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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, July 25, 2018

Southwest Airlines wades into politics, joins group in support of 'dreamers'

Dallas Business Journal
By Evan Hoopfer
July 23, 2018

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has joined a group of Texas businesses and chambers of commerce in voicing its support of immigrants who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, initiative.

The group’s support came in the form of a court filing submitted Saturday, which said ending DACA would result in a $6 billion loss to Texas’ annual economic activity. In May, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the United States government in an attempt to end the DACA program.

Other businesses who joined Southwest include United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL), Houston-based Marek Brothers Construction, Inc., and Laredo-based International Bancshares Corp. Several of the state’s Hispanic chambers of commerce — including those in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, the Rio Grande Valley, Midland and El Paso — also voiced their support for DACA.

“Texas businesses count dreamers among their valued customers, employees, and fellow members of the Texas business community, and Southwest Airlines is no exception,” Southwest said in a prepared statement. “We respectfully urge the court to deny the state’s motion for a preliminary injunction.”

The program was created in 2012 by then-President Obama to cover deportation of immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. DACA allows those who meet the criteria, often called dreamers, to apply for two-year work permits, which can be renewed.

There are approximately 126,000 dreamers in Texas, the group’s Saturday filing said, and another estimated 145,000 who may be eligible to qualify for DACA. The filing said that 8 percent of dreamers over the age of 25 end up starting their own businesses, which creates jobs for the Texas economy. If dreamers are deported, Texas would also lose a significant amount of money from the taxes dreamers pay, the group argued.

“If all of Texas’ Dreamers lost their work authorization, it would cost the state $78,260,000 per year in state and local tax revenues,” the filing said. “Asking other Texas taxpayers to make up this shortfall if DACA is enjoined will harm Texas businesses and the larger Texas economy.”

The move for Southwest to join this group comes about a month after the airline spoke up in regard to another political issue. The airline was one of several, including Fort Worth-based American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL), that said it did not want be involved in separating migrant children from their families.

“We appeal to anyone making those types of travel decisions not to utilize Southwest Airlines,” the airline said at the time. “We are a company founded on love, and we want to connect people to what’s important in their lives, not disconnect them.”

Of Southwest’s 57,000 employees, 16,000 of them work in Texas. The airline services 10 cities in the Lone Star state with 500 daily departures.

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

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