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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


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Exclusive: 344 groups call on Biden administration to halt deportations to Haiti


Exclusive: 344 groups call on Biden administration to halt deportations to Haiti
© Getty

A broad coalition of organizations on Monday called on the Biden administration to expand relief for Haitian migrants, including halting all deportations to the country.

In a letter to President Biden and his top foreign policy and immigration officials, 344 groups said they are "alarmed" that deportation flights to Haiti have proceeded, even after the political and natural crises that have hit the Caribbean nation.

Haiti was hit by an earthquake on Aug. 14 that destroyed around 120,000 homes, killed 2,200 people and injured another 12,000.

Haiti, which has long been the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, was still reeling from the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7 when the earthquake hit.

Still, deportation flights to the country have continued, according to the letter's signatories, with at least 130 people deported to the country since Moïse's assassination, including some infants.

"Since February 1, 2021, the Administration sent at least 37 deportation flights to Haiti, even as your officials acknowledged internally that those being deported 'may face harm' on return and the COVID-19 pandemic raged," wrote the groups.

"By March, the Biden-Harris Administration had removed more Haitians since taking office than during all of fiscal year 2020," they added.

The Biden administration has taken some steps to protect Haitian migrants, most notably expanding the country's Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation in May.

That expansion potentially tripled the number of Haitian nationals allowed to remain and work in the United States, with up to 150,000 Haitians eligible for the program.

“The Biden administration already acknowledged how dire the circumstances were in Haiti prior to the earthquake when it redesignated Haiti for TPS. How can they justify any deportations to Haiti now?” said Gabrielle Apollon, supervising attorney and Haiti Project Co-Director at the NYU School of Law's Global Justice Clinic.

“Deportations should have been halted since COVID-19 began ravaging our world. Halting deportations to Haiti immediately is the least the Biden administration can do to affirm that Black immigrant lives matter,” added Apollon.

Still, many Haitians who had fled their country to reach the United States are stuck in Mexico along the U.S. border and face poverty, criminality and the potential for deportation from Mexico back to an unstable Haiti.

The advocates in the letter called on the Biden administration to grant humanitarian parole to allow Haitians stranded in Mexico to enter the United States, as well as protection for migrants who don't qualify for TPS and the release of Haitians from immigration detention.

The United States has previously halted deportations to countries that are deemed too dangerous or unstable to receive deportees, including Haiti.

During the Obama administration, while Biden was vice president, deportations to Haiti were halted twice: Once in 2010 after an earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, and once in October 2016 after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti.

“Is the goal of the U.S. government to continue to contribute to the destabilization of Haiti?” said Guerline Jozef, executive director of Haitian Bridge Alliance.

“President Biden stated that the United States will continue to be a 'close and enduring friend to the people of Haiti.' Words are empty unless proven by action. We call for the administration to act for the people of Haiti and to end the external violence that continues to deepen the instability in Haiti,” added Jozef. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Monday, August 30, 2021

Advocates frustrated with administration as green cards poised to expire


The clock is running out on more than 100,000 employment-based green cards that the Biden administration could — but likely won't — issue before the end of the fiscal year.

The green cards, or permanent residency permits, are available for the administration to dole out to eligible immigrants but will expire on Sept. 30.

President Biden's pro-immigrant rhetoric has contrasted with former President Trump's restrictionist stance. But thus far, the administration has shown no signs that it will expend political capital to assign the expiring green cards, frustrating immigration advocates.

"It's a question of willingness. Are you going to be willing to take the risk on someone trying to stop you in court or not? And obviously they're not willing to risk litigation on behalf of this population," said David Bier, an immigration researcher at the Cato Institute.

Nearly 90 percent of the immigrants who would be eligible for the expiring tranche of green cards are Indian nationals currently on temporary work visas. They face decades-long wait times to receive permanent residency.

Those wait times are essentially baked into the immigration system, as country caps established in statute have combined with high demand for green cards from Indian nationals, many of whom are already in the United States under work visas such as the H-1B.

Advocates are growing increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of adjudication and want United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — the agency that grants visas, permanent residency permits and naturalizations — to fast-track applications, making use of green cards that were left unclaimed because of the pandemic and Trump administration policies.

