About Me

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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Friday, July 29, 2022

55% of America's Top Startups Were Founded by Immigrants. Why Won't Congress Let in More?

Immigrants are 80 percent more likely than native-born Americans to found a firm, according to a study released this May by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But more than that, a report released this week by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) indicates that immigrants are disproportionately responsible for starting high-value companies. According to the NFAP, a nonprofit that researches trade and immigration, immigrants have started 319 of 582, or 55 percent, of America's privately-held startups valued at $1 billion or more. Over two-thirds of the 582 companies "were founded or cofounded by immigrants or the children of immigrants," notes the NFAP. For comparison, approximately 14 percent of America's population is foreign-born. Together, the immigrant-founded companies are valued at $1.2 trillion and employ 859 people on average. Elon Musk's SpaceX has the largest valuation at $125 billion, employing 12,000 workers; Gopuff, a food delivery service valued at $15 billion, has 15,000 employees; Stripe, a payment platform valued at $95 billion, employs 7,000; and Instacart, a grocery delivery service valued at $39 billion, has 3,000 workers. These findings are notable, the NFAP points out, since "there is generally no reliable way under U.S. immigration law for foreign nationals to start a business and remain in the country after founding a company." A large share of the immigrant startup founders came to the country as refugees, on family-sponsored green cards, or through employment-based pathways for other companies. "Our employment-based pathways for immigrant entrepreneurship are so poorly designed, migrant businesses are often associated with non–employment based pathways," points out Sam Peak, an immigration policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity. Peak notes that refugees "have the highest rates of entrepreneurship of any other immigrant group," and family-based migration, "especially among siblings, is also strongly tied to new business formation." Lawmakers have introduced a number of measures this year meant to bring more entrepreneurial and highly educated immigrants to the United States, but many of these have been included in—and eventually stripped from—larger bills. The House-passed America COMPETES Act contained provisions that would've established nonimmigrant visa programs for "entrepreneurs with an ownership interest in a start-up entity" and "essential employees of a start-up entity," but they didn't make it into the narrower Senate competition bill. More recently, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D–Calif.) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would've streamlined green cards for immigrants with doctoral degrees in STEM fields. But it wasn't included in the House-passed NDAA. Prospects for meaningful immigration reform now look slim, especially with the midterms coming up. Entrepreneurial immigrants, many of whom could contribute to the American economy in huge ways, largely don't have intuitive ways to come to the United States. Lawmakers have been proposing a startup visa since 2009 to no real avail, and though the Biden administration rebooted an International Entrepreneur Parole program, recipients are only allowed to stay in the U.S. for up to five years. (What's more, the immigration and business law firm Scott Legal P.C. reported that the program appeared to be stalled as of April this year.) "Other pathways for highly skilled immigrants," notes the Progressive Policy Institute, "including the O-1, EB-1, and EB-2 visas, rely on a strong record of prior accomplishments and are not a good fit for entrepreneurs whose potential accomplishments lie in the future." "Although some entrepreneurs can earn permanent residency if the government determines that the business [is] in the national interest, most firms will not meet this particular requirement," says Peak. "By and large, founders of successful businesses are unable to use their enterprise to become permanent residents." Department of Labor regulations also bar "most entrepreneurs from being sponsored through their own business," adding yet another layer of bureaucracy. Without a pathway to permanent residency or citizenship in the U.S., entrepreneurial people may simply look to migrate elsewhere. Immigrants have to clear much higher barriers than native-born Americans in order to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Experience tells us that they will flourish if given the opportunity—but unless their visa prospects improve, they'll look to greener pastures, and the American economy will be worse for it. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

DC mayor requests National Guard over migrants bussed to capital

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) asked the D.C. National Guard to activate and help manage an influx of migrants to the capital. The mayor’s office reports that Texas Govs. Greg Abbott (R) and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) have sent nearly 200 buses carrying more than 4,000 migrants from the southern border to the capital in protest of President Biden’s immigration policy. In a July 22 letter obtained by The Hill sent from Bowser to White House officials, the mayor called the influx of migrants “cruel political gamesmanship from the Governors of Texas and Arizona” and called for federal support of her request to engage the National Guard. “Our ability to assist people in need at this scale is very limited. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and working with the Biden/Harris Administration on a real solution, Governors Abbot and Ducey have decided to use desperate people to score political points,” Bowser wrote. In her request for the administration’s assistance, Bowser noted that the governors were bussing migrants to the capital to take a stand against the federal government, which D.C. houses, “not because Washington DC is their destination.” Already dealing with issues like homelessness and emerging crises like the monkeypox outbreak in the city, the District is now “overwhelmed” by the surge of migrants, D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Director Christopher Rodriguez wrote in a July 19 letter obtained by The Hill, requesting the National Guard on Bowser’s behalf. “With pledges from Texas and Arizona to continue these abhorrent operations indefinitely, the situation is dire, and we consider this a humanitarian crisis—one that could overwhelm our social support network without immediate and sustained federal intervention,” Rodriguez wrote. McCarthy swipes at Pelosi over ban on lawmaker stock trading Minnesota Democrat says he doesn’t support Biden for 2024 The request would ask the National Guard to aid NGOs and help with migrant transportation, assisting in ways “not dissimilar to the use of military personnel and facilities for other humanitarian missions, including assisting Afghan refugees,” the letter stated. The National Guard’s work in the capital, if approved, would continue “indefinitely,” according to the request. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Migrant shelter shut down over allegations of forced labor

JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – The state of Chihuahua has shut down a Juarez migrant shelter over allegations that its operator engaged in forced labor practices. The operator, identified as Velia H.G., 54, was taken into custody on Wednesday on charges of human trafficking through forced labor in connection with six adults staying at her Aposento Alto shelter in northwest Juarez. Velia H.G., 54 State police officers took a total of 19 Guatemalan nationals — including nine children — from the shelter to a medical facility for physical and psychological screening. They were later sent to a different shelter, the Chihuahua Attorney General said in a statement. “This was the result of an ongoing, professional investigation,” the statement said. “Nineteen people who are migrants were rescued and a woman was arrested as the presumed culprit of crimes of human trafficking.” Police arrest alleged smugglers transporting 90 Guatemalans to Juarez State authorities said concerned citizens alerted them to possible abuse going on at the shelter. Red police tape lines the front door at the Aposento Alto migrant shelter, which the state of Chihuahua shut down on Wednesday over allegations of forced labor. (Border Report photo) A neighbor of the Lomas de Poleo neighborhood on Thursday told reporters the operators kept the migrants “imprisoned.” Advocates bring closure to families of migrants who died crossing border “They were not allowed to go out, and if they were, they counted how much time they were out. Little girls wanted to go outside to play, but they got them inside and locked them in their rooms. They were like, kidnapped, punished,” said neighbor Juan Rodriguez. Grissel Ramirez Grissel Ramirez, the operator of a separate shelter in the Anapra neighborhood and the daughter of Velia H.G., the woman arrested, said the allegations were unfair. “We have been supporting migrants since 2018,” Ramirez said “I urge people to see what is happening to my mom. You are exposed to being detained, to being accused unfairly. Close your shelters. Let’s see if the state government can accommodate so many people.” State authorities did not immediately provide specific details of the forced labor charges. Visit BorderReport.com for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the U.S.-Mexico border Border Report has visited the Anapra/Lomas de Poleo area on several occasions and has been told by residents that migrant smugglers operate there unimpeded and will quickly approach anyone they think is trying to cross into the United States to peddle their services. Both neighborhoods are just south of the border wall across from Sunland Park, New Mexico. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

