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


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

'Even the good hombres are not safe': Federal judge slams Trump deportations

Los Angeles Times 
By Maura Dolan
May 30, 2017

A federal appeals court judge lamented Tuesday that he could not stop the “inhumane” deportation of a successful businessman in Hawaii whose wife and children are U.S. citizens who depend on his support.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reluctantly joined another jurist in rejecting an emergency appeal filed by Magana Ortiz, 43, a longtime coffee grower in Hawaii’s Kona region who has been in the country since the age of 15. He was working to obtain legal status when he was ordered under President Trump’s new border security orders to be deported back to Mexico.

“I concur as a judge, but as a citizen I do not,” Reinhardt wrote in a concurrence to the order rejecting Ortiz’s appeal.

Although he followed the law in Ortiz’s case, Reinhardt wrote separately to express his anguish over the consequences for Ortiz’s family and his bafflement that the U.S. government would deport such a man.

“President Trump has claimed that his immigration policies would target the`bad hombres,’” wrote Reinhardt, a Carter appointee and one of the most liberal federal appeals court judges in the nation. “The government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe.”

Ortiz obtained a stay of deportation in 2014 so he could work toward legal status, Reinhardt said.

Ortiz’s wife, Brenda, filed the necessary legal papers more than a year ago, but action was still pending when President Trump took office. Subsequently, the stay was removed and deportation ordered.

It was unclear why the federal government sought the deportation. Records filed by administration lawyers were not available for public viewing on the court’s docket.

By law, he will be barred from returning to the U.S. for 10 years after deportation, Reinhardt noted.

After starting his own company, Ortiz worked with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in researching pests afflicting Hawaii’s coffee crop and allowed the government to use his farm without charge for a five-year study, facts which Reinhardt noted in his order.

“Magana Ortiz is by all accounts a pillar of his community and a devoted father and husband,” Reinhardt said. “It is difficult to see how the government’s decision to expel him is consistent with the President’s promise of an immigration system with `a lot of heart.’ I find no such compassion in the government’s choice to deport Magana Ortiz.”

Reinhardt traced the deportation to a series of executive orders Trump signed on Jan. 25. They dismantled a system of priorities that had previously guided immigration agents in deciding whom to deport and gave more latitude to individual agents and officers.

The orders have forced undocumented immigrants “to choose between going to work, school, hospitals, and even court, and the risk of being seized,” Reinhardt wrote.

Ortiz has three children, ages 12,14, and 20. The eldest is a student at the University of Hawaii whose education Ortiz pays for, Reinhardt said. None of the children speak Spanish, which would make relocation to Mexico a hardship for the family, the judge said.

If the rest of his family remains in the U.S., “the children would not only lose a parent, but might also be deprived of their home, their opportunity for higher education and their financial support,” Reinhardt said.

“Subjecting vulnerable children to a choice between expulsion to a foreign land or losing the care and support of their father is not how this nation should treat its citizens,” he said.

The U.S. government has conceded that Ortiz has good moral character, Reinhardt wrote. The immigrant has two “apparent” convictions for driving under the influence — the most recent 14 years ago — but no other history of crime.

“All Magana Ortiz asked for in requesting a stay was to remain in this country, his home of almost three decades, while pursuing such routes to legal status,” Reinhardt wrote. “It was fully within the government’s power to once more grant his reasonable request.”

Instead, the judge wrote, “the government forces us to participate in ripping a family apart.”

Other members of the judiciary also have criticized Trump’s immigration policies. California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, a Republican appointee, and two other state chief justices called on the administration this year to stop arresting immigrants at courthouses. They said such actions made immigrants afraid to come to court.

Reinhardt, for his part, used Ortiz’s case to cast a spotlight on the consequences of the administration’s policies. He said said the decision to deport Ortiz diminished the nation and its courts.

“We are unable to prevent Magana Ortiz’s removal, yet it is contrary to the values of this nation and its legal system,” Reinhardt wrote. “Magana Ortiz and his family are in truth not the only victims.”


Twitter: @mauradolan

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

Deportation Fears Silence Some Domestic Violence Victims

By Maya Rhodan
May 30, 2017

Since President Trump took office, the hotlines of the Tahirih Justice Center in Houston, which advocates for victims of sexual and domestic violence, have been inundated with calls.