"There's two reasons there's far more green cards available this year for employment-based immigrants than in prior years, because so few family-based green cards were used last year, and any unused family-based green cards get added to the employment-based limit for the following year," said Bier.

"The second reason is that the government did almost nothing to increase the speed of adjudications in order to meet the increased demand," he added.

Under Biden, USCIS has made a series of changes to speed up and simplify green card applications, particularly for foreign nationals who seek to change their status from a work visa.

In practical terms, one of the most significant changes has been extending the validity of a medical examination from two to four years, a measure that especially helps Indian nationals stuck in the green card queue who must resubmit their visa and green card applications yearly.

USCIS also has new leadership under Ur Jaddou, who was confirmed by the Senate as director in early August.

Jaddou, in contrast to her predecessors under the Trump administration, has specific USCIS experience: She was the agency's chief counsel in the Obama administration and worked as a pro-immigrant advocate during the Trump years.

Still, USCIS is primarily fee-funded, and it's still recovering from a drop in receipts caused by fewer applications submitted during the pandemic, which, in turn, caused a hiring freeze that further slowed visa and green card processing.

The slowdowns have opened USCIS and other Biden immigration officials to criticism from defenders of various immigrant groups as frustration grows over visas and green cards that advocates say could be released.

"We have several cases that have continued against the Biden administration regarding unused visas," said Marisa Limón Garza, deputy director of Hope Border Institute.

Limón said that the Biden administration has continued Trump-era litigation and has been slow to issue visas under the Diversity Visa Program.

The Diversity Visa Program grants immigration benefits to citizens of countries that have historically low levels of immigration to the United States.

The Trump administration tried to draw down the program, which in large part benefits migrants from majority-Muslim and majority-Black countries. The move was broadly criticized by Democrats and immigrant advocates.

Limón said advocates won a court victory against the administration to issue more than 9,000 additional visas, including 921 for Afghan citizens, but the administration has yet to issue the documents.

"There is no reason why this administration who, number one, has promoted that they will take the steps that are necessary to make sure that our Afghan allies and refugees and asylum-seekers are evacuated from Afghanistan and, two, that they promote the diversity visa program should continue to stand in the way of a court order that would finally allow for some relief," said Limón.

Still, the challenges that led to USCIS's slowdown have not subsided, and other agencies play a role in the immigration system as well.

For visa applications where the foreign national is abroad, the State Department has to interview applicants at consulates, many of which are still subject to pandemic closures and restrictions.

Congress has also played with the idea of recovering some of the green cards and returning them to the family-based system where they originated before going unused. Such a measure would preserve the absolute number of green cards but do little for the Indian nationals seeking adjustment of status.

USCIS under Biden and now Jaddou has increased the clip at which it issues green cards, but advocates say it will need to take more drastic action to waste fewer permits this fiscal year and to assign all available permits next year, when a similar glut is expected.

"You'd be talking about an astronomical increase in the rate of adjudications, so much faster is nice, but ultimately it's going to take drastic action, not slightly smoothing out the bureaucratic hurdles," said Bier.

Updated 9:23 a.m.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Biden directs DHS to take lead on resettling Afghan refugees


Biden directs DHS to take lead on resettling Afghan refugees
© Greg Nash

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Sunday announced it has been directed by President Biden to take the lead in resettling refugees who have been evacuated out of Afghanistan to escape the Taliban.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that Robert J. Fenton Jr. will lead the Unified Coordination Group. The group will take charge of multiple services as part of the resettlement effort including immigration processing, COVID-19 testing and resettlement support.

Fenton has worked at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) since 1996 and currently serves as regional administrator for FEMA region nine. Before 2015, he also served as deputy associate administrator in the Office of Response and Recovery at FEMA. He has participated in several large-scale recovery operations, including following Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

“I am honored by the confidence placed in me and I am privileged to be able to contribute to this vital mission,” Fenton said in the announcement.

“The Department of Homeland Security is prepared to serve as the lead federal agency coordinating efforts across the federal government to welcome vulnerable Afghans to our Nation in a way that is consistent with our laws and our values,” Mayorkas said in a press release.

“This mission reflects the best of who we are as a country and our Department is honored by the trust the President has placed in us. There is no one better than Bob Fenton to help lead our efforts," Mayorkas added. "Bob has dedicated his career to public service and has decades of experience managing complex and critically important missions. He will help lead this interagency effort with incredible adeptness and the highest standards of honor and integrity.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said the U.S. has evacuated more than 110,000 people from Kabul since the Taliban overthrew Afghanistan's government.