US to fill border wall gaps at open area near Yuma, Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday authorized completion of the Trump-funded U.S.-Mexico border wall in an open area of southern Arizona near Yuma that has become one of the busiest corridors for illegal crossings. Biden had pledged during his campaign to cease all future wall construction, but the administration later agreed to some barriers, citing safety. The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday the work to close four wide gaps in the wall near Yuma will better protect migrants who can slip down a slope or drown walking through a low section of the Colorado River. The agency said in a statement that Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas authorized completion of the project near the Morelos Dam, reflecting the administration’s “priority to deploy modern, effective border measures and also improving safety and security along the Southwest Border.” It was initially to be funded by the Defense Department but will now be paid for out of Homeland Security’s 2021 budget. The Border Patrol Yuma sector has quickly emerged as the third busiest of nine sectors along the border, with much of the traffic funneling through the Morelos Dam. Migrants arrive in the small town of Algodones and walk unencumbered across a concrete ledge on the dam to U.S. soil, where they wait for Border Patrol agents to take them into custody. Completion of the wall was at the top of former President Donald Trump’s agenda, and border security remains a potent issue for candidates of both parties going into this year’s primary elections. President Joe Biden halted new wall construction after he took office, but he has since made closing the gaps just south of Yuma a priority. Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, who is seeking his party nomination’s next week to defend the seat in November, has pressed the Biden administration to close the gaps, calling them a challenge for officials trying to secure the border. Agents stopped migrants more than 160,000 times from January through June in the Yuma sector, nearly quadruple from the same period last year. The only other sectors with more traffic were Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. The area has been especially attractive to Colombians, Venezuelans and others who have flown to Mexicali, Mexico, and taken a short bus or taxi ride to Algodones to walk across the border before being released into the United States. But Arizona environmentalist Myles Traphagen, who has been mapping ecological damage left by border wall construction under the Trump administration, said that closing the gaps won’t be much of a deterrent. Traphagen said the Yuma area has “become the new Ellis Island for Arizona, with people arriving there from countries as disparate as Ethiopia, Cuba, Russia, Ukraine, India, Colombia and Nicaragua. “People have traveled half way around the globe on planes, trains and automobiles,” he said, “so to expect that closing four small gaps is going to make them turn around and book a return flight on Air Ethiopia is sheer fallacy.” A 5-year-old migrant girl crossing the water in a group drowned near the dam June 6 when she became separated from her mother. The child’s body was later found in the river. U.S. officials didn’t release the girl’s identity or nationality. But Jamaican newspapers have said she was believed to be from that country. It was unclear when construction would begin. The statement said officials will move “as expeditiously as possible, while still maintaining environmental stewardship” by consulting affected parties. Advocates in San Diego say the Border Patrol there has told them of plans to erect two 30-foot- (9.1-meter) high bollard-style barriers through the border’s iconic Friendship Park. Like the Yuma project, the additional construction was funded during Trump’s administration but not completed before his presidency ended. The new barriers will replace shorter walls and severely impede cross-border views, including to San Diego’s skyline from Tijuana, said the Rev. John Fanestil of Friends of Friendship Park, a group that advocates for public access to the binational park inaugurated in 1971 by-then first lady Pat Nixon. Environmentalists like Traphagen, meanwhile, have called for removal of other sections of barrier they say hurt local wildlife like bobcats, mountain lions, javelinas and mule deer. The Tucson-based Wildlands Network this week released a new report on sites along the U.S.-Mexico border that it considers in the greatest need of environmental restoration. Traphagen, the group’s borderlands program coordinator, traveled the international boundary across New Mexico, Arizona and California this and last year to identify damaged wildlife corridors and other environmental harm. The group calls for native foliage to be replanted in areas that were stripped bare during wall construction, and widening spaces between steel borders, now just 4 inches (10 cm) apart, to allow more wildlife to pass through. It also calls for the removal of 180 miles (290 km) of razor wire that were installed along pedestrian bollard fencing in all border states in 2019 and 2020 both as an eyesore and a danger to the public and wild animals. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Asylum seekers endure harsh life in Juarez as they wait out Title 42

JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Walter Medina holds a cardboard sign as cars drive by on their way to the Bridge of the Americas U.S. port of entry: “Mexico, respectfully I ask for your support … Honduran migrant.” His wife and children stay behind amid rows of cars as he shares his story with a passing motorist. “We left our country 18 months ago,” he says. “Mexican citizens are afraid to give us jobs because of fear they will be accused of being smugglers by the police. We have to ask people for help. […] We prefer to beg than to steal.” Medina and his family left Honduras due to a lack of jobs and fear of gang violence. Like thousands of foreign nationals, he’s struggling to survive in this Mexican border city long enough for the United States to reopen its borders for asylum. That largely hinges on U.S. courts lifting the Title 42 coronavirus-related public health order. It empowers border agents to swiftly expel newly arrived unauthorized migrants and prevents them from walking up to ports of entry to file a claim. ADVERTISING Until that happens, these single adults and families who speak Creole, French, Portuguese and American Indigenous languages will rely on the charity of strangers, the help of nonprofits and money from relatives already in the U.S. to buy more time in a city within walking distance of the American dream. Walter Medina, of Honduras, explains why he brought his family to Juarez, Mexico, and how he hopes to file a claim for asylum once the U.S. lifts the Title 42 public health order. (Julian Resendiz/Border Report) Life on the streets of Juarez Aurelio Dominguez Lopez sits near the steps of the gazebo in a park facing Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral. His luggage – consisting of a gym bag and a black trash bag carrying everything from toilet paper to dirty laundry – lays by his side. Dominguez said he left Honduras because jobs are scarce, especially for older adults. Also, gangs in poor neighborhoods like the one he lived in quickly seize on the profits of anyone who opens up a small business, even if it’s a home-based business. Asylum-seekers sleeping on street as migrant shelters fill up “There is no work in Honduras. There is nothing. The maras (gangs) are everywhere. They harass the workers. And the businesses and the government only employ young people, babies 18 to 35,” said Dominguez, 54. He slept in the park – where pigeon excrement litters concrete walkways – when he first arrived in Juarez. “The shelters are full. They did not let us in. They have a lot of Mexican (families). I have not bathed in three days. […] these are trials that the Lord puts in front of you,” Dominguez said. Aurelio Dominguez sits near the steps of a gazebo at Juarez’s Plaza de Armas park in Juarez. (Julian Resendiz/Border Report) Things got a little better the previous night. A Mexican homeless man befriended him and together they walked to Juarez General Hospital. The 24-7 facility has outdoor benches for the relatives of trauma patients that come in every night after life-threatening accidents or being stabbed or shot. The two men found a space and temporary safety there. “I have not seen my wife in 13 months. My children are grown up, but I cannot count on them. I have to tend to my affairs for myself,” the Honduran migrant said. “If you tell me you have a job for me, I will go with you. If you say ‘no,’ I will go away. I am not here to bother anyone.” Dominguez said he spent nearly a year in Tabasco, a state in Mexico near the border with Guatemala. He worked in a shop there for eight months until he broke his foot. His savings exhausted and with no one else willing to hire him, he resumed his trip north. One of his nephews lives and works in the United States and he hopes to join him. “They say the border is closed. But I need to find out for myself what is going on, see if someone can help me get across. All we want is work,” Dominguez said. Frustration and desperation setting in Erika Alvarez left Guatemala after the latest alleged beating by her domestic partner, a reputed gang member. Several months pregnant, she did not want to risk losing her child or having him grow up in a violent environment. She crossed the border into Mexico with the hope the United States would open its doors to her as a victim of domestic violence. But for now, her dream has ended in Juarez. “I tried to cross to the other side. They returned me to Mexico despite being pregnant. I have no one to watch over me. […] I have no place to stay or means to eat,” Alvarez said. “I want protection because I have been threatened with death; I filed a complaint in my country. The man I used to live with is a fugitive” from Guatemalan authorities. Alvarez said she would not become a public charge in the U.S. because she has relatives who will take care of her until she is able to work. She expressed shock at being turned back at the U.S. border and at immigration officials refusing to hear her out. Supreme Court dismisses GOP effort to defend Trump immigration rule in court “What they did is mistreatment, they returned me back to Mexico at the bridge. I am devastated. I know no one over here and I cannot return to my country. […] I have nowhere to go,” she said. “I ask President (Biden) to have a heart and open the door to let us get to the other side.” Erika Alvarez, a Guatemalan fleeing domestic violence, expresses shock at being turned back at the U.S. border. (Border Report photo) Officials at Juarez’s Migrant Assistance Center gave her papers with information about shelters and other resources in the city. Then, she wandered away. Marisa Limon Garza, senior director for advocacy and programming at the Hope Border Institute in El Paso, said frustration and desperation are beginning to set in among migrants who came to the border with the expectation of being allowed to enter the United States after placing an asylum claim and staying on until it is resolved. “For people seeking a state of protection, their choice is not necessarily to be in Ciudad Juarez; their choice, if they had their vision, is to be with relatives in the United States and be safe,” Limon said. The situation is further complicated by most migrant shelters in Juarez being at or near capacity, and the difficulties American immigration advocates face in trying to provide legal assistance to potential clients in a foreign country. Shelters run low on supplies as migrants keep coming to U.S.-Mexico border The Mexican government and nonprofits in Juarez have been as accommodating with the migrants as circumstances and financial shortcomings permit. But adding to the stress is the fact that some in Juarez are turning their backs on the newcomers. “The reality is that Ciudad Juarez has a delicate eco-system,” Limon said, explaining that xenophobia is a reality in both the United States and Mexico. “It may have nuances, but in the end, the pigment of the skin can be used against people, particularly Afro-Latinos.” In other cases, empathy for those in need takes a back seat to practical considerations, such as “why should I give you a job if I don’t know how long you’re going to be here,” she said. Juarez officials estimate some 15,000 migrants might be in Juarez right now waiting for the end of Title 42. Some officials in El Paso say that number could be even higher. Haitians keeping a low profile in Mexico Vendors like Luis Tarin, who sells T-shirts across from the Downtown Plaza de Armas, say they have gotten used to the groups of Haitians who come and go all day and occasionally try to make a living on the streets of Juarez. “Three years ago, it was Cubans. You saw them walking all over the city. Now it’s the Haitians,” said Tarin, 46. “You could talk to the Cubans because they spoke Spanish. I don’t know what (language the Haitians) speak, so I don’t know how they think. They probably want to cross the border, just like the Cubans.” Women who self-identified as Haitians recently braided hair next to an orange “African tresses” sign in front of the cathedral. The spot is a gathering place for Haitians looking for information or trying to hire themselves up for work. A Haitian woman braids “African tresses” at the Downtown Plaza de Armas park in Juarez, Mexico. (photo Julian Resendiz/Border Report) Border Report tried to interview the women, but they said they did not speak Spanish or English. A few minutes later, one told a potential client in Spanish the cost of the braiding was 1,000 pesos ($50). William, a Cuban migrant who has befriended several Creole-speaking Haitians, said his Caribbean neighbors have plenty of reasons to not be too trusting in Juarez. “There is a lot of corruption. You get near the (port of entry) and the (soldiers) or the police get you. They ask you where you are from and they accuse you of bad things without even knowing you,” William said. “They and Immigration ask you for money. You protest and they say, ‘who is the judge going to believe, me or you?’” William, who did not give his full name and refused to be photographed, said he looks after the Haitians because they make easy targets for criminals and some authorities in Juarez. Haitians say they’re constant targets of racism as Tijuana migrant camp hits 100-day mark “This place is so corrupt it’s a shame,” he said. The migrants “live in an apartment that is 1,200 pesos ($60) a month but for them it’s 3,000. It’s double for migrants. The Cubans that came here a few years ago, they had family in Miami that sent them up to $3,000. But the Haitians don’t have family that can send them $2,000, $3,000 to eat, to pay the rent. If they have kids, the owner of the apartments charges them for every kid. It’s an injustice.” VIDEO: ICE deportation flights continue from South Texas A few Spanish-speaking Haitians who agreed to talk briefly with Border Report declined to say anything negative about Juarez. Giovanni Pierre (Border Report) “I’ve been in Mexico for a year. We have been treated well,” said Jordani Pierre, a Haitian in his late 20s. “I don’t know about other people, but here I eat well, I sleep well, three of us live in a house (paying) 3,000 pesos a month.” Pierre said he has held temporary jobs in Juarez in the past three months, including one in a U.S.-run maquiladora, or assembly plant. His goal is to reach the United States, but as long as Title 42 remains in place and deportation flights from Texas to Haiti continue, he’s not going anywhere. Albert, a Haitian in his early 20s, believes he has a good asylum case but is struggling to get heard. His father owned a clothing store and was murdered during a robbery, and Albert himself was threatened by the criminals. Visit BorderReport.com for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the U.S.-Mexico border He spent several months in the Mexican city of Tapachula near the Guatemala border and has come to Juarez looking for work. “I am young and healthy, but they don’t want to give you work if you are Haitian. They prefer Mexicans,” Albert said. “I have no plans to cross right now. They return us, they deport us if we cross now. They tell us the border is closed, so we will wait.” Albert hooks up with some friends and they walk away towards Juarez Avenue, one of the city’s main drags and gateway to a U.S. port of entry. They walk in a group. In Juarez, Haitians rarely venture to walk alone. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