But the women and men reaching out aren’t just reporting instances of abuse. Executive Director Anne Chandler says callers queries center on one of Trump’s biggest domestic priorities: immigration. During routine screening calls, those seeking help—from sex trafficking victims to those escaping abuse—have asked lawyers if they will report them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“One caller that I was handling—I was simply just trying to coordinate follow up with that client and explaining that I wasn’t going to get to her matter for another week,” Chandler recalls. “She paused and said ‘Are you going to report me to ICE?’ In the past 19 years, I haven’t had a caller ask me at the end of a conversation. The community is scared.”

The Trump Administration has not made life easy for America’s undocumented immigrants. To a large extent, that’s by design. One of President Trump’s first acts in office was signing a pair of executive orders that beefed up enforcement and expanded the list of deportable offenses.

But while Trump has long said he’s most interested in criminals and gang members, the immigrant community has interpreted the president’s rhetoric and reports of increased enforcement, including the arrest of a woman seeking a protective order in an El Paso courthouse, to mean all are at risk. And that anxiety has translated into behavioral shifts among some of the most vulnerable immigrants, including those trapped in violent situations.

A recent survey of over 700 advocates and legal service providers found that 62% have observed an increase in immigration-related questions from survivors of violence. About three-fourths of those surveyed said immigrants have expressed concern about contacting police and appearing in court. “I know that there’s a survivor today who is not making the call or the neighbor is not making the call to 911,” says Chandler. “And I know that because of the phone calls I’m receiving and the client stories that I’m hearing from our attorneys. It’s not speculation.”

Homeland Security chief John Kelly has said being in the U.S. illegally doesn’t necessarily get you targeted. “It’s gotta be something else.” And according to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement about 75% of the 41,000 individuals they’d arrested between January and April 2017 were criminals. Yet, that same data revealed a 150% increase in non-criminal arrests compared to the same period last year. Kelly says the so-called non-criminals are not innocents; they include multiple deportees and fugitives. “Seventy-five percent are indeed criminals,” he said. “The other 25% are not the valedictorians of their high school class.”

But concern about the law has already consumed the community. Libby Hasse, a staff attorney at Tahirih’s Houston branch, says she’s heard a lot from a client who is a survivor of sex trafficking who watches a lot of Spanish-language news and has shown concern about what’s happening in the state. “Pretty much every time I’ve talked to her she asks if she’s going to be deported now,” she says.

Law enforcement officials are noticing changes too. As of March in Los Angeles, police reported a 10% drop in reports of domestic violence and a 25% drop in reports of rape among the cities Latinos compared to the year before. The police department noticed no similar drops among other communities of color and it believes “deportation fears” may be keeping victims from the Hispanic community from coming forward. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo noted a 42.8% decline in rapes reported by Latinos compared to the year before and a 13% drop in all violent crime reported by Latinos.

“When you see this type of data, and what looks like the beginnings of people not reporting crime, we should all be concerned,” Acevedo said.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed a controversial law that allows police officers to ask about immigration status during lawful detainment. The law sparked a backlash from police chiefs in major cities who argued the law could make immigrants distrust police and keep them from identifying criminals throughout their communities. It’s happened before, says the Migration Police Institute’s Muzaffar Chishti. Under Arizona’s infamous “show me your papers” law, he says there was definitely an “erosion of trust” between communities and police. But Abbott has accused opponents of the law of fear mongering insisting that those who have not committed crimes have nothing to fear.

“The objective of SB 4 is to identify dangerous criminals, not detain hardworking families or innocent children,” he wrote in a recent op-ed with the sheriff of Hidalgo County and the McAllen police chief. Officials and activists have promised a “summer of resistance” in the lead up to its implementation on Sept. 1, but the atmosphere is already pretty contentious. Before the Texas legislative session ended, a fight broke out between a Republican and a Democratic lawmaker over the law’s protesters.

Despite the confusion, victims of crime are still protected under the law.

“When carrying out the immigration law enforcement mission, ICE remains sensitive to the needs of victims and witnesses of crimes. ICE officers will take into consideration if an individual is the immediate victim or witness to a crime in determining whether to take enforcement action,” ICE spokesman Jennifer Elzea says. “Particular attention is paid to victims of domestic violence, human trafficking or other serious crimes.” Crime victims and witnesses are also eligible for a special non-immigrant visa, the U-Visa, which was created for those who specifically for survivors who cooperate with law enforcement.

