauding how U.S. agencies “responded aggressively to the situation,” saying the U.S was “pleased that the Mexican government has itself taken a number of important steps to interdict the flow of illegal migrants.”

The investment to slow the tide of migration seems to have paid off looking at the numbers, but it's left many young people in a precarious situation.

For teens like Gabriel R., 15, migration wasn’t as much a choice as a necessity. (Human Rights Watch withheld the teen’s last name to ensure confidentiality.)

After gang members approached him at school in Cortés, Honduras, Gabriel was told to join the gang or face the consequences.

“They gave me three days,” he told HRW. “If I didn’t join them, they’d kill me.”

Within the three days, he’d set off, alone, in an attempt to cross through Mexico. He ended up in detention in northern Mexico.

Out of the 60 immigration detention centers in Mexico, the majority of kids travelling alone end up in two large southern detention centers: Siglo XXI in Tapachula, Chiapas and Acayucán in the state of Veracruz. Mexican press reports have previously decried “inhumane” conditions in Siglo XXI.

A Mexican law mandates protection—like housing in shelters run by the national child protection agency and professional screening—upon first encounter by child protection officers. Yet, data reviewed by Human Rights Watch revealed that just one percent of underage migrant youth had been recognized as refugees or received such protections in Mexico.

"Obviously if they reach the US, the standard obligation under international refugee laws exists to give them a fair hearing, and to make sure they’re not returning to a place where they will be tortured or that their life would be at risk,” Bochenek said. “Many would qualify for asylum in the U.S.”

Uriel Gonzalez, director of Casa YMCA, Tijuana's only shelter for unaccompanied migrant children between the ages of 13 and 18, interacts with teens and pre-teens daily.

He’s recently seen children from El Salvador and Honduras pass through the shelter on the way to ask for asylum in the U.S. “In some cases, we were able to identify pro-bono immigration lawyers to take the cases,” Gonzalez said.

Still, even for those underage migrants who beat the odds and find representation, their chances of actually winning asylum cases are slim.

The problem will likely get worse before improving.

Violent crime continues to spike in Central America. El Salvador recently unseated Honduras as the world’s most murderous country: in 2015, the murder rate there leapt 70 percent.

“It probably shouldn’t be surprising that kids are travelling alone at younger and younger ages. Even though I knew that intellectually, it was still shocking to talk to a ten or an 11-year-old travelling on their own,” Bochenek said, noting that the number of girls migrating alone is growing, currently comprising a quarter of Central American child migrant. “Those two things are indicators of how difficult things are in the northern triangle."

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

‘Building a wall’ may keep Republicans from the White House

By William A. Galston
March 29, 2016

You’d never guess it from the headlines during this year’s presidential campaign, but strong majorities of Americans—Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike—favor immigration reforms that would allow immigrants living in the United States illegally to qualify for citizenship if they meet certain requirements. That’s the finding of a massive rolling survey of more than 42,000 Americans conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and released today.

Overall, 62 percent of Americans favor a path to citizenship for immigrants living here illegally, and an additional 15 percent support permanent legal residency without the option of citizenship. Only 19 percent favor a policy of identifying and deporting them.

There are partisan differences, of course. 72 percent of Democrats support a path to citizenship for immigrants living here illegally, compared to 62 percent of Independents and 52 percent of Republicans. Conversely, 30 percent of Republicans opt for identifying and deporting them, compared to 19 percent of Independents and only 11 percent of Democrats. Still, support is strong across the board. For example, 54 percent of white evangelical Christians favor a path to citizenship.

There’s little doubt, however, that immigration—legal as well as illegal—has triggered deep anxieties in substantial portions of the U.S. population. The PRRI survey also finds that while half of all Americans believe that the growing number of newcomers from other countries “strengthens American society,” fully one-third say that it “threatens American customs and values.”

Age matters: Americans over age 50 are especially likely to embrace the more negative view. And partisanship matters even more: 53 percent of Republicans see immigration as a cultural threat, compared to 33 percent of Independents and 24 percent of Democrats.

In a possible harbinger of the general election this fall, views on immigration vary widely by geographical location. The West and Northeast are more positive than negative about the impact of immigration; the reverse is true for the South and Midwest. Majorities of Americans in 21 states believe that immigration is a net plus for the country, as do pluralities in 20 additional states. Pluralities in 6 states endorse a negative view of immigration, while 3 states are statistically tied.

