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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

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Guatemala sends back hundreds of migrants in caravan headed to US

 BY LEXI LONAS

Guatemala sends back hundreds of migrants in caravan headed to US
© Getty Images

Guatemala last weekend sent back hundreds of migrants who were in a caravan heading to the U.S. over the weekend.

The Guatemala foreign ministry announced Monday that the 622-person group was apprehended over the weekend as they attempted to cross the border on their journey to the U.S., Reuters reported.

The group was made up of mostly men from Honduras and Nicaragua, and children made up about 25 percent of the caravan. 

The ministry said the individuals were either returned to their country of origin or the country they entered Guatemala from. 

"We can't go on another day here ... I want to get to the United States," a Nicaraguan man who was going to leave his country Monday told Reuters.  

Authorities used riot shields to keep the group from advancing forward. Mexico and Guatemala have been working over the past few months to break up several caravans that have formed.

The U.S. has been working with Central American governments to curb immigration, as border crossings have spiked in recent months. 

Haiti opened a consulate in Mexico to assist with the migration of Haitians at the Guatemala border. 

And Mexico said it would require travel visas for Venezuelans after Venezuelans crossing the U.S. border last year dramatically increased.

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

GOP zeroes in on Biden's immigration record ahead of midterm elections

 By Priscilla Alvarez

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott arrives for a news conference in Mission, Texas, on October 6, 2021. Abbott, who's up for reelection, has hammered the Biden administration over the arrival of thousands of migrants at the border.

(CNN)As ambitious Republicans plot their return to power in the midterm elections and in statewide races across the country, a familiar face is ready and willing to help them capitalize on President Joe Biden's sagging poll numbers on immigration.