Ana, an undocumented woman from Mexico who survived years of abuse at the hand of her ex-boyfriend, has applied for a U-visa. About two years ago, she lived with an abusive boyfriend who beat her, raped her and threatened her life and the lives of her immediate family. He’d punch holes in the walls of their house, when he wasn’t using his force on her face and body, she says, and warned her that if she went to the police he’d hurt her young daughters.

“Anything that I had of value he would take it away from me,” she says. “But he also stole my dreams, he stole my hopes. He stole everything. I still live with the impact of that trauma. I still have nightmares. I’m not normal.”

She sought help from Casa de Esperanza, a Minnesota-based domestic violence advocacy organization. Through Casa, she went to support groups and shared her story. Their lawyers helped her through the process and went with her to court. Now, she’s anxiously waiting for her visa. She hopes that with it, that she would able to fulfill her dreams of getting an education and buying a house she can live in with her daughters. Her oldest, age 7, wants to get a dog, too. But she’s worried. And she’s afraid that women in situations similar to hers, those who don’t yet have the strength or resources to walk away, will be worse off than she is.

“These women are not only afraid of their abuser, but they have more and more fear,” she says. “You have men who are abusers who they feel more empowered to take advantage of their victims.”

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

Man Faces Deportation After Failing to Pay Fare on Minneapolis Light Rail

New York Times 
By Matt Stevens
May 30, 2017

A man who was arrested and charged with failing to pay his fare on a Minnesota light rail train is facing deportation after undergoing what the authorities described as inappropriate questioning about his immigration status by a transit police officer.

The encounter, which took place in Minneapolis on May 14, was captured on a video that was posted to Facebook on May 19. In it, an officer approaches the man, identified in a police report as Ariel Vences-Lopez, 23, and requests his name and state identification.

“Are you here illegally?” the officer asks.

A bystander who appears to be the person filming the interaction asks whether he or other transit police officers are authorized to act as immigration authorities.

The officer shrugs, and replies, “No, not necessarily.”

A 2003 ordinance adopted by Minneapolis prohibits police officers from asking about immigration status unless it is clearly relevant to a criminal investigation.

According to the Metro Transit Police Department’s incident report, an officer identified as Andy Lamers also used a Taser on Mr. Vences-Lopez, an action not captured in the 35-second video, after he refused orders to sit.

The report identified Mr. Lamers as the “primary” officer involved in the episode. In a telephone interview on Saturday, a department spokesman would not say whether Mr. Lamers was the officer who questioned Mr. Vences-Lopez on the video. A statement on Saturday from the transit police chief, John Harrington, also did not identify the officer.

The statement said the officer in the video was “no longer an employee of the Metro Transit Police Department.”

A department spokesman, Howie Padilla, said that the change in employment status was effective as of Friday but would not elaborate or say specifically whether the officer had been fired. Mr. Lamers could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday.

An official from the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association was not immediately available to comment on Tuesday.

Mr. Vences-Lopez was booked on charges of suspicion of committing fare evasion, giving a false name and obstructing an officer, according to the incident report.

In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its officers placed an immigration detainer on May 15 with the Hennepin County Jail on Mr. Vences-Lopez, who is from Mexico, and he was transferred to ICE custody the next day.

On May 23, a federal immigration judge issued a deportation order, and Mr. Vences-Lopez will remain in ICE custody pending his removal, the statement said.

ICE said it is routinely notified when a foreign national is booked into a county jail.

The chief pointed out in his statement that the shift in custody happened three days before the video of the passenger’s exchange with the officer was posted on Facebook.

“There was no reference to his immigration status in the police reports, nor did MTPD notify ICE or any other agency of any immigration-related concerns,” Chief Harrington said.

The chief said the department had hoped to explore other options for Mr. Vences-Lopez, such as a diversion program rather than a court appearance.

“Our policies and procedures reflect our commitment that our officers will not act as immigration officers,” he said, adding that departmental policies had been updated to “explicitly state that Metro Transit officers will ‘ensure equal enforcement of the law and equal service to all persons regardless of their immigration status.’”