Ambivalence is especially notable in the Midwest, the region that may prove pivotal in November. While no Midwest state espouses a predominantly negative view of immigration’s impact, only Illinois gives the affirmative view an outright majority. Michigan is split 44 to 38 percent; Minnesota, 45-38; Wisconsin, 46-37; and Ohio, always a key battlefield, by 45 to 40 percent. Democrats may face a hard fight to retain the Midwestern Electoral College advantage they have enjoyed in recent national elections.

On the other hand, the positive view of immigration enjoys majority support in crucial swing states such as Colorado and Florida and a near-majority of 49 percent in Virginia. Support for this view is strong even in long-time red states such as Arizona (55 percent), Texas (52 percent), and Georgia (50 percent). So Republicans may have a fight on their hands in states they have long taken for granted, especially if immigration becomes a more prominent issue in the campaign.

The PRRI survey does not allow us to assess the intensity of feeling on immigration. To judge from the tone of the campaign thus far, it appears to be a voting issue for substantial numbers of Republicans. It remains to be seen whether the Republican contest will trigger a counter-mobilization of first and second-generation Americans who view a restrictive immigration policy as a personal affront. Such a counter-mobilization effort could mean that Republican candidates who are eager to discuss their opposition to comprehensive immigration reform may ultimately regret that strategy come November.

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

Corporations grow nervous about participating in Republican Convention

New York Times
By Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman
March 30, 2016

Some of the country’s best-known corporations are nervously grappling with what role they should play at the Republican National Convention, given the likely nomination of Donald J. Trump, whose divisive candidacy has alienated many women, African-Americans and Hispanics.

An array of activist groups is organizing a campaign to pressure the companies to refuse to sponsor the gathering, which many of the corporations have done for both the Republican and Democratic parties for decades.

The pressure is emerging as some businesses and trade groups are already privately debating whether to scale back their participation, according to interviews with more than a dozen lobbyists, consultants and fund-raisers directly involved in the conversations.

Apple, Google and Walmart are among the companies assessing their plans for the convention, which will be held in Cleveland from July 18 through July 21.

In addition to Mr. Trump’s divisive politics, there is the possibility that protests, or even violence, will become a focus of attention at the convention. Mr. Trump has suggested that there will be “riots” if he is not chosen as the party’s nominee, and the city of Cleveland recently sought bids for about 2,000 sets of riot gear for its police force.

A reduction in support from major corporations would be worrisome for Cleveland, which celebrated the awarding of the convention last year as a symbol of the city’s rebirth. The host committee is seeking to raise about $64 million for the event.

“I have talked to several people at companies who have said, ‘I’ve always gone to the convention, I’ve always participated at some level, but this year we’re not putting it in our budget, we’re not going, we’re not going to sponsor any of the events going on,” said Carla Eudy, a longtime Republican fund-raising consultant.

Walmart, which contributed $150,000 to the Republican convention in 2012, has yet to commit to contributing this year. “We haven’t made any decisions,” said Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart, who emphasized that even before Mr. Trump’s rise, the company had been discussing reducing its involvement.

Apple and Google declined to comment.

Coca-Cola has already declined to match the $660,000 it provided to the 2012 Republican convention, donating only $75,000 to this year’s gathering and indicating that it does not plan to provide more.

Kent Landers, a Coca-Cola spokesman, declined to explain the reduction in support. But officials at the company are trying to quietly defuse a campaign organized by the civil rights advocacy group Color of Change, which says it has collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition demanding that Coca-Cola, Google, Xerox and other companies decline to sponsor the convention. Donating to the event, the petition states, is akin to endorsing Mr. Trump’s “hateful and racist rhetoric.’’

“These companies have a choice right now, a history-making choice,” said Rashad Robinson, the executive director of Color of Change. “Once they start writing checks, they are essentially making a commitment to support the platform of somebody who has threatened riots at the convention. Do they want riots brought to us by Coca-Cola?”

The situation is especially delicate for Coca-Cola, which is based in Atlanta and has devoted significant resources for decades to efforts to appeal to minority groups.

In the company’s Washington, D.C., office, executives have been locked in conversations about how to handle the convention, according to two people directly involved in the discussions. In addition to donating cash, the beverage giant usually provides in-kind contributions, including sodas and other drinks.