"The very significant majority of those people are Afghans, and of those Afghans who’ve been evacuated, there are thousands upon thousands who are Special Immigrant Visa program members – that is, the people who worked side-by-side directly for our diplomats, directly for our troops over the years," Blinken said while appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press."

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Supreme Court rebuffs Biden over Trump-era 'Remain in Mexico' policy


The Supreme Court on Tuesday rebuffed the Biden administration's effort to halt the reinstatement of a controversial Trump-era immigration measure known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

In a brief order that broke along familiar ideological lines, the conservative-majority court declined to intervene after a lower court revived the policy, which requires asylum-seekers at the southern border to stay in Mexico while their applications are processed.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the administration had failed to show it was likely to ultimately prevail in defending the lawfulness of its decision to rescind the Trump measure, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Alito, who handles emergency requests from Texas, referred the matter to the court. None of his fellow conservative justices commented on the matter, though the court’s three liberals indicated they would have granted the administration’s request.

The court’s move comes after a federal judge in Texas ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the program in response to a lawsuit by the attorneys general of Texas and Missouri. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit let stand that ruling, prompting the Biden administration’s emergency request to the justices.

Former President Trump’s policy, implemented in 2019, blocked migrants at the Mexican border from entering the U.S. to apply for asylum, leaving what the Biden administration estimates is now around 25,000 people awaiting their fates in Mexico.

More than 60,000 asylum-seekers were returned to Mexico under the MPP, a departure from previous practice of allowing those fleeing violence to cross the border and apply for asylum within the U.S.

The Biden administration sought to formally end the Trump-era policy in June, which was spelled out in a memorandum by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

But earlier this month, Texas-based U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, ruled that the Biden administration had failed to provide a legally adequate rationale for its rescission and ordered that the policy would have to remain in place until the administration undergoes a lengthy administrative procedure to overturn it.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Monday, August 23, 2021

Mayorkas meets with parents of separated families


Mayorkas meets with parents of separated families
© Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Friday met virtually with seven parents who were separated from their children at the border under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy.

The parents, from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, were reunified with their families through the Biden administration's Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families.

The meeting, organized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and advocacy groups, was also attended by task force Director Michelle Brané.

"The Secretary was clear in recognizing our responsibility," said Brané.

"He apologized to the families for what the government did and is dedicated to supporting them as they move forward with their lives, recognizing that the harm cannot be undone, and that some of the emotional scars will stay with them. He encouraged them to move forward and committed to helping them to do so," she added.

The parents asked Mayorkas and Brané to support other families affected by the short-lived Trump administration policy, including by providing legal pathways to remain in the United States.

“The government has the power to change the lives of asylum seekers like myself, and recognize the pain and trauma families like ours have been through by providing us with support. My son and I deserve green cards. We deserve the peace of mind of being able to live in the U.S. safely and together without the fear of being torn apart again,” said Leticia Peren, a Guatemalan mother who was separated from her son for more than two years.

"The Secretary was clear in expressing to the families that we have an obligation to support them and that we are doing everything we can to get them support, to look at ways of providing them with the permanent status. We may need legislative support for that. We're looking at all the options and are very dedicated to continuing to do so until we find a solution for these families," said Brané.

According to the meeting's organizers, Friday's conversation was the first time in history that a sitting Homeland Security secretary met with prospective asylum-seekers.

According to a readout of the meeting released by DHS, the officials committed to finding "a long-term status option for families and … efforts underway to ensure that family separations never occur again."

Along with Peren, Mayorkas and Brané met with Angela, a Guatemalan grandmother who was separated from her daughter and grandsons at the border, and later from her then-minor daughter as well.

Angela was twice deported and spent more than a year in detention, and denied communication with her daughter for more than three months.

"I’d like to ask the secretary to allow us and our children to be able to stay in the United States, because we are still in danger in our home countries. And to please help the parents who are still separated from their children,” said Angela.

“I know the intense pain of being separated from my children and I want all the parents to have the same joy I have at being with my family,” she added.