“We also are working to re-establish the trust that was broken by this isolated incident,” he added.

In a statement on Saturday, Adam Duininck, chairman of the Metropolitan Council that oversees Metro Transit, said he was “shocked and dismayed” to learn that Mr. Vences-Lopez was in ICE custody and scheduled for deportation.

He said he had hoped that the rider would be placed in a diversion program or have the charges dropped.

“I believe we had an officer make a serious mistake,” he said. “Frankly, I — and all our council members — expect more from our training and our department. It is troubling that something that started as a routine fare check resulted in a pending deportation.”

Christopher Mele contributed reporting.

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

Texas Dem denies threatening colleague on legislature floor

The Hill 
By Max Greenwood
May 30, 2017

A Democratic Texas state representative flatly denied on Tuesday that he had threatened one of his Republican colleagues during a massive protest at the state capitol a day earlier.

Texas state Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R) accused state Rep. Alfonso “Poncho” Nevárez (D) in a Monday Facebook post of threatening his life, after Rinaldi called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on protesters in the state capitol whom he believed to be undocumented immigrants.

But Nevárez said on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday that he did not threaten Rinaldi, and, in fact, accused the Republican of saying he was going to “put a bullet in my brain.”

“A little scuffle broke out, and I got in there and when I realized what it was about and what he was doing and saying, you know, I got in his face and I put my hands on the guy,” Nevárez recounted. “And I asked him, ‘These are things that shouldn’t happen on the House floor; it’s a break in decorum, we shouldn’t be doing that.'”

“And so in that and another exchange, I said, you know, we need to take this outside, because it’s not going to get — it shouldn’t get resolved here in front of all these people,” he continued.

Nevárez also acknowledged that the protesters in the capitol on Monday became “unruly,” but defended their actions, arguing that they might not be familiar with the rules of the legislature.

“They showed up at the state house and granted they were a little unruly and they may not know the rules of the chamber, but they were there acting on democracy,” he said. “And if anything died yesterday, it wasn’t democracy, it was decorum.”

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

Texas Lawmakers Trade Assault Allegations After One Calls ICE On Protesters

By Colin Dwyer
May 29, 2017

By the end of the state legislative session in Texas on Monday, the Capitol had devolved into scuffles and grave accusations. A Democratic lawmaker had accused his GOP colleague of threatening to “put a bullet” in another lawmaker’s head. That GOP state representative, meanwhile, accused a counterpart of threatening his life, saying he was prepared to use his gun in self-defense.

To understand how the day ended this way, one must first rewind to its start.

Earlier Monday, demonstrators gathered in the Capitol to protest a recently signed law aimed at what have come to be known as “sanctuary cities” — or cities that, as NPR’s Nina Totenberg put it, “have limited their cooperation with federal immigration authorities.” Earlier this month Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law, which also allows “police to inquire about the immigration status of anyone they detain, a situation that can range from arrest for a crime to being stopped for a traffic violation,” according to The Associated Press.

Protesters from around the state descended on the Legislature, first watching Monday’s session in silence then gradually growing louder. The demonstrators, many of whom were Latino and dressed in red, shouted slogans from the second-floor viewing area, eventually interrupting the proceedings below.

It’s about this time that decorum on the floor began to break down and later descriptions of the incident begin to diverge.

GOP state Rep. Matt Rinaldi says he called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the protesters, several of whom carried signs proclaiming “I am illegal and here to stay.”

Later, he told the Texas Tribune he did it “to incentivize them to leave the House.” He added: “They were disrupting. They were breaking the law.”

After he placed the call, he says he simply told his Democratic colleagues he did so.

Those Democratic colleagues, however, remember that conversation very differently.

“He came up to us and said, ‘I’m glad I just called ICE to have all these people deported,'” state Rep. César Blanco said at a news conference after the incident, according to the Tribune. State Rep. Ramon Romero recalls blunter language: “He said, ‘I called ICE — f*** them.’ ”

At this point, Rinaldi says that Romero “physically assaulted” him, and that another Democratic lawmaker, Poncho Nevarez, threatened to “get” Rinaldi on his way to his car.

“I made it clear,” Rinaldi said in a statement posted on Twitter, “that if he attempted to, in his words, ‘get me,’ I would shoot him in self defense.”

