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


Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Biden’s border win

Welcome to POLITICO’s West Wing Playbook, your guide to the people and power centers in the Biden administration. With help from producer Raymond Rapada. Send tips | Subscribe here | Email Eli | Email Lauren Last night’s unveiling of a bipartisan border bill kicked off a hectic race for the White House and Senate negotiators to sell the legislation before a fast-approaching vote on Wednesday. The White House joined in immediately, releasing a statement from President JOE BIDEN expressing staunch support for the bill, which would implement one of the strictest border and immigration laws in modern history. Senior administration officials then held a press call noting that the bill would provide significant border resources, speed up the asylum system and give Biden the ability to “shut down” the border when it becomes overwhelmed. But what’s as interesting as the provisions they’re touting is one that is getting far less attention. The agreement contains a significant victory for Biden: The president’s humanitarian parole pathways made it out unscathed. “The legislation does not impact the CHNV process at all,” a senior administration official told reporters last night about a parole program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans. The official only noted as much because they were asked specifically about it. Immigration parole was first established in 1952 and has been used by every Republican and Democratic president since DWIGHT EISENHOWER. It allows the government to grant migrants temporary permission to live and work in the U.S., though there’s no path toward citizenship. And it’s been utilized for humanitarian reasons or for significant public benefit. For a while, it wasn’t clear if it would survive the negotiations. It was a major sticking point in border talks, as Republicans seized on Biden’s unprecedented use of the authority to admit more than 1 million migrants into the U.S. “When we started with this back in October, the Republicans were hell bent on stripping the executive branch and the president of the authority to use the section of the immigration law — the humanitarian parole section — in the way that he has to designate programs for Ukrainians, Afghans and other nationals of other countries to be able to come here” said GREG CHEN, senior director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Biden has used humanitarian parole in a number of ways. In January last year, the president announced a plan that would admit 30,000 people a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, if these migrants have a financial sponsor and can fly to the U.S. instead of arriving at the border. As part of this policy, Mexico also accepts 30,000 people a month from these countries. Biden also used parole for Afghans after the fall of Kabul, and to admit thousands of Ukrainians after the Russian invasion. Biden officials believed that eliminating this power would spell disaster in 2024, sending more migrants directly to an already strained border — nearly 2 million people are in line for a chance to enter the United States via the legal pathway, according to an analysis from the Cato Institute’s DAVID J. BIER. So they drew a red line, one that — it appears — was ultimately accepted by Senate negotiators. The new legislation doesn’t touch the tool, nor does it affect Biden’s ability to expand these pathways to other nationalities in the future, Chen said. Immigration policy experts saw it as an indication that Republican and Independent negotiators see these pathways as vital in taking pressure off the border. “It is critical that there is bipartisan agreement and that there is not a new restriction on the president’s parole pathways,” said ANDREA FLORES, vice president for immigration policy and campaigns at FWD.US and a former White House official under Biden, in a call with reporters. “I think that is an important recognition by Leader [Mitch] McConnell, by Sen [James] Lankford that these parole pathways are the future. And that they’ve redirected migration away from the asylum system.” The legislation does limit the scope of the president’s parole authority at the country’s southern and northern borders. Right now, federal immigration officials can release some migrants into the U.S. under parole when the system is overwhelmed. The new bill intends to restrain this process by increasing the level of monitoring and, in some cases, the detention of migrants. The idea is that they’ll be more likely to follow through with various enforcement responsibilities, such as a hearing with an asylum officer. Migrants would also have to meet new specific exemptions to be considered for parole at the border, such as a need for medical assistance. Few people, if any, think that this deal will ultimately pass Congress. And so, to a degree, Biden’s ability to salvage his parole pathways may have been moot. But the White House’s fight to keep the tool was seen by advocacy groups as one silver lining nonetheless. The result, they believe, demonstrated that when Democrats actually stood their ground in negotiations, Republicans backed off of certain demands and an agreement was struck. It was also seen as a sign that the White House does have some red lines as it sorts out the political mess of the migrant crisis. MESSAGE US — Are you RADHA ADHAR, special assistant to the president and Senate legislative affairs liaison? We want to hear from you. And we’ll keep you anonymous! Email us at westwingtips@politico.com. Did someone forward this email to you? Subscribe here! SUBSCRIBE TO CALIFORNIA CLIMATE: Climate change isn’t just about the weather. It’s also about how we do business and create new policies, especially in California. So we have something cool for you: A brand-new California Climate newsletter. It’s not just climate or science chat, it’s your daily cheat sheet to understanding how the legislative landscape around climate change is shaking up industries across the Golden State. Subscribe now to California Climate to keep up with the changes. POTUS PUZZLER How many presidents have won Grammys? (Answer at bottom.) THE OVAL SIN CITY VISIT: While wrapping up his two-day visit to Las Vegas, the president stopped by Vdara Hotel on Monday to congratulate Local 226 Culinary hospitality workers for reaching a tentative agreement with several hotel-casinos, according to a pool report from NYT’s NICHOLAS NEHAMAS. “I came to say thank you. Not just to say thank you for the support you’ve given me last time out but to thank you for having faith in the union,” Biden told the group of workers. Biden also popped into a local bubble tea shop, ordering an “original boba milk tea,” which he struggled with: “The cashier had demonstrated to POTUS with hand gestures how to puncture the cup’s plastic top cover with the straw,” Nehamas recounts. Straw aside, we just wish he’d tried a more ... interesting … order instead of the bubble tea equivalent of “angel hair pasta with red sauce.” NOT LETTING UP: The White House on Monday began a week-long series of events on combating gun violence in Black communities, USA Today’s JOEY GARRISON reports. A nationwide virtual meeting with Black leaders on tackling gun violence teed off the events. Biden will deliver a message recognizing this week as “Community Violence Awareness Week.” White House officials will also host a roundtable discussion on gun violence with Black elected officials from around the country, as well as a virtual workshop to help connect state and local officials with federal resources to combat the issue. WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS YOU TO READ: This piece by HuffPost’s RON DICKER, who reports that House Republicans pushing to impeach Homeland Security Secretary ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS have described their task as “deporting” him from the job. The Homeland Security Committee uses the word several times in its impeachment report on Mayorkas, who emigrated from Cuba when he was a year old. White House oversight and investigations spokesperson IAN SAMS shared pages of the report on X and highlighted the use of “deporting,” writing, “I’m sorry, what?” Deputy press secretary ANDREW BATES shared the piece on X. WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS YOU TO WATCH: LOU DOBBS (yes, Lou Dobbs) ripping into Rep. ANDY BIGGS (R-Ariz.) in this interview on House Republicans’ impeachment efforts into Biden: “Congressman, I have to say to you, it sounds to me that we’re right where we were six months ago. I don’t see any advancement in this in a progress towards incriminating evidence for the president.” Sams shared the interview on X: “A thing I never thought I’d tweet: Lou Dobbs is completely correct.” WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE DOESN’T WANT YOU TO READ: This piece by AP’s KAVISH HARJAI, who writes that the president’s goal of ensuring internet for all may be in peril. The Affordable Connectivity Program, which allocates a subsidy of $30 a month to households with limited resources, is set to expire this spring, potentially leading millions of participating families to either lose internet access or pay more to stay connected. “The program is key to the Biden administration’s plans to make the internet available to everyone, which the president has touted repeatedly as he has ramped up his reelection campaign,” Harjai writes. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

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