The officials also met Keldy, a Honduran mother who spent two years in immigration custody before being deported, Wilson, a Honduran father who was separated from his young son, Xiomara, a mother from El Salvador who was separated from her daughter in 2018 and only recently reunited, and Erendira, a Mayan woman from Guatemala who was separated from her 6-year-old daughter in 2018.

“I am here to fight so that mothers and fathers are never separated from their children in the future. The U.S. government needs to protect us and provide families asylum,” said Erendira, who is applying for asylum in the United States.

Updated: Aug. 21 at 10:30 a.m.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Biden administration moves to replace Trump public charge rule


The Biden administration on Friday moved forward to formally replace the Trump administration's public charge rule, which barred many prospective immigrants from using social services.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a request for public comments on a new regulation to define how immigration officers can determine whether green card applicants are likely to become a public charge.

The move is the latest in a series of reforms that the Biden administration has taken to dismantle former President Trump's immigration policies.

Among those policies, DHS under Trump tightened the definition of public charge so that immigration officers could reject applicants who had used, or could potentially use, services like food stamps.

“The Biden Administration today took a step to ensure immigrants and their families can access health care, food assistance, and other needs," said Shelby Gonzales, vice president for immigration policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The Trump-era policy has not been in place since March, when DHS halted implementation of the rule and the Department of Justice announced it would no longer defend the rule against an array of lawsuits challenging it.

Still, the Immigration and Nationality Act requires officials to take into account whether a prospective immigrant could become a public charge, without explicitly defining the term.

The new rule sought by DHS officials would essentially codify current practice — the public charge process that was in effect before Trump's rule — which DHS returned to after nixing the Trump-era rule in March.

According to DHS, the new process "will be fully consistent with law; that will reflect empirical evidence to the extent relevant and available; that will be clear, fair, and comprehensible for officers as well as for noncitizens and their families; that will lead to fair and consistent adjudications and thus avoid unequal treatment of the similarly situated; and that will not otherwise unduly impose barriers on noncitizens seeking admission to or adjustment of status in the United States."

Critics of Trump's public charge rule are pushing the Biden administration to move quickly on its formal replacement, as immigrants continue to shy away from services they could be legally entitled to.

“Even though the Trump Administration’s public charge rules are no longer in effect, the damage persists. Many families with immigrants continue to forgo critical services out of fear that it will prevent a family member from becoming a lawful permanent resident," said Gonzales.

"That’s why swift action to complete the rulemaking process is crucial to ensure that immigrants don’t go without health care and other services," she added.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Biden administration seeks to speed review of asylum cases


Biden administration seeks to speed review of asylum cases
© Getty Images

The Biden administration on Wednesday proposed a rule that would streamline the asylum process, an effort to remove those fleeing persecution from an immigration court system backlog that can leave them in limbo for years on end.

The proposal, a joint effort from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, allows most of the asylum process to be decided by officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who conduct the first interview with those who say they cannot safely return to their country.

Though largely a bureaucratic shift, the shuffle could help asylum-seekers more quickly gain status instead of funneling them into the 1.3 million immigration court case backlog that would take four years to get through even without any new cases.

“A system that takes years to reach a result is simply not a functional one,” the agencies wrote in the rule. “It delays justice and certainty for those who need protection, and it encourages abuse by those who will not qualify for protection and smugglers who exploit the delay for profit.”

Still, some advocates fear the new process could deny due process rights for migrants, particularly as the Biden administration continues with fast-track deportations.

Asylum-seekers who arrive at the border must show they fear for their lives due to persecution based on their race, religion, political views or membership in a “particular social group” — a category often used by those fleeing gang violence and women seeking to escape domestic violence.

Under the current process, asylum-seekers must undergo a credible fear interview with a USCIS officer, but even then, they must formally apply and await their fate in the court system housed within the Justice Department.

If the proposal is finalized, USCIS officers could grant asylum, and any migrants who are denied could appeal the decision within the court system.

“There is a world of difference between going through the asylum process at USCIS, where an officer is probably trained on trauma informed questioning, versus going to court and having to face prosecutors challenging your statements and judge that may feel like a second prosecutor,” said Jennifer Whitlock, policy counsel with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Only those who cross the border after the regulation is finalized would be eligible, though unaccompanied children would still have to go through the full court process.