It Will Now Be Harder For Unaccompanied Immigrant Children To Languish In Government Custody

The US reached a settlement Thursday that establishes fingerprinting deadlines for parents and sponsors trying to get unaccompanied immigrant children out of government custody. Under the settlement, which expires in two years, the government has seven days to schedule fingerprinting appointments and 10 days to finish processing them. The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which houses immigrant children who cross the border alone, will also be required to regularly release reports that would, for the first time, track how long fingerprinting takes. In 2018, the Trump administration started requiring every household member where an unaccompanied child would be living to undergo fingerprinting and an extensive background check, instead of only the sponsor. The policy also required that parents be fingerprinted, which had previously only been done when there was a safety concern. The widened scope of who was required to be fingerprinted increased the amount of time immigrant children spent in ORR custody by weeks and in some cases even months. Blanca Ortiz, a plaintiff in the case, said her two sons were in ORR custody for four months as a result of the policy. “I’ll always remember the months when the government kept me separated from my two sons. There is no greater pain that can be caused than when you separate a child from their mother,” Ortiz said in a statement. "My sons suffered tremendously while in custody. I never, never want to go through this again, and I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. It is inhumane.” The settlement's deadlines establish measures that would make it difficult for a future administration to reinstate a fingerprinting policy like the one named in the lawsuit, said Stephen Kang, an attorney for the ACLU, which took part in the legal action. "Even Trump's ORR said this was not workable," Kang said. "Our hope is that the settlement enshrines certain deadlines and time requirements for when fingerprints need to be processed." The Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately return a request for comment. After the lawsuit was filed and following public outcry, the Trump administration reversed the background check policy in December 2018. At the time, HHS conceded and said the additional background checks generally failed to produce new information showing the child would be at risk. It only resulted in the unaccompanied children being held longer at shelters. The New York Civil Liberties Union, the National Center for Youth Law, and the international law firm Morrison Foerster also took part in the lawsuit. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Biden Officials Planning New ID for Migrants

The Biden administration is working on a new identification card to be issued to immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border that would allow U.S. immigration officials and migrants to more quickly access their files. The card would someday be accepted by the Transportation Security Administration for travel inside the United States. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson told VOA the card, called a Secure Docket Card, is part of a push to modernize and streamline the paperwork given to immigrants when they are processed at the southern border through a consistent, verifiable and secure card. ICE is completing the required pilot notification to Congress, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking for $10 million to launch the initiative during fiscal 2023. The new ID card will include photo, name, nationality and a QR code to access a new portal with the immigrant’s information, allowing the noncitizen to log in to a website — still in development — to schedule and check on ICE reporting requirements and hearing dates with the immigration court. “Specifics of the program are still under development, but a primary goal of the SDC is to improve current, inconsistent paper forms that often degrade rapidly in the real-world use,” an ICE spokesperson wrote in an email, adding that the agency is planning to launch a pilot program by the end of the year. Is SDC only for migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border? Initially, yes. But the ICE spokesperson said the agency will consider expanding it depending upon the success of the pilot program. The administration is hoping to get the necessary congressional approval before the November elections. How will this benefit migrants and the government? According to ICE, when an immigration officer encounters a noncitizen with an SDC, that officer can easily verify the card through DHS systems and determine whether the migrant is seeking asylum or possibly has a deportation order. For the noncitizen, the card's QR code will allow them to access a website where they can schedule ICE reporting obligations and check on hearing dates with the immigration court. “[I’m] cautiously optimistic. … If a docket card makes [the immigration] process more efficient, then it's going to make it easier for the client. It's going to make it easier for the government. And it will literally demonstrate what we knew all along, which is: If you give our clients facing removal the tools to comply, they will comply,” said Jeremy McKinney, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). But, Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, shared concerns about privacy risks when it comes to storing personal data in one place. “It allows bureaucrats to learn more about you, see more about you,” Stanley, who works on privacy issues, told CNN. Congressman Jeff Van Drew, a Republican from New Jersey, said he is writing legislation to halt the Biden administration from issuing ID cards to asylum seekers. Van Drew told Newsmax, a conservative news website, that the only thing migrants should be able to access is “a trip back across the border.” “So I'm doing legislation that is saying not one American tax dollar, or for that matter, any American dollar can be spent for these cards,” he said. The card will be eventually used as form of identification at airports for travel inside the United States. Currently, TSA accepts a Notice to Appear (NTA) as valid identification to travel. The NTA, issued by ICE, orders an individual to appear before an immigration judge on a specific date to continue immigration proceedings in court. Will the card be a supplement to the Alternatives to Detention Program? Yes. Under current law, depending on the situation, ICE “may or must” release noncitizens, U.S. immigration officials said, and the legal paperwork provided to noncitizens varies significantly, case by case. Before migrants are released from custody, those seeking asylum must convince a federal immigration officer they have a well-founded fear of being persecuted in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinions. From there, they are to undergo immigration proceedings to determine if they will be allowed to remain in the United States or be deported. Because of an immigration court backlog of more than 1.6 million cases, the asylum process can take years, and asylum-seekers must check in with different U.S. immigration agencies. The SDC would make it easier for immigrants to check on their court date and check in with immigration officials, a requirement of the Alternatives to Detention program. What is the Alternatives to Detention Program? Alternatives to Detention (ATD) is a program that releases immigrants from border officials’ custody and places them into a specific monitoring program. It is geared toward vulnerable immigrants, such as unaccompanied minors, pregnant women, families with young children and nursing mothers. Those subjected to mandatory detention do not qualify for ATD, generally related to crime. More people have been placed under ATD since the Biden administration steered away from a Trump-era decision to shut down the program for those seeking asylum. Under the Trump administration, everyone was detained, including families who were often held at family detention centers as they waited for court hearings. Currently, ICE allows those in the program to use ankle bracelets for GPS location monitoring, smartphone applications such as SmartLink for facial recognition and GPS-location monitoring, and reporting in through phone calls. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research institution at Syracuse University, people often remain under ATD monitoring for several years. As of July 16, 296,250 people are being monitored through ICE's ATD programs. What are the initial thoughts on the new initiative? Some immigrant rights advocates have raised concerns over safely securing private data, constant monitoring and the efficiency of government going digital for immigration purposes. “That’s why I’m cautiously optimistic. … The government and technology have not always been a match made in heaven," said McKinney of AILA. "I'm concerned about the technology not making it more efficient or making it more burdensome because our clients don't understand, can't use it, or it’s not user-friendly. And the second concern, of course, is privacy.” But Stanley of the ACLU said the ID in a case-by-case can be convenient for users in some circumstances. “The devil is in the details depending on what information we’re talking about,” he said. Those released from U.S. custody at the border on conditions must notify the U.S. government of certain situations such as change or address or if they are planning to move to another U.S. state than the one provided during initial processing. Sometimes, migrants need advanced permission from ICE to move to a new state. “But it doesn't give permission for ICE to track a person's every movement. So, of course there's always going to be the concern in the immigrant community that ICE is using these cards to literally track people,” McKinney added. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Parolees Can Now File Form I-765 Online