Stephen Miller, the architect of former President Donald Trump's immigration policy, is among a group of policy hawks urging Republican Party officials and candidates to exploit what they describe as Biden's glaring vulnerability, after crises on the border.
"I'm very open about the fact that I believe the Republican Party needs to really dig in starting now, and work and put in the work to elevate this issue to the center of our national dialogue," Miller told CNN, adding he's been in discussions with Republican Party officials and candidates who he has prior relationships with.
    He's among a group of Trump White House aides who will be formally advising the Pennsylvania US Senate campaign of David McCormick, a Republican hedge fund executive, a person familiar with the campaign told CNN.
    But with or without Miller's direct input, immigration is set to vex Democrats. The ebbs and flows of migration patterns are generally out of the control of any sitting US president, but Biden has faced mounds of criticism from both the left and the right.
      Most recently, the White House made an about-face on whether migrant families separated under the Trump administration deserve compensation. Initially Biden said they did, but after intense criticism, his administration walked away from the negotiations, which had reportedly included a figure of up to $450,000 per individual affected by the policy, and now the Justice Department has outlined its arguments against payment in a recent court filing.
      The administration's immigration policy challenges come as Biden's approval rating has sagged. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday finds the President's approval rating at 33% approve to 53% disapprove, with another 13% not offering opinions. Other relatively recent surveys have shown him with a somewhat higher approval rating, but similar numbers on disapproval.
        And in December, a survey found that Biden's approval ratings on immigration -- 40% -- stood below his overall approval number at the time.
        As a result, Republican strategists expect immigration to play a significant role in primaries this year following months of criticism over the administration's handling of the US-Mexico border.
        "When it gets to how does it look for the next year, I think you'll see it a lot in primary races, and I think you'll see it in more conservative districts and if a candidate is underperforming among Republican voters," one Republican strategist told CNN. But focusing solely on immigration is unlikely to help sway swing voters, the strategist warned, and will instead be cited as a failure of the Biden administration, among other issues.
        In Arizona, where there's a key US Senate race, state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who's sued the Biden administration over immigration policies, listed border security in a video launching his campaign for the Senate, showcasing a headline about his fight to "retain Trump immigration rules."
        In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, who's up for reelection, has similarly challenged policies in court and hammered the Biden administration over the arrival of thousands of migrants at the US southern border.
        And it's not confined to border states. In Pennsylvania, Republican candidate for governor Lou Barletta jumped on flights transporting migrants to the state -- a routine practice.
        "It's nothing that Republicans need to do to make it an issue. It's become an issue," said Dave Carney, a Republican political consultant, referring to border security.
        Some observers argue that the administration's lack of strategy on immigration has contributed to confusion and frustration. That's a concern for Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas. Cuellar, who has been critical of the administration's approach to the border, told CNN he's repeatedly heard from constituents who share similar concerns.
        "They think Democrats are pretty much more open borders. They feel that they're not doing enough," Cuellar said. "The Republicans have certainly jumped on that issue."
        It could be a particularly difficult subject for Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, who's seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate. The Arizona-Mexico border has recently faced a surge of migrants that's overwhelmed resources. Despite a Democratic victory in the state in 2020, Republicans are buoyant that voters have soured on Democratic control and will punish the party at the ballot box in 2022.
        The Biden administration has held on to some Trump-era policies, including a public health order allowing for the swift expulsion of migrants encountered at the border and, in the wake of a lower court decision, a policy forcing migrants to stay in Mexico until their US immigration court dates. But that hasn't shielded Biden from criticism from the right, and has instead fueled frustration on the left.
        Immigrant advocacy groups repeatedly expressed their disappointment with the administration maintaining Trump-era border policies and expelling thousands of migrants encountered at the border over the last year.
        "One side is filling the zone with a narrative and the other side is saying virtually nothing. As a result, many swing voters who found Trump's cruelty abhorrent are upset at Biden for what they call minding the store and not having a plan," said Frank Sharry, president of America's Voice, an immigrant advocacy group.
        "Democratic candidates are going to have to both compete on who has the better solution, who has the best immigration solution, and by pivoting to issues that motivate Democratic voters," he added.
        Anti-immigrant groups see an opportunity to lean into that this year. "How can the Republican political apparatus not seize on what is the most, the second most, clear obvious political opportunity that Biden has laid open for Republican candidates?" said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, citing inflation as the first issue.
        The group plans to invest millions in issue-based ads this year and roll out additional Spanish-language ads -- a first for the group, Stein said.
        Arturo Vargas, chief executive officer of NALEO Educational Fund, warned of viewing Hispanics as a single-issue electorate but noted that campaign ads in English and Spanish are generally important to reaching all segments of the electorate.
        In 2020, Trump, despite his hardline immigration policies, made inroads among voters in Hispanic areas nationwide. The Republican National Committee plans to capitalize on that and ramp up its outreach to Hispanic voters, according to spokesperson Emma Vaughn.
          "The issue of immigration cannot be synonymous with the Latino issue, which too often happens with candidates and campaigns," Vargas said. "There are certainly segments of the Latino electorate for whom immigration reform is a top priority and they'll hold candidates accountable for whether they'll get immigration reform."
          To that end, Democratic lawmakers have pledged to continue seeking a path for immigration revisions after the Senate parliamentarian rejected multiple attempts to include immigration provisions in the Build Back Better legislation.
          For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

          Migrant caravan from Honduras stopped in Guatemala

           By CLAUDIO ESCALÓN

          SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (AP) — Several hundred migrants who had departed from the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula Saturday in hopes of reaching the United States entered Guatemalan territory where they were intercepted by authorities who began talks on returning them to their homelands.

          Some 300 migrants, mainly Hondurans and Nicaraguans, arrived in Corinto, Honduras Saturday afternoon and crossed into the Guatemalan border province of Izabal, where they were met by hundreds of anti-riot agents from the national police and army.

          The Guatemalan Migration Institute said it was in talks with the migrants on returning them to their countries of origin. Those who wish to remain in Guatemala must present their personal identification document, vaccination card and a negative test for the coronavirus.

          “People are being returned, everything in order, humanely,” said institute general director Carlos Emilio Morales. “We are protecting our borders; we are protecting the health of all Guatemalans.”

          Guatemala’s government said 36 people were deported to Honduras because they did not meet the requirements and a group of 10 who met immigration and health requirements were allowed to continue.

          The migrants had begun their journey toward the U.S. from San Pedro Sula shortly after dawn Saturday, walking to the Guatemalan border in hopes that travelling in a group would be safer or cheaper than trying to hire smugglers or trying on their own. They were joined by a second smaller group.

          Fabricio Ordoñez, a young Honduran laborer, said he had joined the group in hopes of “giving a new life to my family.”

          “The dream is to be in the United States to be able to do many things in Honduras,” he said, adding he was pessimistic that left-leaning President-elect Xiomara Castro, who takes office on Jan. 27, would be able to quickly solve the Central American nation’s economic and social problems after 12 years of conservative administrations plagued by scandal.