Still, some are concerned that the changes may limit access to asylum, which migrants otherwise must apply for within a year of crossing the border, giving them time to prepare evidence.

The policy shift comes against the backdrop of an administration that in July resumed fast-track deporations, which allow border agents to swiftly remove migrants who they do not believe have a credible fear of persecution, as well as Title 42, which allows expulsion without any ability to claim asylum.

“While we welcome efforts to provide initial asylum assessments in a non-adversarial setting, that reform should not be premised on the use of the fundamentally flawed expedited removal system,” Eleanor Acer, senior director for refugee protection at Human Rights First, said in a release.

“The proposed rule could be used and abused to rush asylum seekers through adjudications without sufficient time to secure legal representation, gather evidence or prepare their cases, leading U.S. agencies to return to persecution people who actually do qualify for asylum.”

--Updated at 1:00 p.m.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Sura v. Garland v. Garland

 Substantial evidence supported the denial of withholding of removal under the serious nonpolitical crime bar where an arrest warrant declaring the alien in contempt of court for failing to attend a pretrial hearing created an indication of reliability by including the alien’s name and identifying information, explaining that he was accused of aggravated murder, listing the names of the victims, and implying that the charged murders were gang related; the Interpol Red Notice contained a brief description of events allegedly involving the alien; and the alien admitted that the identifying information in the documents fit his description, his testimony placed him within several miles of the murder at the time of the crime, and the alien conceded that the Salvadoran arrest warrant issued for him requires a witness, suggesting the Salvadoran government had additional evidence. An alien’s concession of safety combined with an inability to do more than speculate that the police would not protect him from gang violence provided substantial evidence to support the denial of Convention Against Torture protection.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

New census data pose challenges for Republicans and Democrats


New census data pose challenges for Republicans and Democrats
© iStock

The 2020 census numbers are in, and they show a dramatic deepening of the diversity of the United States. For the first time, the percentage of white residents shrank, while the share of Latinos and Asian Americans exploded. Latinos were responsible for more than half the growth in the last decade; America’s 18 and under population is now majority non-white. 

What does this mean politically? Many pundits will conclude that this is a boon for Democrats, but that is not necessarily the case. Demography is not destiny, and Democrats should not think that it is. To win the support of minorities, Democrats must speak to their aspirations with relevant messages that connect with their optimism and connections to family. 

Republicans should be doing the same. But instead, they’ve been doubling down on the politics of resentment, instilling fear among whites about the changing face of the country. It contributed to Trump winning the presidency in 2016. And it still fuels the party as it looks ahead to 2022 and 2024.

What will Republicans do moving forward? If conservative commentators are any clue, things may get worse.

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson blames America’s changing demographics on the idea that Democrats are deliberately bringing violent criminals into the country through the Southern border. He has told his viewers that Democrats want to  import new voters through immigration to win elections. 

America’s changing demographics reflect what is an inherent strength of our nation. People from all over the world have sought to come here since the birth of the nation. America has been synonymous with dreams coming true, taking control of your future, giving families better opportunities to live better lives, working hard and the chance to succeed no matter your economic status, race or religion. 

The United States is the most innovative country in the world, and our creativity and vision comes in part from our diversity. Far from the demagoguery of some conservatives, most immigrants are people who find the strength and grit to uproot themselves and their families for a chance at a better life.

These are the qualities any country would want in their populace. It is good for the economy and great for competitiveness. And it has proven to be the case here. A 2019 report from the New American Economy showed that 45 percent of American Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. 

The census also showed that the country’s under-18 population is now majority non-white. This is another danger zone for Republicans. In many ways, Gen Z is the most open-minded and tolerant generation ever, and it has run into the arms of the Democrats, in part because much of the GOP’s loyalty is to Trump. 

But these young voters could be up for grabs since they will want and need their issues represented in state houses and on Capitol Hill. The policies that states and Congress pass should reflect this changing demographic. If we do not ensure that our kids can get a decent education, reliable health care and investments in job training, then we will see our next generation of leaders ill prepared to take on the challenges of the 21st century.

Democrats will continue to fight for all these issues and compete for these voters. The question is whether Republicans will also try to appeal to these voters. If Republicans continue to denigrate non-white voters, they will lose the future.

