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  1. CIR Backed in 20 GOP Swing Districts. Do House Republicans Care? By Roger Algase

    A new Huffington Post article reports that a poll of likely voters in 20 congressional swing districts represented by Republicans shows that three fourths of them support the broad outlines of comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship, with or without increased border security.

    See Immigration Reform Backed By Voters In Republican-Led Swing Districts, Poll Shows, November 12.

    The Huffpost writes:

    "The poll indicated that likely voters in the 20 congressional districts want to see movement on immigration, with 70 per cent saying it is 'very important' to deal with the issue and another 23 percent saying it is 'somewhat important'. A strong majority - 77 per cent said that they would prefer even an imperfect solution to nothing at all."

    The article also reports that 76 per cent of the respondents favor a pathway to citizenship.

    The poll was conducted by Basswood Research and Republican pollster John Lerner on November 2 and 3. Of the 1,000 people polled, 39 percent were Republican, 35 per cent Democratic and 23 per cent independent.

    This is one more piece of evidence that voters in both parties are far ahead of the House GOP on immigration reform. Why is the House Republican leadership so tone-deaf to the voice of the great majority of the American people on this issue?

    Robert Bowen writes in that the reason is the Republican right wing's fear and hatred of Latinos. See Republican House won't pass immigration reform, November 1

    Bowen writes:

    "It is not a lack of time that prevents Republicans from taking up immigration reform. The reason is Republicans in the House do not want to see immigration reform enacted. They know that Republican policies accompanied by years of racist rhetoric have alienated Latinos, and even if a pathway to citizenship takes ten years, when that day comes, those new citizens will not vote for Republicans." (Emphasis in the original.)

    Bowen continues:

    "House Republicans know that what you sow, you reap. They are well aware what their party has sowed with Latinos, and so they must burn the crops in the field.

    The Republican strategy for closing their voting gap with Latinos is not allowing up to 11 million more Latinos to vote."

    Bowen also writes that there are two Republican parties:

    "One Republican party believes, like Senator [Lindsey] Graham [R-SC] and the three Republican House members who endorsed immigration reform, that the GOP should reach out to Latinos. The other Republican party - the party led by Ted Cruz [R-TX], believes all the racist garbage spewed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and others."

    He concludes:

    "It is a sad commentary that the former party of Lincoln is now the Party of hate, racism and division." (Emphasis added.)

    If immigration reform is to have any chance of passage in the foreseeable future, reform advocates will have to stop making excuses for the House Republicans and what Bowen accurately calls their "Tea Party Masters" who are determined to kill reform at all costs, and focus on the real reason that is blocking reform.

    This reason is the same one that has poisoned American attitudes and policies toward immigrants from the time of the 19th Century Know Nothings and Chinese exclusion laws up until now. Until we confront and overcome right wing anti-minority bigotry in America, immigration reform is likely to remain an empty dream.

    Updated 11-14-2013 at 02:58 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Retaliation is an Issue in Immigration Law, Too; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

    For years, employment law lawyers have seen that an employeeís retaliation claim against an employer for filing a charge, complaint or lawsuit, is often a greater problem than the original issue which precipitated it. Recently, in Breda v. Kindred Braintree Hospital, 10 OCAHO no. 1202 (2013), a retaliation claim in an immigration-related unfair employment practice setting was addressed by OCAHO.

    Kindred Braintree Hospital LLC entered into two agreements with John A. Breda, M.D. in 2009, for performing overnight emergency services and scheduling other physicians for overnight emergency services. In April 2010, Kindred notified Breda that it was terminating both agreements.

    The case began when Breda filed a charge with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices in June 2010, alleging Kindred discriminated against him based on his U.S. citizenship by terminating the agreements and replacing him with an H-1B visa holder. OSC advised Breda that he could file a complaint with OCAHO. Breda declined to do so and filed an action in Massachusetts state court. Kindred filed a counterclaim alleging the original OSC charge was frivolous and sought to recoup its attorneyís fees and expenses as well as seek damages from Breda. The State Court dismissed Kindredís counterclaim.
    Breda filed a second OSC charge alleging Kindredís counterclaim was made in retaliation for Breda filing the original OSC charge. Bredaís second charge proceeded to litigation before OCAHO.

    Kindred asserted OCAHO did not have jurisdiction over the second charge alleging retaliation. OCAHO disagreed and found jurisdiction because 8 U.S.C. ß1324b(a)(5) states it is ďan unfair immigration-related employment practice for a person or other entity to Öretaliate against any individual for engaging in protected conduct.Ē Since the initial OSC charge was protected conduct and thereafter Kindred filed a retaliatory counterclaim in state court, Breda met the statutory requirements.
    OCAHO explained Kindredís conduct has a ďchilling effectĒ on Breda as well as ďprotected charging parties or witnesses who may become aware of Kindredís counterclaim and be deterredĒ from having contact with the OSC or other agencies.
    To remedy its unlawful conduct, Kindred was barred from relief under its counterclaim, ordered to post a notice advising employees of their rights (similar to a notice under the National Labor Relations Act due to an unfair labor practice) and remove negative information from Bredaís personnel file.
  3. Letters of the Week: Nov 11 - Nov 15

    Please email your letters to or post them directly as a comment below.

    by , 11-11-2013 at 09:30 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The Department of State has just released the December 2013 Visa Bulletin. This is the third Visa Bulletin of the 2014 US Fiscal Year, which began on October 1, 2013.