          “They have looted everything,” he said. “It is going to be very hard for this government to improve things.”

          Nicaraguan marcher Ubaldo López expressed hope that local officials would not try to hinder this group, as they have in the past.

          “We know this is a very hard road and we ask God and the Honduran government to please accompany us to the border with Guatemala and not put more roadblocks,” he said.

          He said he hoped that Guatemala and Mexico also would allow the group to pass and that the U.S. government “will open the doors to us” — despite repeated recent examples of regional governments, often under U.S. pressure, trying to halt such caravans.

          The caravan, which is the first to be registered this year, originally had about 600 members but divided into several groups to try to evade the control of the Guatemalan authorities and go through the different border crossings and illegal routes.

          Large numbers of migrants, many from Central America and Haiti, have reached the U.S. border over the past year, creating a headache for the administration of President Joe Biden.

          In December, 56 migrants died when a truck carrying more than a hundred foreigners overturned on a highway in southern Mexico.

          The U.S. Border Patrol has said it had more than 1.6 million encounters with migrants along the Mexican border between September 2020 and the same month in 2021 — more than four times the total of the previous fiscal year.

          Biden has backed proposals for $7 billion in aid to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras in hopes improved economic conditions will slow migration.

          At the end of last year, the U.S. government reactivated an immigration policy that forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their hearings. Mexico’s foreign ministry confirmed the reactivation of the U.S. program and said it would temporarily not return migrants to their countries of origin for humanitarian reasons.

          The government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has indicated that Washington has accepted its humanitarian concerns with the program, including the need for “greater resources for shelters and international organizations, protection for vulnerable groups, consideration of local security conditions” as well as vaccines and anti-COVID-19 measures from migrants.

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

          Tuesday, January 18, 2022

          Harris' new communications director to meet with Latino lawmakers after old tweets surface

           BY ED O'KEEFE

          Vice President Kamala Harris' new communications director is set to meet this week with Latino lawmakers to explain past tweets about immigrants as he continues to face pressure from Latino leaders and organizations to explain himself.

          Jamal Simmons took on the new role last week and is scheduled to meet virtually on Thursday with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, people familiar with the plans tell CBS News.

          A White House official confirmed that Simmons and Latino lawmakers are set to speak Thursday as part of "a mutually agreed upon meeting."

          A day after his new role was announced, immigration rights advocates unearthed tweets from 2010, when Simmons commented on the appearance of two "undocumented folks" who appeared on MSNBC.

          20190331-cru-ftn-8017.jpg
          Jamal Simmons joined Margaret Brennan for a political panel on the 2020 race on "Face the Nation" in Washington, DC Sunday March 31, 2019. Photo: Chris Usher/CBS © 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved.CHRIS USHER

          "Why wouldn't ICE pick them up?" Simmons asked, referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

          Simmons, a longtime Democratic Party consultant who also served as a political analyst for CBS News during the 2020 presidential campaign cycle, apologized for his past remarks.

          "As a pundit I tweeted+spoke A LOT," he tweeted in his explanation on January 7. "At times I've been sarcastic, unclear or plainly missed the mark. I apologize for offending ppl who care as much as I do about making America the best, multiethnic, diverse democracy+I'll rep the Biden-Harris admin w/humility, sincerity+respect."

          Simmons has plunged right into his new role, traveling last week with President Biden and Harris to Atlanta for their remarks on voting rights. But the revelations about his past comments come at a fraught time for the Vice President, who faces unprecedented scrutiny as the first woman and minority to serve as in the number two role, but also faces questions and criticism from across the Democratic Party about her utility and effectiveness.

          Harris is also in the process of restocking her staff after a series of year-end departures, including senior advisers, communications aides and head of her press advance team.

          News of Thursday's scheduled meeting was first reported by Axios.

          Tim Perry contributed to this report. 

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

          Friday, January 14, 2022

          Plancarte Sauceda v. Garland

           The Board of Immigration Appeals was not unreasonable in rejecting a proposed particular social group of female nurses on the ground that nursing is not an immutable characteristic. Venue under 8 U.S.C. §1252(b)(2) was proper in the Ninth Circuit where the immigration judge in this case formally transferred venue from Salt Lake City to Boise; thereafter the alien never physically appeared in Salt Lake City, but rather remained in Boise; the IJ indicated that proceedings were conducted in Boise, and the Board held that proper venue was in the Ninth Circuit; both final hearing notices designated Boise as the location for the final hearing; and; the statute expressly allows any of the participants in a removal hearing to appear at the designated hearing location by video conference, pursuant to §1129a(b)(2)(A)(iii), and the IJ and the government attorney elected to do so from Salt Lake City.