In the midst of the scuffle, which was recorded on video by several bystanders, Democratic Rep. Justin Rodriguez says he heard Rinaldi say something rather different to his colleague: “I’ll put a bullet in his head.”

And Nevarez made quite clear on Twitter what he thinks of Rinaldi’s account of the scrum: “He’s a liar and a hateful man.”

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

Heated argument erupts on Texas House floor

By Jamiel Lynch
May 29, 2017

(CNN) A heated argument erupted between legislators at the Texas Capitol Monday afternoon, after one state representative claimed he called US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on protesters.

On the last day of the legislature’s regular session, hundreds of protesters packed into the Capitol rotunda to protest Senate Bill 4, the sanctuary city legislation that was passed and signed by Governor Greg Abbott earlier this month. The new law bans sanctuary cities and punishes local governments that don’t comply with immigration laws and detention requests.

Republican Rep. Matt Rinaldi said in a Facebook post that he called ICE on the protesters, some of whom he said were holding signs that read “I am illegal and here to stay.”

ICE said that “local enforcement and removal officers received no such call from local lawmakers.”

After Rinaldi told some Democratic representatives that he had called ICE, the Republican representative claimed that one legislator “physically assaulted” him and that another threatened him verbally. Rinaldi said he replied that he would shoot the Democrat in self defense.

“Today, Representative Poncho Nevarez threatened my life on the House floor after I called ICE on several illegal immigrants who held signs in the gallery … When I told the Democrats I called ICE, Representative Ramon Romero physically assaulted me, and other Democrats were held back by colleagues. During that time Poncho told me he would ‘get me on the way to my car.’ He later approached me and reiterated that “I had to leave at some point and he would get me,” Rinaldi wrote.

“I made it clear that if he attempted to, in his words, ‘get me,’ I would shoot him in self defense,” he added.

Romero said that he did not assault Rinaldi, and that he and other representatives were disgusted with Rinaldi’s actions.

“Matt Rinaldi looked into a House gallery full of Americans exercising their first amendment rights against SB4 — Americans of all ages and ethnicities — and he saw only ‘illegals,'” Romero said in a statement.

Pedro Paredes joins hundreds of protesters lining the balconies of the state Capitol rotunda in Austin on Monday May 29, 2017.

“Let me be clear, this was a personal attack on me as a son of Mexican immigrants. I voiced my feelings. Countless members witnessed ‘the scuffle,’ and they will all tell you no assault occurred,” he said.

On Twitter, Nevarez called Rinaldi “a liar and a hateful man.”

“The guy made a very stupid comment. He’s a racist. He’s a bad person and we’re not going to allow people like that to get away with saying comments like that because they think nothing is going to happen to them,” he told CNN affiliate KXAN.

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

Republicans look to fulfill Trump's vow on 'Kate's Law'

The Hill 
By Lydia Wheeler
May 31, 2017

Republicans are going on the offensive with “Kate’s Law,” seeking to fulfill one of President Trump’s most high-profile promises while putting Democrats on defense over illegal immigration.

During the presidential campaign, Trump highlighted the murder of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle, who was shot by a Mexican immigrant who had unlawfully re-entered the country after being convicted of a separate crime and deported.

Now, Republicans are working on legislation to impose a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence for immigrants who have twice been charged with illegally re-entering the country or have prior aggravated felony convictions.

Language for Kate’s Law is tucked into a border security bill that Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) are working on, according to a draft copy reviewed by The Hill.

The bill, which Senate Democrats successfully blocked in 2015 and 2016, is a priority for Trump.

A May 2 tweet from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach shows him and White House strategist Stephen Bannon standing in front of a whiteboard with Bannon’s to-do list. The words “pass ‘Kate’s law’” are visible under the header “Pledges on Immigration.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the Republican proposal.

In addition to Kate’s Law, the larger border security bill includes provisions to add 10,000 detention beds each year for the next four years, increase the number of border patrol agents from 21,000 to 26,370 and require U.S. attorneys to prosecute people who are caught within 100 miles of crossing the southern border.

Greg Chen, director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said Cornyn and McCaul’s bill goes “hand in hand” with Trump’s overall mass deportation plan.