    The All Other Countries EB-3 date jumped a full year to October 1, 2011. The Chinese EB-2 and EB-3 continued to be flipped: the Chinese EB-2 is worse than the Chinese EB-3. Chinese nationals who are BE-2 may be able to file an EB-3. Chinese EB-3s should check with their attorneys to effect this change.

    Unfortunately the Philippine EB-2 and EB-3 barely moved. Philippine EB-3 did get into 2007.

    India EB-3 actually retrogressed further back a few weeks. India EB-2 dropped all the way back to Nov 15, 2004.

    The Visa Bulletin contained these projections for the next few months:

    Visa Availability in the next coming months.

    Employment First: Current

    Employment Second

    Worldwide: Current
    China: Three to five weeks
    India: No forward movement

    Employment Third
    Worldwide: This cut-off date has been advanced extremely rapidly during the past seven months in an effort to generate new demand. As the rate of applicants who are able to have action on their cases finalized increases, it could have a significant impact on the cut-off date situation. The rapid forward movement of this cut-off date should not be expected to continue beyond February.

    China: Expected to remain at the worldwide date
    India: No forward movement
    Mexico: Expected to remain at the worldwide date
    Philippines: Three to six weeks

    Here is this month's complete chart:

    December 2013 Visa Bulletin
    All Other Countries China India Philippines
    EB-2 Current 08NOV08 15NOV04 Current
    EB-3 01OCT11 01OCT11 01SEP03 08JAN07

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

    Updated 11-11-2013 at 02:47 PM by CMusillo

  5. Obama Meets With GOP Business Leaders on Immigration Reform. By Roger Algase

    Politico reports that President Obama has been meeting with Republican business leaders and former Bush administration officials to try to enlist their support in putting pressure on House Republicans to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. See White House seeks Republican immigration help, November 10.

    Politico writes:

    "President Obama hasn't given up on immigration reform, but he still needs a way to break through with House Republicans.

    The White House has reached out to former George W. Bush administration officials, conservative business leaders and selected House members, all in search of a way to hone a message that can move House leaders without scaring them off.

    In closed door meetings, they have urged the White House to find a way to reach out to the GOP that doesn't center on Obama banging the podium telling Speaker John Boehner to bring a bill to the floor."

    Politico also writes that "the president's team simply doesn't know where to start with an inside [House] game."

    There seem to be two conflicting theories about White House involvement according to the Politico article. One is that the White House isn't being aggressive enough:

    "Business leaders and conservatives meeting at the White House say they want the administration's involvement at some level.

    'I was surprised how aggressive people in that room were, how aggressive they were on saying, "We need White House leadership, we need a plan, we need for you to be driving this thing''', said a person in the room with [White House aides] McDonough and Munoz."

    The opposite theory is that that Obama is pushing too hard for reform and thereby antagonizing the House Republicans. Politico writes:

    "Tamar Jacoby, president and CEO of the pro-reform business group ImmigrationWorksUSA, said the biggest obstacle to immigration reform in the House is that Republicans 'don't want to do Obama any favors' after the toxic shutdown and debt limit battles.

    'When Obama's out there saying, "I just won a big battle...and I'm demanding you do this", no one's going to want to do it on those terms', Jacoby said. 'My fear is that Obama's not really helping [reform] when he's sort of scolding about it all the time.'"

    Regular readers of my bloggings will remember that this is the same Tamar Jacoby who predicted in the LA Times this past summer that the House Republicans would produce a string of "piecemeal" immigration bills that would add up to comprehensive reform like beads on a necklace. My comment at that time was that the House leadership was more likely to produce a noose.

    What both the "Obama isn't aggressive enough" and the "Obama is too aggressive" theories are missing out on is that the House GOP leaders, driven by their powerful Tea Party wing, seem determined to strangle reform with their "piecemeal" noose no matter what the president does.

    This would leave only one course of action open that would have any chance of moving reform, since neither the behind the scenes approach nor the bully pulpit are likely to have much success with the "deport-em-all" GOP zealots who are holding up reform and still do not accept America's first black president as being legitimate himself.

    This is to move ahead with "Plan B" and suspend all but the most critically urgent deportations (such as dangerous violent criminals and national security threats), at least until a real reform bill comes out of the House and goes to conference with the Senate.

    True, this would take enormous political courage. But there may be no other way to achieve immigration reform any time soon.
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