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that certain parolees can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online. Most individuals paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit purposes under INA 212(d)(5) are eligible to seek employment authorization under category (c)(11). Please see the Form I-765 instructions for more information. Effective immediately, applicants for employment authorization under category (c)(11) may file Form I-765 online, with limited exceptions. Applicants seeking a waiver of the filing fee or those eligible for a fee exemption, such as Afghan nationals paroled through Operation Allies Welcome and filing an initial Form I-765, must continue to submit Form I-765 by mail. Whether applications are submitted by mail or electronically, USCIS is committed to employing technological solutions and efficiencies to reduce processing times. To file Form I-765 online, eligible applicants must first visit my.uscis.gov to create a USCIS online account. There is no cost to create an account, which offers a variety of features, including the ability to communicate with USCIS about your application through a secure inbox. The option to file Form I-765 online is only available to certain categories of I-765 applicants – now including parolees. If an applicant submits Form I-765 online to request employment authorization, but is not filing under an eligible employment authorization category, USCIS may deny the application and retain the fee. To find more information about which employment authorization categories are eligible for online filing, visit our Forms Available to File Online page. By offering the option to file Form I-765 online, USCIS continues to make the process of applying for immigration benefits efficient, secure, and convenient for more applicants and to increase operational efficiencies for our agency. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Most Billion-Dollar Startups In The U.S. Founded By Immigrants

Tomas Gorny grew up in Poland under communism. But after moving to the U.S. and taking odd jobs like washing dishes and saving money from small ventures, he cofounded the tech company IPOWER in 2001, which he sold 10 years later for $1 billion to Warburg and Goldman Sachs. In 2006, he cofounded Nextiva, a phone and videoconferencing platform valued at $2.7 billion where he’s now CEO. Gorny is hardly alone: More than half of the most valuable startups in America were founded by immigrants, according to a new analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy. The new research, which I authored, shows how vital immigrants have become in founding America’s most valuable companies. “Immigrants have started more than half (319 of 582, or 55%) of America’s startup companies valued at $1 billion or more,” the analysis. “Moreover, nearly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. billion-dollar companies (unicorns) were founded or cofounded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Almost 80% of America’s unicorn companies (privately-held, billion-dollar companies) have an immigrant founder or an immigrant in a key leadership role, such as CEO or vice president of engineering.” The research is an update of NFAP studies in 2016 and 2018. However, due to the growth in billion-dollar companies, the 2022 study involved gathering and verifying information on the founders of more than 580 unicorn companies tracked by CB Insights. “Unicorns” are privately held companies (i.e., not traded on the stock market), valued at $1 billion or more that have received venture capital financing. According to the analysis, 58% of immigrant-founded billion-dollar companies had only an immigrant or multiple immigrant founders, with no native-born founders. Many of the immigrant founders of billion-dollar companies have remarkable life stories. Guillermo Rauch, an immigrant from Argentina, founded Vercel, a cloud platform for web developers. The company has 400 employees and is valued at $2.5 billion. Rauch taught himself web development—at age 11— and learned English by “reading software manuals.” “As a kid, I was fascinated by the idea of being able to create and innovate alongside a global community of developers right from my hometown outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina,” said Rauch in an interview. “My own experiences fueled my desire to solve the challenges I faced while using the web. Immigrating to the U.S. gave me the opportunity to start Vercel to help build a more interesting, intuitive, and open internet by empowering developers to create the moment inspiration strikes.” Many innovations are only realized via entrepreneurship. Think back to the creations of Nikolai Tesla and Alexander Graham Bell—both immigrants who founded companies and invented useful products. The study notes, “The best ideas will never be applied or perfected without people willing to take a chance on those ideas, and billion-dollar companies are among America’s most innovative.” There is no startup visa in U.S. law. Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s (D-CA) bill to create one was part of the COMPCOMP +17.7%ETES Act that passed the House of Representatives in February 2022. Since immigrant entrepreneurs cannot gain permanent residence by starting a business, the immigrant founders of billion-dollar companies typically gain their green cards as refugees or family-sponsored or employer-sponsored immigrants. Several came to America as children with their parents. One-quarter (143 of 582, or 25%) of U.S. billion-dollar startup companies have a founder who came to America as an international student. International students generally must gain H-1B status and (or) an employment-based green card to stay in the United States after graduation. Two more findings of note from the research: The more than 300 immigrant-founded U.S. companies have a collective value of $1.2 trillion. That makes those companies more valuable than all the companies listed on the main stock markets of several countries, including Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. The research also found the billion-dollar companies with immigrant founders created an average of 859 jobs per company, with the majority of the employees in the United States. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Supreme Court wrong to block Biden immigration priorities

With its official term finished, the Supreme Court just released a short order with big implications for immigration policy. The court on Thursday refused to block a lower court ruling that has prevented the Biden administration from setting immigration enforcement priorities. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced these priorities last September, and then in June a Texas judge blocked them from taking effect. Now the high court voted (5-4) to keep Biden’s immigration priorities on hold, and to hear arguments on the case in December. This may sound like business as usual, as controversial measures often wend their way through our legal system. But here the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is ignoring federal law, precedent, and common sense. The court is basically allowing one Trump judge to usurp the authority of elected and appointed leaders. This amounts to a threat to our separation of powers, as well as to immigrant families who could find themselves at risk for deportation. At issue is whether Biden can set his own immigration enforcement priorities, something presidents of both parties have been doing for decades. Presidents set such priorities because Congress has never allocated enough money to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to remove all of the undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The Pew Research Center estimates that there are nearly 11 million undocumented people in the country. Biden’s immigration enforcement priorities are completely reasonable. The administration wanted to focus on removing threats to national security, public safety, and border security. Immigration agents were being told to go after criminals and terrorists, rather than, say, rounding up U.S. military veterans and students. This targeted use of resources is within Mayorkas’s authority. When DHS was created in 2003, Congress said that the Secretary “shall be responsible” for “establishing national immigration enforcement policies and priorities.” That didn’t stop District Judge Drew Tipton from ruling that the administration could not implement its guidelines. Worse, the Supreme Court is letting his deeply flawed decision stay in place for months. Consider that the court has consistently upheld the authority of the federal government over immigration. In 2012, the court noted that “a principal feature of the removal system is broad discretion exercised by immigration officials.” The court ruled in 1999 that an agency can drop deportation proceedings against a person for any number of reasons, and in 1985 it held that “an agency’s decision not to take enforcement action should be presumed immune from judicial review.” By allowing Judge Tipton to substitute his judgment for that of the administration, the current court is trampling on precedent. The court’s order could also have a devastating impact on undocumented immigrants. Now any person in the country without authorization is at risk of deportation. It doesn’t matter if they have been in the country for years, have citizen children, or are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. ICE agents are free to target anyone they choose, which could destabilize immigrant communities and lead to more racial profiling of Latinos. Setting immigration priorities doesn’t mean that a president is soft on illegal immigration. Biden’s priorities are close to those of Obama, and his administration deported over 2 million people. True, the court’s order is temporary, as it agreed to hear arguments in this case in December. Yet that means that a final decision will probably not come until next Spring. Even if the Biden administration ultimately wins its case, a core responsibility of DHS Secretary Mayorkas will have been held hostage by a lone federal judge for nearly a year. And eliminating these priorities is not fair to immigration agents either; they will have to do their jobs without official guidance on best practices. The government calls Pat Cipollone Climate change isn’t about saving the planet: It’s about saving the people It’s one thing to have aggressive immigration policies under a president like Trump, who was democratically elected and accountable to voters. It’s a different matter to have aggressive immigration policies because a conservative judge in Texas thinks we should. By permitting this, the court is allowing an encroachment upon the powers of the executive. That seems a violation of our system of co-equal branches of government. President Biden has the right to enact his immigration agenda unimpeded by a partisan judiciary, whether that be a Texas judge or the Supreme Court’s conservative majority. By again imposing its will on millions of Americans, the high court is further eroding its own legitimacy. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

#NoReformNoVote: TikTok Star Launches Pressure Campaign for Promised Immigrant Relief

WASHINGTON — A controversial new campaign by popular immigrant rights organizer Carlos Eduardo Espina is calling on Latinos not to vote in November’s midterm elections unless President Joe Biden and the Democrats pass long-promised immigration reform. Espina is telling his millions of followers on social media that if Democrats fail to enact the immigration reforms promised during the 2020 election, then Latino voters, who largely come from immigrant communities, should stay home on Election Day. “It has been over 500 days since Biden and the Democrats took power, and the millions of immigrants who kept this country afloat have not seen any improvement,” said Espina in Spanish. The Spanish-language campaign already has over four million views on TikTok, where Espina has 3.5 million followers. The English language hashtag #NoReformNoVote has over 271,000 views on the platform. Espina, a 23-year-old law student from Texas, said on TikTok that he’s faced pushback from folks who tell him Democrats are doing what they can, given the political climate. “Those who want to cancel me are indignant,” Espina said on TikTok. “While it’s true that Republicans do absolutely nothing to help immigrants, Democrats are also doing absolutely nothing… They always have excuses that ignore the fact that they have a majority in both chambers of Congress.” Espina doesn’t limit his criticisms to Capitol Hill, singling out inaction by the White House too, which he said can be doing more to help immigrants unilaterally through executive orders. “An example is that if Biden wanted to he could give TPS (Temporary Protected Status) to millions of undocumented immigrants,” Espina said. “For Ukrainian immigrants, he created TPS in a week… But for immigrants from other countries, not a peep.” “Sorry I don’t agree with you on this because there is more that we are going to lose if the Republicans take the House and the Senate,” one commenter said, a sentiment shared by many political watchers who fear worsening conditions if the Republicans retake Congress in November. As of this writing, Espina’s petition has nearly 6,000 signatures and the campaign’s Facebook group has almost 124,000 members. A pre-election rally is being planned for Saturday, October 8, in Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. In February, Espina used his social media platforms to mobilize hundreds of immigrants to the same plaza for a midday rally called “A Day Without Immigrants.” For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

ICE developing program to give ID cards to illegal immigrants, as border crisis rages