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

          Biden DOJ says separated families not entitled to compensation

           BY RAFAEL BERNAL

          The Justice Department is arguing in court that immigrants who were forcibly separated from their families by the Trump administration do not deserve compensation for the actions of U.S. officials.

          In a court filing in Pennsylvania on Jan. 7, Justice said the separated families are not entitled to compensation and asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, according to a report by The Washington Post.

          A similar motion to dismiss was filed in California, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) is expected to follow the same strategy in similar lawsuits, according to the report.

          The moves come after negotiations broke down in December between attorneys representing separated families and the DOJ.

          While the DOJ said in its briefs it does not condone the Trump-era policy of separating families to dissuade unauthorized border crossings, it said the case was about whether migrants can challenge immigration enforcement.

          “At issue in this case is whether adults who entered the country without authorization can challenge the federal government’s enforcement of federal immigration laws,” read the briefing. “They cannot.”

          The hard-line legal stance against immigrants comes in the wake of reports that the Biden administration was preparing to pay $450,000 to families that had been separated as part of the zero-tolerance policy.

          President Biden in October denied that figure, which was never officially announced, but Republicans seized on the reports as undue payments rewarding alleged illegal actions by the migrants.

          The political pressure contributed to the breakdown of negotiations in December, with the ACLU leading representation for the migrant families, and set the stage for at least 19 lawsuits and dozens of administrative complaints filed against the Biden administration.

          Immigrant advocates and some Democrats view the DOJ’s position as a broken Biden campaign promise, as Biden pledged to make amends for his predecessor’s immigration enforcement policies.

          The Biden administration has set up a task force to reunite the 2,800 families separated by the Trump administration, but not all split relatives have successfully reconnected.

          Court action could eventually lead to large awards for the immigrant families if the DOJ fails to win the lawsuits, exposing the administration to pressure from the right.

          The Biden administration could also face further pressures from immigrant advocates, although the Department of Homeland Security has provided the separated families with three-year work permits and counseling services.

          DOJ asked the judges in the lawsuits to transfer the court cases to border states, regardless of where the immigrant families live now, and a DOJ court victory could leave families with no compensation whatsoever.

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

          Thursday, January 13, 2022

          Despite growth, Hispanic representation still minuscule

           BY RAFAEL BERNAL

          The number of Latino elected officials has grown nearly 75 percent over the past two decades, but Hispanic politicians still comprise less than 2 percent of all elected officials in the country, according to an analysis by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO).

          The new analysis found that there were 7,087 Hispanic elected officials as of 2021 out of more than 500,000 elected positions nationwide.

          That means around 1.5 percent of all elected officials are Hispanic, compared to 18.5 percent of the population, according to the Census Bureau.

          “It is not representative. Absolutely. And not only is it not a good number, but it's heavily concentrated in Texas and California, New Mexico. And then the numbers plummet,” said Arturo Vargas, CEO of NALEO.

          NALEO on Wednesday released its yearly National Directory of Latino Elected Officials, with a breakdown of Hispanic elected officials and state-level analyses of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Texas.

          California and Texas account for more than half of all Latino elected officials because of their sheer size, their large Hispanic populations and high participation of Hispanics at the municipal and school board level.

          Texas alone has 2,808 Hispanic elected officials, a majority of whom serve in nonpartisan local positions.

          Although elected Hispanic Democrats outnumber Hispanic Republicans in every state but Florida, Vargas said the most important growth in representation over time will come from nonpartisan positions.

          “I don't think either party is doing enough, number one. But number two, the other thing to keep in mind is that the overwhelming majority of Latinos in elected office are in nonpartisan offices,” said Vargas.

          At the federal level, Hispanic representation has grown substantially in both parties, but remains far from parity.

          The Senate has six Hispanic senators out of 100 members, two Republicans and four Democrats, and the House has 30 Hispanic Democrats and nine Hispanic Republicans, according to NALEO’s count.

          NALEO’s numbers do not match up exactly with Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) membership because of methodological differences in who qualifies as Hispanic and who doesn’t.