In a statement, Mr. Landers, the Coca-Cola spokesman, said the company had also provided $75,000 to the 2016 Democratic convention, adding that, “The Coca-Cola Company is a nonpartisan business and does not endorse presidential candidates or nominees, nor do we endorse any specific party.”

Emily Lauer, a spokeswoman for the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, played down any concerns about fund-raising. She said corporations and other donors had already pledged $54 million of the $64 million needed for the convention.

But a senior Republican official with direct knowledge of convention fund-raising said there was growing worry inside the party about whether donors would follow through with their pledges if Mr. Trump became the nominee.

Asked how much of the $54 million the committee has in hand, Ms. Lauer said “the majority.” The state of Ohio, the city of Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County are contributing generously to the effort, she said, along with local businesses.

But the question of what to do about the Republican convention is more complex for businesses than simply deciding whether to contribute to the host committee: They are also grappling with whether they should risk sending their executives, whether they can just quietly give to ancillary events benefiting other Republicans and even whether they ought to have their names removed from the off-site concerts that are often convention favorites.

The issue is a touchy one for American businesses, which until now have largely avoided the delicate choice between possibly offending Mr. Trump’s passionate followers by distancing themselves from him, or angering the equally vocal constituencies opposed to his candidacy.

“These are Maalox months for everyone,” said Bruce Haynes, a public relations consultant at Purple Strategies, a Virginia-based bipartisan communications firm. “If this is going to look like 1968, there will be people that say, ‘That’s not where I want my product placement,’ ” he added, referring to clashes between police officers and protesters at the Democratic convention in Chicago.

The Color of Change campaign is now being joined by Hispanic, Muslim and women’s rights organizations. While Coke has been the focus of the convention push so far, the advocacy groups have also been in contact with Google, Cisco and AT&T and said they would target these companies if the companies did not withdraw their contributions and vow to give no more.

Nita Chaudhary, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, a women’s rights group, noted that many Republican governors had felt pressure from businesses over gay rights, as companies “compete with one another to be the most socially progressive.”

She added, “Well, there’s no greater threat to women and people of color in this country than Donald Trump.”

Representatives from Cisco and AT&T issued prepared statements pointing to their technological support for both parties’ conventions in the past. They indicated that they would offer the same in-kind assistance this year, while emphasizing that their support was aimed at benefiting the democratic process. They declined to comment further.

Color of Change, the advocacy group, has been effective in putting pressure on image-conscious companies. After the killing in Florida of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in 2012, for example, Color of Change helped persuade corporations like Coke, McDonald’s and Pepsi to leave the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization that promoted the “Stand Your Ground” gun laws that became divisive after Mr. Martin’s death.

In a letter sent to Coke last month, Color of Change implored the company to withdraw its support for the Republican convention, saying such a move would be “a sign of corporate leadership.’’

That letter was followed by a provocative online petition with an image of a Coke bottle labeled “Share a Coke with the KKK,” an apparent reference to Mr. Trump having initially declined to disavow support from the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

The push by Color of Change got the attention of the Coca-Cola executives, who quietly reached out to Mr. Robinson, the group’s executive director, and, in a series of previously undisclosed telephone calls and email exchanges, sought to mollify the activist group.

“We walked them through what a public campaign would look like,” Mr. Robinson recalled, explaining that he described possible protests outside Coca-Cola headquarters and similar protests in Cleveland against the company.

Coca-Cola has not sought a refund of the $75,000 it gave to the Republican convention, nor has it agreed to refuse to make in-kind contributions.

Other companies are hoping to avoid the controversy altogether. Some trade groups, including ones representing airlines and broadcasters, say they are planning to take a smaller role at both parties’ conventions this year.

In addition to the strong feelings Mr. Trump generates, there are fears that fewer elected officials, to whom sponsors like to gain access at conventions, might attend if Mr. Trump is the nominee.

The question of corporate involvement is not the only challenge: In past campaigns, the Republican standard-bearers and their loyalists have played a big role in shaping and underwriting the party and its convention. But the Republican primaries are not over, and even if Mr. Trump emerges as the nominee, he lacks a traditional fund-raising base.

And for the first time since the Nixon era, federal funds will not be provided to defray the cost of the conventions, putting a greater burden on the parties to raise money.