America’s rapidly changing demographics frighten some people, while they prompt others to exploit it for crass political gain. But many more will embrace these changes and work to ensure that our nation’s policies reflect the needs and desires of a new multi-racial majority that is as American as churros and apple pie. 

Maria Cardona is a longtime Democratic strategist, a principal at Dewey Square Group, a Washington-based political consulting agency, and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Friday, August 13, 2021

General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo Releases Memorandum Presenting Issue Priorities

 Today, in her first memo as General Counsel, Jennifer A. Abruzzo issued the Mandatory Submissions to Advice Memorandum, which lays out a clear agenda for all Regional Directors, Officers-in-Charge, and Resident Officers on some priorities of the Office of the General Counsel.

“As our country fights a horrific pandemic and returns from an unprecedented economic recession, it is critical that the NLRB vigorously protect the rights of workers to freely associate and act collectively to improve their wages and working conditions,” said General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. “This memo should be seen as a road map for ways in which the Agency will better effectuate its mission and congressional mandate, including protecting the right to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection and encouraging collective bargaining.”

The memo is divided into three sections: The first section identifies cases and subject matter areas where, in the last several years, the Board overruled legal precedent; the second section identifies other initiatives and areas that the General Counsel wants to carefully examine; and the third section identifies other casehandling matters traditionally submitted to Advice. While the memo is extensive, it is not exhaustive and other memos may be released in the future as policy issues and cases arise.

The General Counsel lists 11 Board case areas that she identifies as doctrinal shifts away from previous Board precedent. These include cases involving employer handbook rules, confidentiality provisions in separation agreements, defining the scope of protected concerted activity, union access, and jurisdiction over religious institutions.

In the second part of the memo, General Counsel Abruzzo lists seven additional subject areas that she would like to examine. These include cases involving Weingarten rights, employee status, mutual aid or protection, and employer duty to recognize and bargain.

Finally, the memo lists various additional casehandling matters that are traditionally submitted to Advice. These include issues around 10(j) injunctions, cases involving the validity of partial lockouts, and cases with complex subpoena issues.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com/

US-Mexico July border crossings hit 20 year high


US-Mexico July border crossings hit 20 year high
© Washington Examiner/Pool

Attempted crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border surpassed 200,000 in one month for the first time in more than two decades, according to July data released by the government Thursday. 

More than 212,000 people attempted to cross the border in July, a 13 percent increase from June and the largest single month figure since 2000, when 223,305 attempted to cross the border.

The swelling figures show migrants have not put off journeys due to the summer heat as the Biden administration hoped, with many in the administration previously blaming high spring totals on seasonal migration patterns due to more favorable weather conditions. 

"It is critical that intending migrants understand clearly that they will be turned back if they enter the United States illegally and do not have a basis for relief under our laws," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters Thursday while visiting the border in Texas.

More than 95,000 people, nearly half of those who crossed the border, were swiftly expelled under Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows the administration to boot migrants without allowing them to claim asylum. 

While the majority are single adults, 12 percent of those expelled under Title 42 were families.

“The vast majority of single adults and many families continue to be expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 authority, and those who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain are placed in expedited removal proceedings,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a release.

The U.S. also saw a 24 percent uptick in the number of unaccompanied children at the southwest border as well as a nearly 50 percent jump in the number of families.

Most of those not expelled through Title 42 were removed using another immigration policy authorities referred to as Title 8.

“To address recidivism, in July CBP began a Repeat Offender initiative, under which single adults who have previously been apprehended and deported under Title 8 are referred for prosecution,” the agency said in a release.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Officials still looking for parents of 337 separated children, court filing says


Officials still looking for parents of 337 separated children, court filing says
© Getty Images

Officials are still trying to contact the parents of 337 children who were separated at the border during the Trump administration, according to a new court filing.

The parents of 31 children were discovered over the past month, according to the new documents. In early July, the groups disclosed that officials were still trying to contact the parents of 368 migrant children.

The court filings are part of a continuous effort by the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union to connect children with their parents after the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy separated families.

Roughly 250 children of the remaining 337 are believed to have parents who were removed from the U.S. after they were separated from their families, according to the court filing.

About 75 of the remaining children’s parents are believed to be in the U.S. Twelve children do not have a phone number listed that is associated with the parent, child, sponsor or attorney.

The third group decreased by one child since the last filing.