          The CHC, whose current membership is all Democratic, lists 34 representatives as members.

          By any count, Hispanics account for less than 10 percent of the House of Representatives.

          According to Vargas, the redistricting process going on now is an opportunity to increase representation at all levels.

          “Typically, we should expect to see gains that in Congress after a reapportionment and redistricting, if the redistricting lines are drawn fairly, because that will create more opportunities,” said Vargas.

          While the 2022 elections could bring a jump in Latino representation, Vargas said the effects of redistricting are generally felt over a few election cycles as districts better conform to the existing population and incumbents retire.

          For Hispanic politicians to grab those opportunities, however, it’s helpful for them to have prior experience seeking lower office.

          “So one of the things that we did see the Republican Party do over the past several years is trying to grow the number of Latino Republicans running for nonpartisan offices, you know, for city council, for mayor, for school board and building the bench,” said Vargas.

          “That is a smart strategy — whatever party wants to increase its numbers, building a bench to have candidates that are ready and prepared to run for higher office when the opportunities present themselves, is the smartest strategy,” he added.

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

          Wednesday, January 12, 2022

          Ex-special envoy: Biden's approach to Haiti a 'recipe for disaster'

           BY RAFAEL BERNAL

          A former special envoy in the Biden administration is warning that the president’s approach to Haiti could further destabilize the already fragile Caribbean nation.

          Under Biden, the U.S. has expelled more than 14,000 Haitians since September while avoiding any major policy announcements regarding the country.

          While top State Department and White House officials have visited the country to shore up political stability, the policy of expulsions led to the resignation of Special Envoy for Haiti Daniel Foote in September.

          “Desperate people without anything being reintroduced into a city with tens of thousands of displaced people already from the gangs — recipe for disaster,” Foote told The Hill Monday, referring to Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. 

          In the past year, Haiti has gone through a devastating earthquake, a constitutional crisis, the assassination of a sitting president, an attempt on the acting prime minister’s life and the forced return of scores of Haitians from the U.S.

          In September, around 15,000 Haitians amassed under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after crossing the Rio Grande.

          The political scandal that ensued prompted the Biden administration to slap a “Title 42” designation on Haitians at the border, allowing the feds to quickly expel Haitians under the guise of sanitary protections related to the pandemic.

          Those expulsions have continued in the form of near-daily flights to Haiti — 131 since the Del Rio incident, according to statistics distributed by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti.

          Foote, whose assignment was to advise the State Department on peace and stability in Haiti, found out about the repatriations while watching the news. He announced his resignation shortly thereafter, frustrated both by the destabilizing effect of the repatriations and by his inability to sway the Biden administration’s policies on Haiti’s evolving political landscape.

          In July, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated amid a constitutional crisis partly of his own creation, shortly after appointing Ariel Henry as the incoming prime minister.

          After a short interlude under then-acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph, Henry became the new acting leader with the support of the so-called core group, a group of foreign diplomats including the U.S. ambassador.

          U.S. support for Henry irked many Haiti observers, including Foote, who saw in the move reflections of past instances of failed American diplomacy in the country.

          “It became clear to me that the United States was just going to back Ariel Henry unless he died or something. That they were just behind him and they had put all their chips behind him,” Foote said.

          “And so I was like, you know what, I am not going to change this from the inside. Nobody's listening. The only way — and probably even this won't change it — but I can keep the dream alive. The only way I can keep alive is if I just go nuclear. You know, make the world see what's going on,” he added.

          Foote in October testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, telling legislators that Haitian civil society groups are ready to rebuild Haiti’s political institutions, but that Haitians are unlikely to accept a path forward that includes Henry.

          Given Haiti’s constitutional vacuum, the country’s political future depends on broad accords between civil society and political actors to create a path forward to rebuild basic political institutions.

          Foote and many other Haiti observers view what’s known as the Montana Accord as a viable path forward, although not without obstacles.

          Montana proposes a transitional council to rebuild institutions, which includes many civil society and political actors, but excludes those with clear ties to criminal gangs, and sectors of the ruling party that support Henry.

          Henry, who has yet to announce a formal date for elections, has proposed his competing political accord.

          “The biggest mistake the administration to making right now is they are demanding a unanimous solution in Haiti. They are demanding that everybody merges their accords, including — and they've been explicit about this — the Ariel Henry accord,” Foote told The Hill.