Conventions are unwieldy productions that often exceed their budgets. In 2012, Mitt Romney’s national finance team helped raise money to cover the costs of the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., and in 2004, when the Republican Party had its convention in New York, Michael R. Bloomberg, the mayor at the time, wrote a personal check to cover the host committee’s shortfall.

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

California voters favor a nuanced approach to immigration problem

Los Angeles Time (California)
By Kate Linthieum
March 31, 2016

Almost two-thirds of California voters believe that illegal immigration is a major problem in the state, but by even larger majorities they reject the idea of mass deportations and favor allowing those currently living in the country without authorization to stay and apply for citizenship.

The latest USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times statewide poll found that 62% of voters said they believed illegal immigration in California is at least a major problem, with 23% calling it a crisis. By contrast, 36% said the issue was a small problem or not a problem at all.

But the state’s voters reject the sorts of measures proposed by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who has called for a deportation force to expel the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.

More than three-fourths of voters said they believed immigrants who are already here should be allowed to stay. Sixty-five percent said such immigrants should be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship, while 14% said they should be allowed to stay and work legally in the country but not apply for citizenship. Only 16% said that they should be required to leave the country.

By more than 2 to 1, voters said they opposed building a wall along the southern U.S. border to prevent immigrants from entering illegally, another hallmark of Trump’s campaign.

“A lot of what has been talked about doesn’t seem viable to most voters,” said pollster Randall Gutermuth of the Republican polling firm American Viewpoint, part of the bipartisan team that conducted the survey for The Times and USC.

Just 36% of Republican voters likely to participate in the state’s primary in June said immigrants already here should be required to leave, he noted. Only 8% of likely voters in the Democratic primary took that position.

“It is definitely not accurate to say that this mass-deportation language is the majority opinion, including of the Republican Party” in California, Gutermuth said.

Republicans, however, are far more likely to see illegal immigration as a serious problem, with half of likely primary voters viewing it as a crisis and another 42% calling it a major problem.

The poll showed that opinions on illegal immigration vary widely depending on age. The significant generational divide suggests immigration could be among the issues that are separating the GOP from younger voters in California.

Older Californians are much more likely than their younger counterparts to view illegal immigration as a crisis, the poll found. While more than a third of voters 65 and older think illegal immigration is a crisis, just 8% of voters age 18 to 29 think that. One in five voters 65 and older favor requiring immigrants in the country illegally to leave, compared with 1 in 10 of those 18 to 29.

That can partly be explained by the fact that younger voters in the state are more likely to be minorities. But even among white voters, there is a big age gap.

Just 10% of whites aged 18 to 29 said they felt there was an immigration crisis, according to the poll, compared with 76% of whites over the age of 64.

Manuel Pastor, director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, said younger voters are more likely to be open-minded toward immigration in part because of how and where they grew up.

“People of color have been the majority in the state of California since 1999,” Pastor said. “Really the debate about immigrants is a debate about identity. And younger people are much more likely than older generations to have experienced some diversity in their schools and their own life.”

That is the case for Jonathan Danielson, 28, a poll respondent who grew up in Palo Alto alongside immigrants and the children of immigrants from Asia and the Middle East. Now an Army officer stationed in Alaska, Danielson serves alongside a diverse group of soldiers who have helped shape his views on immigration, he said.

He believes immigrants who entered the country illegally or overstayed visas should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship.

“If they’re here, and they’re contributing, they deserve a shot,” he said. “I was just born here; that doesn’t make me any better than somebody who risked their lives and traveled thousands of miles to come here.”

For Danielson, even illegal immigration is a positive sign for the country.

“The fact that the U.S. is a draw for people looking to improve their situation seems like a good sign for us,” he said. “Having different perspectives gives you better solutions.”

A Democrat, Danielson said he and some of his peers are turned off from the Republican Party in part because leaders like Trump have demonized immigrants.

“It’s definitely a part of it,” Danielson said. “These guys are still spouting this rhetoric about nameless, faceless immigrants, and we’re going, ‘These people are our friends, we grew up with them,’.” he said.

That is starkly different than the views embraced by John Leary, 71, a retired aerospace engineer who lives outside San Jose and who also responded to the poll.

“These people are criminals. They don’t respect the country,” Leary said of immigrants in the U.S. illegally. “I want them to be put in jail or thrown out of the country. I don’t want to be a person who is supporting criminal activity.”

Leary, who grew up in what he described as a racially insular neighborhood in Philadelphia and moved to California as a young man, said he has been dismayed as the state has grown more Latino.