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is moving forward with a pilot program that would see ID cards given out to illegal immigrants, as part of broader efforts to keep track on the tens of thousands being released into the country each month due to the historic crisis at the southern border. The ICE Secure Docket Card program is part of a pilot program the agency says will "modernize various forms of documentation provided to provisionally released noncitizens through a consistent, verifiable, secure card." Migrants who are apprehended at the southern border and are not removed are instead released into the U.S. as their asylum cases are heard by the U.S. immigration system -- a process which can take years. They are released with a range of different paperwork depending on the migrant’s situation. The new ID card will contain a photograph, biographic identifiers and what ICE calls "cutting-edge security features to the mutual benefit of the government and noncitizens." TSA CHIEF SAYS ‘UNDER 1,000’ ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO BOARD PLANES WITH WARRANTS AS ID "Specifics of the program are still under development, but a primary goal of the SDC is to improve current, inconsistent paper forms that often degrade rapidly in real world use," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Pending the outcome of the pilot, ICE will consider further expansion." ICE believes that the card will allow for officers in the field to easily verify an illegal immigrant’s identity and whether or not they are deportable. The card could in turn be used by the migrant to check in and schedule reporting dates with ICE offices, as well as hearing dates for immigration court. A group of Brazilian migrants make their way around a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma, Ariz., seeking asylum in the U.S. after crossing over from Mexico, June 8, 2021. A group of Brazilian migrants make their way around a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma, Ariz., seeking asylum in the U.S. after crossing over from Mexico, June 8, 2021. ( (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)) It comes as part of efforts by ICE to keep tabs on the tens of thousands being released into the U.S. each month. ICE is currently monitoring hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants via its Alternatives to Detention program -- which primarily sees them check in via a smartphone app, but can also include ankle bracelets and in-person check-ins. The number of enrollees in that program has spiked from approximately 86,000 at the end of 2020 to nearly 300,000 in recent months, according to data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. CNN, which first reported on the program, reported that the ID could eventually be accepted by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials. TSA has caused significant controversy by allowing migrants to board planes using civil immigration arrest warrants and other immigration documents. DHS Secretary Mayorkas claims 'the border is secure'Video LEAKED ICE DOC SHOWS ‘ALTERNATIVES TO DETENTION’ PROGRAM HAS ‘LITTLE VALUE’ TSA Administrator David Pekoske said last week at a Senate hearing that "under 1,000" illegal immigrants had been allowed to board planes with arrest warrants and deportation orders this calendar year. While he stressed that that process included additional vetting, he was grilled on the security implications by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who asked why illegal immigrants should be allowed to board flights at all. "I think you’re going to have a hard time explaining to folks who wait for all of this time in these lines, who subject themselves voluntarily to the restrictions you impose…that you’re allowing illegal aliens with warrants for arrest to get on airplanes." CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced last that there were 207,000 migrant encounters at the border in June, compared to just over 189,000 in June last year. The June report shows there were 105,161 migrants removed from the U.S. last month, including 92,273 expelled under CDC’s Title 42 order – 79,652 migrants were released into the US. With June’s numbers, there have now been 1,746,119 total encounters at the southern border in the 2022 fiscal year – outpacing the 1,734,686 encounters set in FY21, and with still three months remaining in FY'22. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has come under fire for his comments last week, in which he claimed the border is "secure." For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Advocates fear feds have no intention of ever reopening popular California border park

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Advocates believe the Border Patrol has no intention of ever reopening the popular Friendship Park and it continues to use the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to keep it closed, but the agency says there will be opportunities for access in the future. The binational park is located at the most southwesterly point in the continental United States, where the Pacific Ocean, Mexico and the U.S. meet. For decades, this area has allowed families and friends to gather and spend time together with the border barrier between them. Traditionally Border Patrol agents have opened a gate for a few hours on weekends granting access to small groups of people allowing them to walk inside what’s called the “enforcement zone.” But in the spring of 2020, as the pandemic set in, U.S. Customs and Border Protection decided to stop the practice until the area reopened. Border wall ‘repair work’ underway on California coastline Although Friendship Park sits on federal land right along the border, access to the park is controlled by the state of California because you have to drive or walk through state property to get to it. Friendship park sits on a bluff just above the ocean between San Diego and Tijuana. The area between existing fences is where families traditionally gather with the border barrier between them. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report) California State Parks has reopened the site, but the Border Patrol has yet to grant access to Friendship Park. Adding to the advocates’ frustration was Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas recent approval of plans to construct two 30-foot walls across the face of Friendship Park, replacing existing barriers now in place. The plans currently don’t include a pedestrian gate and supporters of the park, a group known as “Friends of Friendship Park,” fear this will be the end to the long-standing tradition of public access. Pedro Rios is the director with American Friends Service Committee in San Diego. (Elliott Macias/KSWB) “U.S. Border Patrol says they are just ‘replacing walls’ at Friendship Park,” said John Fanestil. “But given our experience across the last 10 years, it looks to us like another dramatic step in a long, slow campaign by Border Patrol officials to ‘sunset’ Friendship Park.” Fanestil and others argue that the Border Patrol had been planning to shut down the park even before the pandemic. “So using the pandemic as an excuse or lack of resources or more recently, the grading of infrastructure of the border wall to keep the park closed is simply an excuse, they simply don’t want people to show up there,” said Pedro Rios, of the American Friends Service Committee. Rios is also a member of Friends of Friendship Park. “When we learned Border Patrol was going to replace what is there with a 30-foot border wall they told us there wouldn’t be an accessible pedestrian gate and that’s when we started raising an alarm,” said Rios. Idea to remove part of border barrier for binational park gaining momentum CBP has said the new walls will replace the deteriorated primary and secondary barriers located adjacent to Friendship Park, saying, “It is no longer structurally sound and is falling apart, which presents risks to Border Patrol agents, community members, and migrants.” As for putting in a new pedestrian gate, CBP responded with the following statement: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recognizes the value of having a safe meeting place for families and friends on both sides of the border. Upon completion of the San Diego Friendship Circle Project, including the replacement of a secondary barrier with a pedestrian gate in this area, we will identify opportunities to provide the public with access once it is operationally safe to do so. While these opportunities will continue to need to be based on other U.S. Border Patrol operational requirements, the replacement construction project will not be an impediment to potential opportunities for future access in this location. Upon completion of discussions with stakeholders and receipt of the schedule from the construction contractor, CBP will determine when construction will commence.” Visit BorderReport.com for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the U.S.-Mexico border Rios said this information is “vague and non-committal.” “Even when they have this gate, and if they keep on keeping this park closed, a gate there makes no difference because the park continues to be closed to members of the public,” he said. On Wednesday, Border Patrol representatives and Friends of Friendship Park are expected to meet and discuss a compromise. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Immigrant advocates after W.H. meeting: ‘Next steps’ on policy remain unclear

In a meeting at the White House on Tuesday, a major immigrant advocacy group urged the Biden administration to take immigration policy off the back burner and finally pressure Congress to take action ahead of the upcoming midterms. Attendees said they saw a clear desire to try and find a path forward for immigration reform. But they also conceded they left with few tangible commitments. “Ideally, we would’ve gotten more tangible and complete answers to some of those questions on … what are their actual commitments, what are their next steps,” Yaritza Mendez, organizing co-director at the progressive immigrant-led group, Make the Road New York, said after the White House meeting. “But we suspected from the get, that it was going to be hard to have that breakthrough.” During the meeting, which was with a senior adviser to the president and administration officials who work on migration and political strategy, members of Make the Road warned that the “political environment has worsened” with heightened inflation concerns, unfavorable court outlooks and the Democrats’ slim congressional majority in jeopardy. Group members stressed the need to provide permanent solutions for undocumented immigrants, including those currently with temporary protections in programs with tenuous futures. In particular, the outlook of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is uncertain because of legal challenges and future administrations could do away with Temporary Protected Status designations for certain immigrants, the group noted. More broadly, they urged officials to return to making immigration reform a policy priority, before the window of opportunity potentially closes in November. “While all of this has been going on, our members have been patiently waiting and pushing for permanent immigration relief, knowing that time is running out,” the group said in a statement at the meeting and shared with POLITICO. “The White House, on the other hand, has been publicly silent on affirmatively moving or prioritizing any immigration legislation.” The White House declined to comment on the meeting. Group members said they urged the administration to be more vocal in pressing Congress to act on immigration reform — as many of the group’s members are part of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. hoping to get access to a pathway to citizenship. Congress has remained unlikely and unable to reach any kind of immigration breakthrough that would garner enough Republican support to pass the Senate. Last year, the Senate parliamentarian rejected multiple attempts from Democrats to include immigration reform in their party-line social spending bill. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