“It’s a one-size-fits-all justice that is going to produce sentences that don’t fit the person’s circumstances or facts of life,” Chen said. “People who have lived here a long time may go to visit family in Mexico and then get picked up on the way back in.”

While Republicans appear to be pushing the measure in the name of national security, immigration advocates claim Democrats are on strong footing to once again oppose the proposal.

Philip Wolgin, managing director for the immigration policy team at the liberal Center for American Progress, claims Trump’s tougher stance on immigration enforcement has actually made communities more dangerous because fewer immigrants are willing to report rape, sexual assault and crimes to police.

“It’s laughable you could claim this is about national security or community safety,” he said.

A March McClatchy-Marist survey found that 80 percent of Americans favor providing a way for undocumented immigrants to gain legal U.S. citizenship if they meet certain criteria.

The poll found that opinion to be bipartisan, with 69 percent of Republicans saying they would favor such a move if undocumented immigrants learn English, pay fines and have jobs that pay taxes.

In a statement to The Hill, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), who chairs the Immigration Taskforce of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said Cornyn has forged a partnership with GOP opponents of legal immigration to help thwart immigration reforms that would improve border security and increase overall legality and accountability.

“I’m sure whatever he and Rep. McCaul come up with will be popular with the White House and Trump’s base, but the problem they face is that American voters think we need more practical solutions than walls and round-ups,” he said.

Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that supports Kate’s Law, said there has to be more of a deterrent for people who re-enter the country illegally.

“If people understand [that] if they get caught they might go to prison, then they might not try to come back,” he said. “We might not have as many people going to prison because the threat of getting caught is enough to stop them from coming in the first place.”

Mehlman said illegal border crossings are already down under Trump, noting that the first brick of his much-touted proposed border wall has yet to be laid.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly reported in February that unauthorized border crossings were down 40 percent following Trump’s first full month in office.

“Illegal aliens are rational people, and they come when they don’t think we are enforcing our laws,” Mehlman said. “It’s our policies that have been irrational up until fairly recently.”

Lynn Tramonte, deputy director of the liberal America’s Voice, wonders if Cornyn and McCaul included Kate’s Law to get groups supportive of reduced immigration to back their border bill.

“The problem is, the more radical they make their bill, the less likely it is to pass,” she said in a statement to The Hill. “Our immigration laws are already harsh and extreme. They already bend toward deportation over family unification.”

At some point, Tramonte said, reasonable minds in the Senate will be forced to ask a key question: Do we really need more punishing immigration laws?

“If Cornyn and McCaul wanted to work on real solutions, they would work on reform that includes a path to citizenship for aspiring Americans,” she said. “That’s the type of change in law that would actually move this country forward.”

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

White Nationalist Who Shoved a Black Protester Blames Trump

Teen Vogue 
By Suzannah Weiss
May 28, 2017

Matthew Heimbach, who was caught on film shoving a black protester at a Louisville, Kentucky rally for then-candidate Donald Trump rally, filed a lawsuit last month blaming Trump for inciting his actions. In the suit, Heimbach claims that he was acting “pursuant to the directives and requests of” Trump, who yelled “Get ’em outta here!” when the crowd shouted at protesters. The suit points out that Trump also told supporters at an Iowa rally to “knock the crap out of” protesters, and promised to pay their legal fees.

Kashiya Nwanguma, the woman Heimbach allegedly pushed, accused him of assault and battery in her own lawsuit, according to the New York Times, a filing that also argues that Trump is liable for the shoving. The president challenged this suit, but a judge ruled that he had in fact been “reckless” for egging on the crowd.

Both these lawsuits reflect a pattern: Trump’s election does appear to have encouraged discrimination and hate crimes. New York Police Department reported 42% more hate crimes between November 8 and February 19 than it did a year before, and 72% of them were antisemitic. This uptick was observed throughout the country: Nine big U.S. cities saw a 20% increase in hate crimes last year. In November, the Trump Hate Map had recorded more than 140 incidents “where Donald Trump, his supporters, or his staff harassed or attacked Latinos and immigrants.”