“It’s rapidly becoming Hispanic because we have huge numbers of criminal Hispanics in the country” as a result of illegal immigration, he said.

Leary said he believes younger voters don’t care as much about illegal immigration because they aren’t shouldering the costs.

“The older voters are paying the taxes,” he said. “The younger generation doesn’t have the responsibilities.”

The California poll findings echoed those of a recent national poll that showed that a generational split on immigration is present among Republican voters across the country.

That poll, published this week by the Public Religion Research Institute, found that younger Republicans are much more likely to have favorable views of immigration and to support a path to citizenship for immigrants in the United States illegally than are older Republican voters. A similar generational divide has shown up among Republicans on issues such as same-sex marriage, polls have shown.

Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, said the USC/Times poll’s findings on immigration could present some opportunities for Republicans.

While the poll found that a majority of voters don’t support mass deportation or a border wall, it highlighted voter concerns about state resources going to immigrants in the country illegally.

The poll found 50% of voters opposed allowing immigrants in the country illegally to qualify for student loans at state universities, compared with 46% who support that. It found that by 52% to 43%, voters opposed extending Medi-Cal, the state healthcare program for low-income families, to all immigrants living here illegally, rather than only children, as is now the law.

Forty-seven percent of voters supported a ban on “sanctuary cities,” which refuse to hand immigrants suspected of being in the U.S. without permission over to federal immigration authorities for deportation after they have been arrested for crimes. Forty-four percent opposed such a ban.

Those findings suggest there could be support for Republicans who oppose such measures, Schnur said.

The USC Dornsife/Times poll was taken by telephone, calling landlines and cellphones, from March 16 through March 23 among 1,503 registered California voters. It was conducted by the Democratic polling firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and the Republican firm American Viewpoint. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points for the full sample, with higher error margins for sub-samples.

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

Texas and other 25 states file misleading brief at Supreme Court

Immigration Impact (Opinion)
By Joshua Breisblatt
March 30, 2016

This week, Texas and the 25 other states challenging the President’s executive actions on immigration filed their brief with the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas. The brief attempts to defend the Fifth Circuit’s decision to block expanded DACA and DAPA from being implemented, but instead makes entirely confusing arguments and sets forth inaccurate statements about immigration law.

The Texas brief begins by spending a significant amount of time on the issue of standing, or the legal capacity to bring the lawsuit. While the states claim four different ways that they have standing in this case the lower courts found that Texas has standing to sue because of additional costs the state might incur to issue drivers’ licenses to individuals granted deferred action. As the states note in the brief, “Texas would lose over $130 per license… Texas therefore would lose millions of dollars if even a small fraction of DAPA-eligible aliens applied for driver’s licenses.”  The Administration states in its brief, filed earlier this month, that these claims “are nothing more than allegations of indirect or incidental effects from the [DAPA] Guidance, not invasions of any legally-protected interest under the Constitution.” In fact, “virtually any administration of federal law by a federal agency could have such effects.”

As the brief continues on, the states try to distinguish expanded DACA and DAPA from other ways in which the immigration agencies may set policy priorities or exercise prosecutorial discretion.  In fact, they do not dispute that the president can create enforcement priorities for removal. The brief even goes so far as to say that, “The Executive has been free all along to issue ‘low-priority’ identification cards to aliens.” What the states object to, and claim is unlawful, is that those who would obtain expanded DACA and DAPA would get work authorization and what they call “lawful presence.” This objection reflects a clear misunderstanding of immigration law.

As Melissa Crow, Legal Director of American Immigration Council, previously explained,

“Well established legal authority makes eligibility for employment authorization automatic for people who receive deferred action. The states’ argument that the government overstepped its bounds by rendering deferred action beneficiaries eligible to work ignores the fact that eligibility stems not from DAPA or expanded DACA, but rather from longstanding, independent legal authority.”

With respect to the “lawful presence” claim, Crow stated, “A grant of deferred action does not confer any other type of lawful immigration status, enforceable legal rights, or an ability to remain permanently in the United States.”  Rather, according to Crow, “‘lawful presence’ is merely a reflection of [the government’s] decision to grant a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion.” 

“Lawful status” and “lawful presence” are two distinct concepts.