The Border's Toll

By Mica Rosenberg, Kristina Cooke and Daniel Trotta Filed: July 25, 2022, 11 a.m. GMT In the early hours of Friday, May 6, Gerardo Avila and five other migrants scaled the 18-foot U.S. border wall next to a Mexican highway, about a quarter mile west of the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego. Avila had been deported to Mexico a few weeks earlier after three decades in the United States, and was trying to get back to his family for Mother’s Day, relatives said. As he was climbing, bright lights from a border patrol vehicle flashed in the direction of the wall, illuminating the foggy night sky. Agents heard a scream and saw Avila fall about 15 feet, according to a Border Patrol statement, which identified him only as a “male citizen of Mexico.” Avila, 47, was declared dead at the scene. The others were rushed to hospital. His death was part of a spike in fatalities along the border, which broke records last year. New data from the United Nations shows the trend is on track to be as bad or worse this year. Some of the deaths, medical experts and advocates told Reuters, are a legacy of Trump-era policies. The towering wall - built as high as a three-storey building in some sections - has multiplied serious injuries for those who try to scale it. A record number of crossings, more than 1.7 million so far this fiscal year through June, have been fueled in part by an expulsion policy put in place by Trump, a Republican, that Biden, a Democrat, has been unable to end. It cuts off options for requesting asylum, pushing migrants to seek entry multiple times along ever-more-risky clandestine routes. Republicans say Biden’s promise of a more “humane” approach to the border has encouraged migrants to embark on the dangerous journey to the United States in ever greater numbers. A smuggler uses his hands to paddle on a raft full of asylum seeking migrants from Central and South America across the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico in Roma, Texas, June 13, 2022. Picture taken June 13, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Adrees Latif Migrants retreat into the Rio Grande river as they are chased by border patrol agents after crossing into the United States from Mexico, in Roma, Texas, June 7, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Adrees Latif THE TOLL 728 deaths last year Last year was the deadliest for migrants crossing the border, with 728 fatalities recorded by the United Nations, which started counting in 2014. The U.N. has counted 340 more this year, apace with 2021’s grim record. In Arizona, deaths last year were the highest in four decades of data collected from local medical examiners. In the San Diego area, Scripps Mercy hospital reported a roughly five-fold jump in admissions for wall-related injuries after Trump built the higher border wall, data shared with Reuters show. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) acknowledged in a statement “a rise in the number of deaths.” It blamed smuggling organizations “with no regard for human life,” who abandon migrants in remote and dangerous areas. CBP has not published data on deaths on its website since fiscal year 2020. Record keeping is patchy. Some migrants who die are never found or identified. Following congressional mandates, CBP changed how it counts fatalities along the border last year to include only those who die in custody, during arrests or when agents were nearby. The agency told Reuters there were 151 such “CBP-related” deaths in the 2021 fiscal year, a previously unreported number. Bodies discovered by CBP or others are not currently included in the agency’s data. Avila’s death, which is being investigated by local and federal authorities, would likely be counted under the new methodology because CBP agents were present when he died. Reuters was unable to establish what caused Avila and the others to fall. THE WALL 375 admissions to San Diego hospital after falls from taller border wall The U.S.-Mexico border fence stretches across mountainous terrain near Sasabe, Arizona, May 10, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Noble The U.S.-Mexico border fence stretches across mountainous terrain near Sasabe, Arizona, May 10, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Noble The primary fence Avila fell from doubled in height to 18 feet under Trump, whose campaign rallying cry of “build the wall” launched him to the presidency in 2016. A 30-foot secondary fence was built in the same section. On one morning in May, Vishal Bansal, Scripps Mercy’s chief of trauma surgery, and his team saw three border patients. Two were recent arrivals with fractures to the lower extremities, another had a head injury, had been unresponsive for weeks and was given a 50/50 chance of survival. “We have seen a massive uptick in the number of patients since the end of 2021 until now,” Bansal said. While the hospital attends migrants injured at sea or in crashes after high-speed chases with border patrol, the majority are injured “falling from the border wall,” he said. The trauma center at Scripps Mercy - where the hills of Tijuana, Mexico are visible out the windows - alternates months with nearby University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center to receive patients injured while crossing the border. A UCSD study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association on April 29 found the higher border wall was associated with more deaths and severe injuries as well as increased costs for the hospital. From 2019 to 2021, after the higher wall sections were completed, there were 375 UCSD admissions due to falls, a more than five-fold increase compared to the previous three-year period. Dr. Vishal Bansal, head of the trauma unit at Scripps Mercy Hospital looks over a border wall fall patient, San Diego, California, May 20, 2022. REUTERS/ Mike Blake The X-ray of the leg of an injured border wall fall patient is shown to resident doctors at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California, May 20, 2022. Picture taken May 20, 2022. REUTERS/ Mike Blake Four of the people injured in the fall on May 6, when Avila died, were rushed to Scripps Mercy, which has recorded 209 border fence falls from 2019 to 2021, up from 43 recorded in the previous three years, according to the data shared with Reuters. In the first five months of this year the hospital received three times more border injury patients than in the same period last year. One of the recent arrivals, Juan Jesus, 24, had already gone through two operations on his broken lower left leg, and suffered spine and hip injuries after falling from the wall. Juan Jesus, a truck driver who spoke on condition his last name not be used, said he fled Mexico after suffering multiple armed robberies of his cargo and threats to his family. One night after sundown, he and a friend found a discarded metal ladder on the Mexican side of the border and decided to use it to go over the fence near the Tijuana airport. They cleared the first, shorter fence just fine, Juan Jesus said, reaching U.S. territory. But they still had to scale the second 30-foot barrier, and the ladder was not quite tall enough. As he neared the top, it came away from the wall and he fell, breaking his leg. He lay immobile and in pain, until the Border Patrol arrived and called an ambulance. Gerardo Avila also took great risks scaling the wall, but unlike Juan Jesus he wasn’t fleeing home, he was trying to get back. Avila first arrived in the United States as a teenager in 1990, according to court records, coming “through the hills.” He, his mother and nine siblings all settled in the country. He worked in construction and made a life in Perris, California with his wife and five step-children, according to his sister, Elisa Sandoval. Avila spent years fighting to stay in the country, before losing his final appeal last year. In immigration court, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement prosecutors pointed to a 2006 conviction for driving under the influence and hit and run with injury as a reason his request for leniency should be denied. Avila told the court that he checked on the driver he rear-ended and gave her his insurance information before driving on. He was arrested shortly after leaving the scene, records show, and was sentenced to 20 days in jail and three years probation. On March 16 of this year, Avila was arrested by a border patrol criminal-targeting team at a Home Depot in Perris and deported through the San Ysidro port of entry that same day. ”He was really desperate to get back,” his sister Sandoval said. Instead, he was buried in California on his 48th birthday.“I think the wall is stupid. Trump is to blame for these deaths,” she said. Asked about the role of the wall in injuries and deaths, a spokesperson for Trump blamed Biden’s policies for “mayhem” on the southern border. THE ROAD 53 dead in a sweltering tractor-trailer in San Antonio Law enforcement officers carry a body bag at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Go Nakamura Law enforcement officers carry a body bag at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Go Nakamura One of Trump’s signature policies that Biden has so far not overturned allows border agents to quickly expel migrants back across the border. An unintended consequence: many simply cross again and again, often making increasingly risky choices to avoid detection. Brothers Mariano, 32, and Begai Santiago, 33, from a tiny village in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, where most residents speak the indigenous language of Chinanteco, set out for Atlanta, Georgia for work. They were turned back by U.S. officials twice, but kept trying. “He told me he was going to try to cross a third and final time,” Mariano’s wife Luz Estrella Cuevas told Reuters. The third time, they crossed undetected, and then boarded a tractor-trailer packed with dozens of other migrants headed to San Antonio. Mariano did not make it out alive. A framed photo of late migrant Mariano Santiago Hipolito, 32, who died last month in a trailer in San Antonio, Texas, is pictured over his casket during a wake at the family home in Tuxtepec, in Oaxaca state, Mexico July 15, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer Luz Estrella Cuevas is embraced during the burial of her late husband Mariano Santiago Hipolito, 32, who died last month in a trailer in San Antonio, Texas, at a cemetery in Tuxtepec, in Oaxaca state, Mexico July 15, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer He was one of 53 victims who died locked inside the overheated trailer on the side of a Texas highway on June 27, the most deadly smuggling incident in recent U.S. history. Begai survived to recover in a San Antonio hospital. The brothers were identified in part because U.S. authorities had records of their previous crossings. Migrants have been turned around more than 2 million times since the Trump policy known as Title 42 was put in place in the name of protecting public health in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to U.S. government data. Francisco Garduno, head of Mexico’s National Migration Institute, said Mexican migrants now try to cross on average four times and some more than a dozen times. “Sometimes they are returned and try to cross again the next day,” Garduno told reporters in June. U.S. immigration authorities said they could not comment on whether the brothers were expelled under Title 42 because the investigation was ongoing. Begai Santiago Hipolito, 34, who was traveling along with his late brother Mariano Santiago Hipolito, 32, who died last month while they both were being smuggled in a trailer in San Antonio, Texas, is pictured in this undated photo in Monterrey, in Nuevo Leon state, Mexico, received by Reuters on July 18, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer THE DESERT 16 emergency calls per day to Tucson sector Border Patrol agents For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Column: Senate candidate Blake Masters doesn’t just want to ‘build the wall.’ He’s building a dystopia