President Biden signed an executive order in February establishing an interagency task force to reunite families separated at the border. Officials have reportedly been searching thousands of records to calculate how many families are still separated, according to CNN.

Since the establishment of the task force, a total of 45 separated children have been reunited with their parents in the U.S., according to the court filing.

The Department of Health and Human Services also created a process to accept parole requests, according to CNN. As of Aug. 10, 59 people have been paroled, according to the filing.

The number of children still separated from their families has decreased month after month. The groups revealed in May that it was still working to locate 391 children, which was down from the list of 445 reported in April.

The steering committee tasked with trying to contact parents of the separated migrant children has taken part in “time-consuming and arduous on-the-ground searches for parents,” according to the filing.

The searches have focused on countries that are the homes of parents who were removed from the U.S. after being separated from their children.

The on-the-ground searches have been “ongoing when it is safe to do so,” but some of the efforts have been limited or stalled because of risks associated with COVID-19.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Here are the key parts of Democrats' $3.5T budget resolution


Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled a $3.5 trillion budget resolution they aim to pass without Republican support, paving the way for boosting spending in a number of key areas in line with the president’s legislative agenda through a process called reconciliation. 

Democrats say the massive spending framework would unlock funding for universal pre-K and tuition-free community college while making investments in public housing and clean energy efforts and expanding health care. 

The budget resolution greenlights funding for those priorities and lets Democrats pass them later this year in a spending package they'll be able to advance along party lines — as long as Democrats don't have defections in the House and Senate.

In the Senate, Democrats must keep all 50 members together, including centrists who have already balked at the $3.5 trillion price tag. In the House, Democrats also have a slim majority.

Republicans will oppose the measure unanimously and argue the spending is irresponsible. They are also criticizing the process used for moving the measure as shutting them out. It is the same budget process used to pass the Trump tax cut bill, which also added to the deficit.

Senate Democrats hope to pass the resolution this week after the upper chamber passes the roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill it moved to end debate on the day before

Below are some of the key areas the newly released budget framework would approve spending for.

​​Tax hikes on wealthy individuals, corporations

The Democrats’ budget resolution would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations while pledging to provide tax relief for middle-class families. 

The specifics of the Democrats’ tax increases will be worked out by congressional committees. Biden has called on Congress to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who will wield significant influence over tax changes, said in a statement Monday that his panel is “working on a menu of options” for Democrats to consider. Those include Wyden’s plan to raise taxes on multinational corporations and remove tax provisions that incentivize outsourcing. 

Tax increases and international tax proposals will face vigorous opposition from business lobbying groups, which hailed the absence of tax hikes in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. 

Democrats say their proposed tax hikes won’t impact middle-class families. Their plans would prohibit new taxes on small businesses, family farms and families making less than $400,000 annually, fulfilling a Biden campaign promise. 

Their plans also call for the extension of tax credits for families and low-income individuals, including the child tax credit, which provides millions of families with monthly checks of up to $300 per child.

In a letter to Democratic lawmakers Monday, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the reconciliation bill “will provide the largest tax cut for American families in a generation, while making the wealthy pay their fair share.”

Democrats say tax hikes will provide the primary source of funding for their resolution's spending, though they would also include increased funding for the IRS to boost tax enforcement, a measure that was stripped out of the bipartisan infrastructure bill amid Republican opposition.

Major health care expansions 

Democrats said the budget will provide funding for a slew of big health care moves, from adding Medicare benefits to lowering drug prices.  

One of the top priorities of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and other progressives is set to be included: adding dental, hearing and vision benefits to Medicare.

However, the final package is not expected to include another progressive priority: lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60, which is more politically fraught and opens up debate about "Medicare for All."  

Democrats said the reconciliation package will include measures to have the federal government step in and provide health coverage in the 12 GOP-led states that have declined to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), though the exact mechanism for doing so remains to be seen. 

The measure is also expected to extend enhanced ACA subsidies that help lower people’s premiums, which were provided for two years in the American Rescue Plan earlier this year. 

The package will fund care for elderly people at home, known as “home and community-based services,” and create a paid family and medical leave benefit, Democrats said in a list of top-line items for the fiscal 2022 plan.