Mother Jones writer Wes Enzinna said he witnessed Heimbach’s evolution from someone who disavowed Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan to an outright white nationalist, which he takes as further evidence that Trump has fueled white supremacy. Heimbach’s lawsuit is “a revealing indication of the far right’s symbiotic relationship with Trump,” he wrote. “White nationalists, apparently, really do believe the president has been nudging them to commit violence, or at least promising to tolerate it if they do.”

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

Supreme Court Roundup: Justices Rule on Excessive Force and in Immigration Case

New York Times 
By Adam Liptak
May 30, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of police officers who had been sued for using excessive force and an immigrant who had faced deportation for statutory rape. The justices also agreed to decide whether Ohio had been to aggressive in purging its voter rolls.

Excessive Force

In a unanimous decision, the justices ruled that an appeals court had used the wrong standard in sustaining a $4 million judgment against two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.

The case arose from a confrontation in 2010. The deputies, searching for a criminal suspect, entered a shack without a warrant while its two occupants were napping. When one of them, Angel Mendez, picked up a BB gun, the deputies shot him and his pregnant companion, Jennifer Garcia. They sustained serious injuries, and part of Mr. Mendez’s right leg was amputated.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, assumed that the use of force by the deputies had been reasonable once they were inside the shack. But the court said the deputies could nonetheless be sued because they had provoked the confrontation by entering the shack without a warrant.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the Supreme Court, rejected that theory. “The rule’s fundamental flaw is that it uses another constitutional violation to manufacture an excessive force claim where one would not otherwise exist,” he wrote.

The justices returned the case, County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, No. 16-369, to the appeals court for further proceedings, suggesting that the award might be sustained on a different theory.

“For example,” Justice Alito wrote, “if the plaintiffs in this case cannot recover on their excessive force claim, that will not foreclose recovery for injuries proximately caused by the warrantless entry.”


In a second unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that people convicted of having consensual sex with youths over 16 are not subject to mandatory deportation.

The case concerned Juan Esquivel-Quintana, a lawful permanent resident who pleaded no contest in 2009 in California to “unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger.” Under California law, a minor is a person under 18. Over the five months of their relationship. Mr. Esquivel-Quintana was 20 or 21, and the minor was 16.

The federal government sought to deport him under a federal law that calls for removal of people who have committed aggravated felonies, including “sexual abuse of a minor.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the court, surveyed the laws of other states as of 1996, when the federal law was enacted.

“Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia set the age of consent at 16 for statutory rape offenses that hinged solely on the age of the participants,” he wrote. “As for the other states, one set the age of consent at 14; two set the age of consent at 15; six set the age of consent at 17; and the remaining ten, including California, set the age of consent at 18.”

Justice Thomas concluded that the federal law, like that in most states, should treat the age of consent as 16, at least where the sex was consensual.

“Absent some special relationship of trust, consensual sexual conduct involving a younger partner who is at least 16 years of age does not qualify as sexual abuse of a minor” under the federal law, he wrote, “regardless of the age differential between the two participants.”

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch did not participate in either decision.

Voter Rolls

The court agreed to decide whether officials in Ohio had been too aggressive in culling the state’s voter rolls.

Federal laws generally prohibit states from removing people from voter rolls “by reason of the person’s failure to vote.” But they make an exception where the state sends voters a confirmation notice to which they do not respond and then do not vote in the next two federal general elections.

Ohio sends confirmation notices to people who fail to vote over a two-year period and then removes them from the rolls if they do not respond and do not vote in the next four years.

A divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled that the state had violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 by using the failure to vote as a “trigger” for sending the confirmation notices.

In urging the Supreme Court to hear the case, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, No. 16-980, state officials said the appeals court had done damage the integrity of the voting rolls.

“The Sixth Circuit’s decision makes it harder for states to conduct what all can agree is a critical activity — removing ineligible voters from registration lists — by eliminating one method for doing so,” the officials’ brief said.

Freda Levenson, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, said the state’s “purge of eligible voters had served as a powerful mechanism of voter suppression” and removed “hundreds of thousands of people from the voter rolls simply because they have exercised their right not to vote in a few elections.”

But Hans von Spakovsky, a lawyer with the Heritage Foundation, said Ohio’s procedures were “essential to election integrity.”

“The Sixth Circuit’s total misinterpretation of federal law damages the ability of election officials to maintain the accuracy and security of their voter rolls,” he said.

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