In an article published this week, immigration attorney David Leopold further explained that “the concept of ‘lawful presence’ does not exist as a legal concept in the sense that” Texas uses it. Leopold pointed out that the states’ argument that expanded DACA and DAPA unlawfully transform an unlawfully present noncitizen into a noncitizen with lawful immigration status is simply wrong as a matter of law.

Now that the states have filed their brief, those who wish to file an amicus brief (a friend of the court brief) in support of the state’s position have until April 4, 2016 to file.

Oral arguments are scheduled for April 18, 2016, and the Court will likely issue a decision before its current term ends at the end of June 2016. For the sake of the immigrant families whose lives are riding on this decision, let’s hope that the Court makes clear that President Obama, like every President before him dating back to Eisenhower, has the authority to take executive action on immigration.

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

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What the immigration debate means for the White House race

By Judy Woodruff
March 29, 2016

JUDY WOODRUFF: Back to this country and the 2016 presidential race.

We want to take a closer look at significant issues shaping the campaigns, tonight, immigration. The plans for reform range from a tall border wall funded by Mexico to a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living here now.

We dig into the issue and to the role of Latino voters with Mark Krikorian. He’s executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, and the author of the book “The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal.” Frank Sharry, he’s founder of the immigration reform group America’s Voice. And Brittney Parker, she’s a senior officer at the Commonwealth Foundation. It’s a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank that promotes free market ideas.

And we welcome all three of you to the NewsHour.

Mark Krikorian, let me start with you first.

Let’s talk about the Republican candidates for president. What are they saying? How are they differing? At this point, it’s — you have got Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and John Kasich. How do they differ on the subject of immigration?

MARK KRIKORIAN, Center for Immigration Studies: There’s actually a pretty wide range between them.

Kasich is actually probably much closer to the Democratic candidates, wants to amnesty illegal immigrants and increase immigration. Ted Cruz is actually, in a sense, kind of in between, because Trump has said in his published platform he wants to reduce immigration, among other things.

I’m not sure he’s read his own platform, but at least that’s what it says in print. Cruz is kind of in the middle. He’s called for no increases in immigration, reforms in certain programs, toughening of enforcement. So, there is actually a pretty entered range, whereas, on the Democratic side, the two candidates pretty much agree on everything.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Brittney Parker, how do you see the Republican candidates on immigration?

BRITTNEY PARKER, Commonwealth Foundation: Well, the thing is that, unfortunately for Kasich, who is probably most in line with the majority of Republican primary voters, despite what Trump would say, is not many people know what Kasich’s immigration platform is. He just doesn’t capture the headlines the way that Cruz or Trump does.

Cruz, much more in between the two candidates — I agree with Mark on that — but increasingly moving to more hard-line immigration stance, especially compared to where he used to be just a few years ago.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, Frank Sharry, as somebody who is coming at this from the other side of the political spectrum, how do you see voters so far in these Republican primaries responding to these candidates?

FRANK SHARRY, America’s Voice: Look, the animating issue in the immigration debate right now is what to do about 11 million undocumented immigrants who live and work in America.

Trump has gone far beyond anything we have seen, and by saying that he’s going to round up and deport people within 18 to 24 months, a remarkable thing. The wall gets a lot of attention, but the idea that we would have that kind of mass roundup of people who are settled in America, it would be one of the most outrageous human rights violations in the modern world.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But he’s still doing well in the primaries. He’s ahead in delegates.

FRANK SHARRY: He’s still doing well.

So, let’s remember Mitt Romney had a hard-line policy in 2012. It cost him big-time with Latino voters, arguably cost him the election. And that’s why the RNC said, we need a kinder, gentler approach.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Krikorian, let me ask you to put the shoe on the other foot. Looking at the Democratic primaries, how do you see the differences between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and how do you see that breaking…



The interesting thing is, there really isn’t any daylight between them. Hillary was — seems to be moving farther and farther to the left on a variety of issues, obviously, not just immigration, to compete with Sanders. And they both have said in a recent debate explicitly, they said that there is no one they would deport who wasn’t convicted of a violent crime.

In other words, they have said that every illegal immigrant here and every new illegal immigrant would be allowed to stay as long as they’re not convicted of a violent crime. That’s really an extreme, very extreme position. And it’s essentially the same between the two of them.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Brittney Parker, as a Puerto Rican woman who follows these issues very closely, how do you see the Democratic divide, and how concerned are you for the Republican Party that it is not representing the views of those who believe the country needs to be more forgiving and more understanding when it comes to immigration?