Helping pay for it all is “hundreds of billions” of dollars in savings from lowering prescription drug costs, Democrats also said. The exact amount of savings is not yet clear as Senate Democrats look to craft a measure that can satisfy both moderates and progressives. 

“If Democrats are able to accomplish all these goals in the budget resolution released today, it would be the biggest reform of the healthcare system since the Affordable Care Act passed more than a decade ago,” tweeted Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Universal pre-K and tuition-free community college 

With the new framework, Democrats are aiming to put funding toward securing universal education for children ages 3 and 4 years old as well as making community college free for up to two years.

The proposal addresses a budget priority for the president, who has pushed for both items in recent months, in addition to funding for child care for low-income families and for a paid leave program. 

The resolution outlined an instruction of $726 billion for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for the recommended funding.

Other recommended policy items outlined for the committee include increasing the maximum Pell Grant award and putting investments toward historically Black colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions, Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities.  

Immigration and a pathway to citizenship

The budget resolution will pave the way for Democrats to include investments in border security and provide a pathway for citizenship in their spending plan.   

The resolution outlines $107 billion to be allocated to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats are planning to use the funding for “smart and effective border security measures” as well as the “lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants,” according to a memo sent to Democratic senators outlining what will be in the spending package they'll try to pass later this year.   

The budget resolution and memo on the separate spending package doesn’t offer specific language on which groups will be included in the latter item. It also does not include a hard figure for the number of people the instruction pertains to.

In recent weeks, Democrats have weighed including immigration reform in the reconciliation package. The party has faced increased pressure to do so after a court ruling late last month blocked new applicants to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The idea has faced sharp blowback from Republicans voicing opposition to the proposal.

Biden expressed support for a pathway for citizenship days after the court ruling last month, though, at the time, the president said it remained to “be seen” if it could be included in the reconciliation package.

However, Senate Democrats indicated days ahead of the resolution’s unveiling that Biden supported making the citizenship pathway a part of the spending measure. 

“He made it clear to us, unequivocally clear, that he stands with our efforts,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said this past week.

Months back, the House passed legislation that would provide "Dreamers" with a pathway to citizenship as well as some migrant farm workers. But the legislation has since hit a roadblock in the upper chamber.

Infrastructure and jobs

The budget framework would allow for spending Senate Democrats have touted as “game-changing” investments in infrastructure and job programs as lawmakers continue to work to steer the nation’s economic recovery amid the pandemic.

Those investments include what Democrats said in a memo would lead to a “historic level” of funding for public housing, green and sustainable housing, housing production and affordability, and workforce development and job training programs. 

Democrats also recommended funding for “green cards to millions of immigrant workers and families” in the memo as well what they said would be the “largest ever one-time investment in Native American infrastructure projects.”

Other investments also outlined in the memo of recommended instructions would go toward rehabilitating “aging Veterans Administration buildings and hospitals.”

Schumer told Democratic senators in a “Dear Colleague” letter early Monday that, with the investments in infrastructure, Congress could “create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”

At the resolution’s core, Schumer said the “legislation is about restoring the middle class in the 21st Century and giving more Americans the opportunity to get there.” 

The measure does not include a hike to the debt ceiling, something else Congress will need to do soon. Democrats argue that both parties should back raising the debt ceiling since both parties have contributed policies that have added to the deficit.

Republicans on Monday criticized Democrats for the spending and for expecting Republicans to separately provide votes to raise the debt ceiling. 

“Here’s the comedy: They won’t let Republicans have any say in this monstrosity… but they want our help raising their credit card limit to make it happen,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement on Monday.

Democrats said the framework would open the door to spending for a number of climate and energy provisions, including a proposed $67 billion for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and $198 billion for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Energy Committee provisions in a list of top-line items Democrats said the resolution will allow for include a clean electricity payment program, domestic clean energy manufacturing financing, climate research and hard rock mining. 

Democrats also aim to include funding in the coming package for Interior Department programs, a decision hailed by environmentalist groups after those programs were initially set to be excluded.

On the Environment and Public Works Committee end, Democrats are also looking to fund clean vehicle technology, Environmental Protection Agency climate and research programs, and environmental justice investments such as clean water access and port health. 

Other environmental and energy priorities Democrats outlined include funds for a Civilian Climate Corps under the umbrella of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and a carbon polluter import fee under the Finance Committee.

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