The Trump-endorsed Senate candidate Blake Masters wants you to believe he’s a nationalist. This Arizonan wants you to think he’s trying to “Make America Great Again.” But he’s not a nationalist. He’s not just about building a wall. He wants to build a new world — one where nations are obsolete. Masters is a protege and pawn of PayPal’s co-founder and Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who has bragged about participating in “the erosion of the nation-state.” Stipple-style portrait illustration of Jean Guerrero OPINION COLUMNIST Jean Guerrero Jean Guerrero is the author, most recently, of “Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda.” Read more from Jean Guerrero A 35-year-old crypto evangelist, Masters is cribbing the nativist script to convince you he’ll stop the so-called border “invasion.” He even touts slashing legal immigration in half. He’s the Hollywood-actor version of Stephen Miller, the architect of former President Trump’s most draconian immigration policies. His performance is pretty good. Neo-Nazi publisher Andrew Anglin and other white nationalists, who’ve publicly cheered him on, seem convinced. Masters parrots their hateful rhetoric about Democrats changing U.S. demographics: “It’s about a small Fox News host Tucker Carlson calls him the GOP’s “future.” A spokeswoman for Masters declined to comment for this article. Masters’ nativism is a Trojan horse for something more ominous: a world where literally nobody has a voice except a small group of elites with all-seeing, all-powerful technology. Thiel put more than $13 million into Masters’ campaign. He’s also backing Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance and helped Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley win in 2018. But Masters is so close to Thiel that if he scores a Senate seat, his longtime boss would “effectively have a seat of his own,” journalist Noah Lanard argues in his recent profile of Masters in Mother Jones. It’s not hard to figure out what a Masters victory could mean. Thiel wrote in 2009: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” He has also revealed the book that most shaped him: 1997’s “The Sovereign Individual” by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg. The book prophesied the collapse of nation-states. The authors depict this as an exciting future for elites freed of regulation, interacting “on terms that echo the relation among the gods in Greek myth.” Elites control everything, hiring private militias as the rest of us descend into destitution and random violence. Tax evasion by elites like Thiel, if left unchecked, could turn that story into a self-fulfilling prophecy: shielding billions from taxation, they erode the power of nation-states to improve lives — turning citizens into slaves or exiles. (See: mass migration.) Glen Weyl, a leading thinker in the Web3 community who has criticized the authors’ predictions through his think tank RadicalxChange, believes Masters’ xenophobic rhetoric is a tool Thiel is using to fast-forward to the book’s dystopia. From the Senate, wannabe god-kings can accelerate the nation-state’s decline by promoting digital extremism, tax loopholes and bitcoin maximalism. “The strategy these guys follow is to do a lot of rabble-rousing and to look really right-wing,” Weyl told me, “and to then get the mainstream media to hate on them for being right-wing, and to use that to bring these far-right people close to them.” But, he added: “Their worldview is one in which ‘dumb white Americans’ starve to death.” Weyl calls their ideas perilous to “participation in the political process by anyone other than the god-kings.” He told me an associate of Thiel’s summoned him to Thiel’s L.A. offices in 2018. In the meeting, Weyl recalls Thiel saying: “You sound like a threat to my position. How seriously should I take that threat?” Weyl believes Thiel felt threatened by Weyl’s tech-forward wealth tax proposal in his book “Radical Markets.” Thiel didn’t respond to my requests for comment. Max Chafkin, author of the well-regarded Thiel biography “The Contrarian,” described Masters to me as “an extension of Thiel.” He believes Thiel is motivated by hunger for money and power. Masters and Thiel met in 2012, when Masters took a class taught by Thiel at Stanford Law. They went to dinner and became close, co-writing a pro-monopoly book, “Zero to One.” Thiel hired Masters as president of his foundation in 2015 and worked with him on Trump’s transition team after Thiel helped Trump win the 2016 election. Masters became friendly with Steve Bannon, who was convicted Friday of contempt of Congress for withholding information about the Jan. 6 coup attempt. Masters is also a longtime admirer of blogger Curtis Yarvin, who has written that some people are “more suited to slavery” than others. He argues that we should get over our “dictator-phobia.” It’s no wonder Masters has been promoting Trump’s “Big Lie,” the ultimate expression of dictatorial dreams. Masters’ affinity for people with such views is as much of a threat to white people as to anyone. His patron and partner Thiel is a central figure in the rise of surveillance capitalism, in which tech companies harvest our data for the manipulation of our desires and doings. He was the first major outside investor in Facebook, and his biggest equity holding is in Palantir, a data mining company that contracts with government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. Those partnerships should raise red flags for the MAGA world, which complains of FBI overreach. Predictably, Masters has been promoting the expansion of the border surveillance empire. Nearly 2 out of 3 Americans live in the 100-mile border zone, where border officers already can search people without a warrant. And the Supreme Court recently gave border officers free rein to violate your rights. To MAGA devotees decrying attacks on freedom: You’re onto something. But immigrants aren’t the enemy. Democrats aren’t the enemy. They’re decoys to distract you as Thiel and company create a world in which privacy and liberties are only for the elite. Those of us who love this country must join forces to stop them. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Texas border official says Mayorkas is wrong, 'border is not secure' as fentanyl, criminals pour across

EL PASO, Texas – EXCLUSIVE: Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Sgt. Marc Couch says his troopers are working diligently to combat criminal activities connected with human smuggling, fentanyl and weapons trafficking across the southern border, which "is not secure," contrary to the Biden administration's claims. Couch and his agents work as part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's "Operation Lone Star," which was launched in March 2021 with the Texas National Guard in order to "combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas." Since its founding, the operation's efforts have led to over 225,000 migrant apprehensions, over 13,000 criminal arrests, and seizures of over 3,500 weapons and 289 million deadly fentanyl doses. Couch spoke with Fox News Digital on the Mexico-Texas border in El Paso Friday, saying that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' comment last week that the border is "secure" is a "misnomer of a statement." Mayorkas remarked last week during a speech at the Aspen Security Forum that the border is "secure" and "we are working to make the border more secure. That has been a historic challenge." He went on to criticize lawmakers who won’t commit to broad immigration legislation until the situation is addressed, while also adding "there is work to be done." INTEL REPUBLICANS VISITING EL PASO WARN OF 'ASTRONOMICAL' THREATS, TERRORIST SURGE ACROSS 'POROUS' BORDER Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Marc Couch speaks with Fox News Digital on the banks of the Rio Grande about challenges Biden's border policies pose to Texas. Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Marc Couch speaks with Fox News Digital on the banks of the Rio Grande about challenges Biden's border policies pose to Texas. (Kelly Laco/Fox News Digital) "The border is not secure. If you're down here for any length of time whatsoever, you come down and tour these areas, talk to anybody who works down here," Couch told Fox News Digital. "The border is not secure when you're seeing in the RGV [Rio Grande Valley] sectors mass migration of people who are just wandering across the border. That is a misnomer of a statement that has no truth in it," Senior DHS sources told Fox News this week that there have been more than 500,000 known "gotaways" since Fiscal Year 2022 began in October. That is much more than the 389,155 known gotaways in FY'21. Per the sources, the United States is at nearly 900,000​ known gotaways since the beginning of FY'21, which is equivalent to a population bigger than the city of San Francisco sneaking across the border without apprehension. Couch said the work of Texas DPS is to detect any criminal activity associated with enforcement actions. He said smugglers are getting more "creative" in their tactics to try and conceal migrants and drugs and successfully transport them across the border. US Border in El Paso, TexasVideo What Texas Department of Public Safety officers are "trained to do is go beyond a traffic stop," Couch explained. "It's more than just handing out a piece of paper and taking enforcement action. We're doing our part to try to get involved with the why and what's going on in that situation, to see if we can detect if there's any kind of criminal behavior that's taking place." "Our troopers are some of the best, the best in the world at doing this kind of stuff, just by having conversations with people and detecting these kinds of criminal behaviors that are happening. And so as the smugglers get more creative, the troopers also get more creative," continued Couch. The smuggling of illicit drugs, including deadly fentanyl, has been on the rise as well. In FY'21 the amount of fentanyl seized at the border from Mexico increased by 30% since before Biden took office and law enforcement called it enough to "kill every man, woman, and child in our country six times over." Couch said the troopers are taking appropriate precautions to deal specifically with fentanyl, which can be fatal upon contact with even a tiny amount of the substance. Rep. Mike Turner: Terrorists coming across the border poses an 'absolute threat and danger' to the USVideo "So it's all about training, and it's also about preparedness. And when we know the risks that come up, then we adapt and we mold ourselves to change, to overcome those things because we're not going to stop looking for it. So wearing a mask, always being gloved up, those are some of the risks that officers know when they start to search a car or some kind of a vehicle or some kind of container." "But fentanyl is a very dangerous." said Couch. "It's supposed to be a controlled substance that's given by doctors. It's supposed to be controlled at all levels. It has no business at street level being handed out by someone with no degree, you know, no education whatsoever that you're picking up a pill from'". ERNST SAYS HUMAN SMUGGLERS 'TAUNTING' LAW ENFORCEMENT BY 'BRUTALLY' RAPING YOUNG GIRLS AT BORDER, URGES ACTION The sergeant said the smugglers' treatment of the migrants they take across the border is scarring, especially the reports that over half of young girls being trafficked across the border are being raped. "The treatment of human beings as though they're nothing more than property is something this country doesn't stand for," he said. "And it's something that as law enforcement, we're not going to stand for. It is a very, very sad and tragic event when you see young, young children, 8 or 9 years old, being raped, being sodomized, being marginalized in their life. You know, even if we get them saved from that situation and in a good place, what kind of pain and suffering are they going to carry within the rest of their life?" House Intel Republicans say southern border "is not secure," Biden admin must stop 'turning a blind eye' to realityVideo The sergeant also said that his team is seeing an uptick in weapons smuggling in both directions, into and out of Mexico. The sergeant also said that increasingly, migrants are being transported into the U.S. carrying weapons and drugs, when in the past they had been unarmed. "There are weapons [from] the U.S. that are being transported across the border back to cartel members there in Mexico because they're using them for intimidation, for murder, for all the things that they do to do their trade across the border." CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Couch said that ideally, the DPS would receive more "manpower" to be able to accomplish their mission. "If we had more people, we have so many good missions that need to be taken care of, then we would have the manpower to put them everywhere," he said. "If we had the people, if we had the personnel that were there, then we could continue the great work we're doing in the interior of Texas, as well as what we do in supporting the border." The sergeant is also encouraging more recruitment and help from the public to help stop criminals before they disappear into the interior of the U.S. He encouraged Texans to use "iWatch, Texas" to help border agents in their work. "See something, say something is still very vitally important. If you're seeing crossings or people that you think might be illegal, it's worth at least calling your local law enforcement." Couch said anytime that he and his agents help people and rescue individuals from being trafficked or marginalized, he can sleep well at night knowing he has made a difference. "And you can actually intervene in that situation and save someone or help someone, man. You could put your head on the pillow knowing at least for that, at least in that situation, you've made a difference. But when you grab that feeding off the street or you get that big load of marijuana, or you get those criminals that are coming across that are wanted somewhere else, or they've committed a crime in Texas, and we can actually put them in jail." "Our leadership, our chain of command, our governor of the state of Texas, we have some fantastic men and women who are giving of their lives every day coming down here, away from their families for long periods of time, to try to again fill the gaps that have been left by the federal government not doing their job. We're proud to do it," he said. "We love Texas." For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Mayorkas traveling to Central America to meet with Honduran president