          Foote’s testimony was lauded by key Democrats in the committee, including Chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Rep. Andy Levin (Mich.) and Rep. Juan Vargas (Calif.).

          Those members were also quick to criticize the Biden administration’s treatment of the Del Rio Haitians.

          “I have to say that I was horrified with what I saw our country do to the Haitian migrants, the immigrants that arrived in Del Rio, Texas,” Vargas said.

          “I thought it was a terrible overreaction by the administration, and frankly I don’t see any other way to describe this than racism,” he added.

          Political observers have watched, befuddled, as the Biden administration scuttles its relationship with the Haitian diaspora. Before the Del Rio incident, Biden had scored points with the demographic by expanding the Temporary Protected Status program, allowing all Haitians in the U.S. before July 29 to stay and work in the country.

          That move protected more than 150,000 Haitians from deportation, and eased potential pressure on the Caribbean country, which has demonstrated little to no capacity to repatriate its diaspora.

          The rift between the administration and Haitian communities could have electoral consequences, particularly in Florida, where a large part of the Haitian American community has settled.

          That rift is also growing broader as the administration’s expulsions continue to put pressure on Haiti’s meager-to-nonexistent humanitarian services, further disrupting the potential for a political solution in the country.

          “Haiti is starting to bear resemblance to places like Somalia, except there's no religious [extremism],” Foote said. 

          “The gang control over over Haiti in Port-au-Prince rivals [Islamist insurgent group al-] Shabaab’s control over much of Somalia,” he added. 


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

          McConnell vows retaliation if Democrats change filibuster

           BY JORDAIN CARNEY

          Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed on Tuesday that Republicans would retaliate if Democrats change the legislative filibuster, threatening to gum up the chamber and cause major headaches.

          McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, argued that changing the requirement that most legislation needs 60 votes to advance would "silence the voices of millions and millions of Americans" represented by GOP senators.

          "We will make their voices heard in this chamber in ways that are more inconvenient for the majority and this White House than what anybody has seen in living memory," McConnell said.

          "What would a post-nuclear Senate look like? I assure you it would not be more efficient or more productive. I personally guarantee it," he added.

          The Senate operates throughout the day on unanimous consent — meaning deals that have buy-in from the entire chamber. But McConnell warned that Republicans would be willing to block those routine agreements, making it more painful for Democrats to accomplish day-to-day steps like setting the schedule or allowing committee meetings.

          "Do my colleagues understand how many times per day the Senate needs and get unanimous consent for basic housekeeping? Do they understand how many things would require roll-call votes, how often the minority could demand lengthy debate? Our colleagues who are itching for a procedural nuclear winter have not even begun to contemplate how it would look," McConnell said.

          "If the Democratic leader tries to shut millions of Americans and entire states out of the business of governing, the operations of this body will change. Oh yes, that much is true. But not in a way that rewards the rule-breakers. Not in ways that advantage this president, this majority or their party," he added.

          McConnell's warning comes as Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has vowed that he will bring up election-related legislation this week and, if Republicans block it from getting the 60 votes needed to change the filibuster, bring up a proposal to change the rules.

          Democrats haven't yet settled on what that proposal would look like. They are floating several ideas, including moving to a talking filibuster that would let opponents delay a bill for as long as they could hold the floor, but the bill would be able to pass by a simple majority. Another idea would be to create a carveout that would exempt voting rights from the filibuster. They are also looking at smaller ideas including getting rid of the 60-vote hurdle currently required to start debate or shifting from needing 60 votes to break a filibuster to needing 41 votes to sustain it.

          McConnell's comments come after Republicans sent a warning shot over Democrats enacting even the smaller rules change of lowering the threshold needed to start debate. Under such a change, 60 votes would still be needed to end debate, meaning Republicans could still block a bill.

          Republicans got several bills on the Senate calendar, which makes them available for a vote but doesn't guarantee one, to show what sort of legislation they would want to force Democrats to vote on if they moved forward with a rules change. Among the 18 bills were immigration legislation and proposals on President Biden's vaccine mandate. Schumer offered a deal to McConnell allowing for simple-majority votes to pass the bills as well as the two Democratic election proposals, but McConnell rejected that offer.

          To change the rules without GOP support, Democrats would need total unity from all 50 of their members, something they don't currently have.

          Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have both been supportive of the 60-vote filibuster. Manchin doubled down on that support on Tuesday morning.

          “We need some good rules changes. We can do that together. But you change the rules with two-thirds of the people that are present so ... Democrats, Republicans changing the rules to make the place work better. Getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better,” Manchin said.

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

          Thursday, January 06, 2022

          Coast Guard returns 119 migrants to Cuba

           BY RAFAEL BERNAL

          Two Coast Guard cutters returned 119 Cuban nationals to the communist island in an operation that included 12 interdictions at sea between Thursday and Saturday.

          The Coast Guard announced the interdictions and returns late Tuesday, detailing how its own personnel, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials and good Samaritans scoured the South Florida Straits to rescue the drifting Cubans.

          Cuban state media called the operation the largest repatriation in four years, according to a report by Reuters.

          According to the Coast Guard, 586 Cuban migrants have attempted to reach the United States by sea since October.

          In all of fiscal 2021, 838 migrants attempting the voyage were accounted for, according to the Coast Guard.

          Cuban migration by sea had tapered off in the past few years, with many of the island's nationals preferring to fly to Latin American countries on the continent and attempt the crossing by land through Mexico.

          Since 2017, Cuban nationals have been subject to essentially the same immigration laws as nationals from other countries.

          For decades before, the United States maintained the "wet foot dry foot" policy that allowed Cuban defectors to stay once they reached U.S. soil, but they were returned if interdicted at sea.

          In 2016, 5,396 Cubans were registered as attempting the crossing by the Coast Guard.

          The 119 migrants were returned to Cuba's northern shore, where they were received by health care workers, according to Reuters.

          In part because Cuba does not generally allow its citizens to leave the country without prior authorization, the vessels used by migrants have traditionally been coastal or makeshift boats not suited for the open seas.

          “Navigating the seas in a less than seaworthy vessel is dangerous and could result in loss of life," said Coast Guard Capt. Adam Chamie, commander of Sector Key West.

          "Coast Guard crews and our local and federal law enforcement partners maintain an active presence with air and sea assets every day through the Florida Straits to help save lives by removing people from unsafe environments and deterring dangerous migrant voyages. We urge people not to take to the sea in unseaworthy vessels," added Chamie.

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

          U.S. Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board sign partnership agreement to enhance information sharing, enforcement, training, and outreach

           U.S. Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board sign partnership agreement to enhance information sharing, enforcement, training, and outreach

          01/06/2022 10:04 AM EST

           

          January 06, 2022

          WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced today that the department’s Wage and Hour Division and the NLRB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding strengthening the agencies’ partnership and outlining procedures on information-sharing, joint investigations and enforcement activity, as well as training, education and community outreach.

          The agreement is an effort by the agencies to improve the enforcement process of the laws they administer and reaffirms their commitment to ensure the rights and protections of workers. The partnership will help ensure that employers pay workers their rightful wages and that workers can take collective action to improve their working conditions without fear of retaliation.

          “Workers across this nation put food on our tables, and keep our families well and our neighborhoods safe. In return, they deserve equity, fair pay and our respect,” said Acting Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman. “The Wage and Hour Division works tirelessly to ensure workers receive their hard earned wages and job-protected leave without fear of harassment and retaliation. Collaborating with the National Labor Relations Board will expand both of our agencies’ impact and effectiveness in enforcing workplace protections and combatting misclassification, and preventing retaliation against them.”

          The Wage and Hour Division and NLRB’s collaboration will strengthen their interagency relationship by creating mechanisms to share information efficiently and establish a process for referral, joint investigation and cross training of personnel. The agreement will also allow for better enforcement against unlawful pay practices, misclassification of workers as independent contractors,  and retaliation against workers who exercise their legal rights.

          “All too often, workers face adverse action for speaking out about their compensation, whether it is discussing their wages, fighting back against wage theft, or advocating for higher wages. The National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to interfere with, or retaliate against, workers for taking these actions,” said National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. “These issues frequently cut across multiple worker protection agencies, which is why it is so important to work collaboratively to prevent and address them.”

          In addition to enhanced enforcement, the agencies will use the partnership to increase the public’s understanding of the laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division and the NLRB through increased community outreach, shared compliance materials, joint presentations and training events. The cooperative agreement will support the joint goals of the WHD and NLRB to protect workers who exercise their workplace rights and educate employers about their legal responsibilities under federal laws.

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