BRITTNEY PARKER: Being part of the Latino community, immigration is a top issue. Almost everyone in the Hispanic community knows someone affected by immigration.

And part of the problem that you’re seeing on the right isn’t even the hard-line stances, which, let’s be honest, we’re not going to deport 12 million people. It’s the rhetoric. It’s the selling of outrage in regards to these issues.

It’s a complete turnoff. It just pushes away — people away before they can even start to have the conversation about how to fix the broken immigration system.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Frank Sharry, respond to that, and also to what one often hears about Democrats, that they may be taking the Latino, the Hispanic vote for granted.

FRANK SHARRY: Yes, I’m actually pleased.

I think Mark is right that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are really leaning in, and they’re trying to show the Latino community that they’re on their side, in hopes of a big turnout. And I do think that, you know, they’re exploiting a Republican lurch to the right.

We have never seen the difference between the two parties so wide. And the Latino vote is going to be of consequence in a number of key swing states, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, New Mexico, Virginia. Honestly, this could be — the fact that the Republicans have gone so far towards the extreme on immigration could really hurt them with a critical population that’s going to help decide the election.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Does that worry you, Mark Krikorian?

MARK KRIKORIAN: Well, first of all, I mean, I’m personally Republican. My organization isn’t. So, I mean, I’m looking at this from the outside.

And what Frank is talking about could actually happen. I mean, there’s no question that Donald Trump’s rhetoric, at the very least, raises hackles on the parts of a lot of people.

But, you know, all the political predictions about this election have been wrong up until now. I think there’s a real possibility that the Democratic candidates, in their attempt to pander to Hispanic voters, or at least to Hispanic activist organizations, are actually turning away a lot of their own voters who were otherwise predisposed to vote for a Democrat.

And that’s what you’re seeing, a lot of Trump support coming from people who are otherwise Democrats. So, I think — I really — I don’t think it’s obvious what effect immigration is going to have. We’re all speculating on this. And you’re obviously always speculating until there is an election.

This is much more fluid and much less predictable than at any time in the past.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Brittney Parker, do you agree with that?

BRITTNEY PARKER: I agree that we’re not sure what is going to happen, what exactly the role immigration is going to play in this election.

But I would say that almost every major poll that’s come out does show that the majority of Americans support — do not support deportation of the 12 million, and support some type of immigration reform.

And, yes, about 40 percent of Republican primary voters are supporting Donald Trump and his espoused rhetoric on deportation and lessening legal immigration, but that still leaves 60 percent of Republican primary voters who are not in agreement with his stance and the general electorate. That leaves moderates, libertarians, independents, Democrats, who tend to disagree with Donald Trump on this issue of immigration.

JUDY WOODRUFF: You just made the point, Mark Krikorian, that you are a Republican personally. That’s not representative of your organization.

But what does it mean for the Republican Party if Donald Trump were elected and carried out what he says he’s going to do?

MARK KRIKORIAN: I don’t know. We will see.

First of all, he’s not going to be deporting everybody. This is — the interesting thing is, you know, when they take these exit polls about people supporting a path to citizenship, a lot of the people who are answering yes to that are also Trump’s voters.

In other words, I think people are misunderstanding what this poll question about do you support a path to citizenship means. I support a path to citizenship for some portion of illegal immigrants, so I could be answering yes.

The question is, what do we do before that? How do we make sure that, if we do have an amnesty, it’s the last amnesty? And that — no one trusts regular politicians to legalize illegal immigrants without creating a new problem in the future. And that is what a lot of Trump’s appeal is.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Frank Sharry, what’s the main question for you going into this election when it comes to immigration?

FRANK SHARRY: Are Latinos going to turn out? Are Democrats and progressives going to invest in Latino turnout?

I think it could be a real game-changer for Democrats and progressives in this election. Will Donald Trump get the nomination, and what will he represent to Latinos who are deeply offended when he calls hardworking Mexicans criminals and drug dealers and rapists, when he says — he threatens to take citizenship away from their kids who were born here?

I think we’re going to see a referendum on immigration, on race and inclusion, where Hispanic voters going to be decisive in elections.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we have months to go and much more to unfold about this issue.

We thank you, all three, Frank Sharry, Mark Krikorian and Brittney Parker. Thank you.


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