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is traveling to Honduras this week to meet with the president over increasing migration from the Central American country, the agency announced. Mayorkas on Tuesday is scheduled to meet with Honduran President Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, DHS said. The visit comes as a growing number of Hondurans cross the border from Mexico and try to claim asylum in the United States, according to new data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Migrant encounters top 2 million, surpass total for last fiscal year Mayorkas also is to meet with Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina, Minister of Security Ramon Sabillon, and security and law enforcement officials “to address ongoing migration challenges in the region,” the agency said Monday. In addition, Mayorkas is to talk with United Nations agencies that provide support to migrants and vulnerable populations, including children. The meeting comes after commitments made at the Summit of the Americas held in California last month. Protesters demand immigration reform at Summit of the Americas And it comes at a time when thousands of migrants are arriving on the Southwest border, most from the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, which form what is called the Northern Triangle. Encounters this fiscal year have already surpassed all of the last fiscal year with three months to go. CBP reports 2,002,604 migrant encounters since Oct. 1. Border authorities encountered 1,956,519 migrants in all of the Fiscal Year 2021, which ended Sept. 30. In June, there were 207,416 migrant encounters on the Southwest border, CBP officials reported. Law enforcement encountered over 22,000 migrants from Honduras in June on the Southwest border, most family units, according to CBP. This is the most Hondurans since the start of the fiscal year in October. The last time the numbers arriving from Honduras exceeded 22,000 was September 2021. On the South Texas border, Border Patrol agents have told Border Report that they encounter Hondurans who want to claim asylum in the United States daily. Most are turned back due to Title 42 restrictions that still remain. Migrant stash houses uncovered during South Texas hot spell Title 42 is a public health directive that was implemented in March 2020 during the Trump administration to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and prevents asylum seekers from crossing from Mexico. This file photo shows CBP and Border Patrol agents escort a bus with migrants who were being placed on a deportation flight on May 17, 2022, in Harlingen, Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report) The Biden administration has discussed revoking Title 42 but many border leaders, such as those in the Rio Grande Valley, fear communities will be overwhelmed with asylum-seekers if the directive is lifted. U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo, Texas, who is vice chair of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, has repeatedly told Border Report of what he calls “the pull and push factors” that drive migration. Push factors include unemployment, poverty, crime and gangs in a home country that lead migrants to leave their homelands in search of a better life. Pull factors are those that entice migrants to another border, such as the United States, Cuellar has said. In 2021 the unemployment rate in Honduras rose to 8.5%, up almost 3% from 2019, according to the World Bank. Nevertheless, economic reasons are not reason enough to claim asylum in the United States. And border law enforcement agents say they are sworn to prevent migrants from entering who do not meet the criteria to stay. “We are committed to implementing our strategy of reducing irregular migration, dissuading migrants from undertaking the dangerous journey, and increasing enforcement efforts against human smuggling organizations,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said earlier this month after the release of June data. To migrants considering making the journey, Magnus has this message: “You will be placed in removal proceedings from the United States if you cross the border without legal authorization and are unable to establish a legal basis to remain.” For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Water shortages hitting migrant shelters hard south of the border

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Jair sells water out of a large tank in the back of his pickup, and business is booming. He can’t fill enough buckets, bottles and jugs, as Tijuana deals with a water crisis due to drought, the lack of supply and break-downs in the water delivery infrastructure. Lately, the biggest customers on his route have been migrants at shelters, which have been without water for most of the week. Texans help with water ‘crisis’ in northern Mexican border states “We don’t have it to flush the toilets, to bathe or wash the dishes,” said Minerva, a migrant at the Agape Shelter. In the mornings, and sometimes again late in the afternoons, she lines up to have her 5-gallon container filled by Jair, who charges people almost a dollar per gallon of water. Jair told us he feels bad making some money in this time of need, but said it’s his job. “I’ve been able so far to get water myself every morning, this way I’m able to help the migrants and others,” said Jair, who fills up at a water filtration plant in the city of Tijuana. Jair gets ready to fill a water bottle in Tijuana outside the Agape Migrant Shelter. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report) The shelter does have a storage tank on its roof, but that water is rationed and they try to save as much of it as possible, handing it out only when absolutely necessary. “It’s been four days since I’ve taken a shower,” Rosie said in Spanish. “The truth is there’s a lot of us here at the shelter and we all need it, sometimes we go out to try and find it, but almost all the stores around here have run out.” When the water runs out, all they can do is wait for service to resume and for the tank to fill up again. “Without water there’s not much we can do,” said Wendy, one of the managers at the shelter. “We can’t keep things clean like the bathrooms, kitchen and common areas.” Because they can’t clean as much as they would like, Wendy worries people will get sick. “There are a lot of children here at the shelter and some are showing signs of intestinal illnesses due to the lack of clean facilities,” she said. Wendy stated she has no idea when water service will resume. Lack of water hurting maquiladora expansion in Baja California The city of Tijuana is saying that for the rest of the summer, rationing will be implemented due to high demand and the lack of everyday water deliveries to its 2 million residents. Family at Agape migrant shelter in Tijuana. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report) The state of Baja California controls the water, and avoiding service disruptions is a priority, officials say, but compounding the problems is an aging pipe system in the city of Tijuana that often breaks down. The state is also reporting electrical issues with pumps that help deliver water from the Colorado River, about 200 miles to the east. The state says the pumps have been out of service for a week and likely won’t be fixed for at least another four. The head of the state’s general services office said the water cutbacks are due to the issue with the pumps and not the lack of water, but he stated in the meantime, 378 colonias in Tijuana will have “inconsistent” water service, affecting hundreds of thousands of people including many migrants in shelters. Visit BorderReport.com for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the U.S.-Mexico border Meantime, they’ll be on the lookout for Jair for some relief and possibly save a little cash. When asked if he’ll raise his prices, he said “no,” that he’s asking for the same amount he’s been charging for most of the year. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

A DC-based immigration advocacy group has a message Alejandro Mayorkas: “Do your job”

In the early morning of July 25, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group Voces de la Frontera gathered in protest outside the home of the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, expressing frustration with the administration’s policy surrounding immigration. "We are forced to do this because Biden and Mayorkas have not fulfilled their promise to end this racist and xenophobic program. As an administration that is supposedly standing up against white supremacy and racism, they must prove it by ending the 287g program that legalizes racial profiling,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director at Voces de la Frontera. Hundreds of activists organized to express their frustrations by way of Constitutionally-protected free speech to denounce the administration’s position in lieu of immigration reform or lack thereof. Peaceful protesters chanted “Mayorkas, escucha. Estamos en la lucha,” or “Mayorkas, listen. We are fighting,” while holding a sign that read “End Police-Ice Terror.” Camera footage showed the Secretary’s security detail shoving protesters back, saying: “This is private property, buddy.” Why it matters During the 2020 elections, then-candidate Kamala Harris met with Voces de la Frontera in a closed-door meeting, presumably to discuss campaign matters related to immigration, followed by a prompt endorsement from the organization. In a written statement, Neumann-Ortiz expressed confidence in the Biden administration’s “clear policies” for immigration reform, labor protections, and access to COVID testing. Today, Neumann’s words are a sharp contrast. “Now is more urgent than ever considering that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently removed enforcement priorities and all 11 million [undocumented immigrants] — including children — are in danger of deportation and separation from their families. Mayorkas, as a immigrant, son of Holocaust survivors and a Latino, should stand against any policy that that forces families to live in fear. If this is a free country, prove it, end 287g now!” she wrote. The big picture On July 22, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down Biden’s executive order on immigration to override what his administration called a “misguided” approach to deportation measures by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement units. Under the Trump administration, ICE agents had little to no guidance when identifying illegal immigrants, resulting in the deportation of immigrants with no criminal record, many of whom were the sole breadwinners in their households. Trump’s broad approach had damaging effects on the deported families, often leaving them impoverished and emotionally traumatized by the experience. The Center for Migration Studies found that Biden’s policy was in line with past administrations and resulted in record-low deportations. However, Texas and Louisiana challenged the executive order, alleging it was not in line with the current law. After U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, appointed by Trump, granted a restraining order on Biden’s moratorium, the U.S. Fifth District was inclined to agree, vacating Biden’s priority-based deportation measures and leaving the agency with no guidance. The Shadow Docket Following Tipton’s restraining order on Biden’s executive order, the administration appealed to SCOTUS, which evaluated the case as part of the shadow dockets, a method of deliberation where judges don’t reveal their opinions to the public. In a tight 5-4 margin, SCOTUS struck down the executive order, pending further merit hearings on the matter in December. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html