In this file:
· Republicans moving forward with Trump's immigration framework
President Trump's immigration framework will likely get a vote during the Senate's wide-ranging immigration debate this month, though it probably won't become law without major alterations that could bring Democratic support…
· Trump administration may target immigrants who use food aid, other benefits
· L.A. Mayor ‘Not Scared At All’ of Being Arrested for Sanctuary City Status
· Stemilt Ag settles farmworker class action for $464,000
Republicans moving forward with Trump's immigration framework
By Burgess Everett, POLITICO
President Trump's immigration framework will likely get a vote during the Senate's wide-ranging immigration debate this month, though it probably won't become law without major alterations that could bring Democratic support.
Nonetheless, a group of Republican senators on Sunday evening announced their intention to offer the president's framework as legislation during the immigration debate. The proposal would offer a pathway to citizenship to 1.8 million young immigrants eligible for the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in return for $25 billion in border security and wall money as well as cuts to family based-immigration.
Democrats and some Republicans oppose the Trump plan's cuts to legal immigration, likely dooming the effort in the narrowly divided Senate, where legislation generally requires 60 votes to advance. Still, sponsor Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said, "This is the only bill that has a chance of becoming law."
"By addressing our border security needs and limiting family sponsorship to the nuclear family, it goes far beyond the other half measures that have been proposed. This bill is generous, humane, and responsible, and now we should send it to the president’s desk," Cotton said Sunday.
The bill is also sponsored by GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa, John Cornyn of Texas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, David Perdue of Georgia, and James Lankford of Oklahoma.
Tillis, Cornyn and Lankford all have been involved in talks with Democrats in recent months, though none of those talks have been particularly fruitful. Senate Majority Whip Cornyn, in particular, has been locked in a bipartisan stalemate with Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and the No. 2 House leaders.
In an interview last week, Cornyn called Trump's proposal a "generous offer" but acknowledged that his party will have to compromise.
“If the president supports it, that says a lot about Republicans’ willingness to support an immigration bill," Cornyn said. "And particularly one that has the border security and other immigration reforms that are important to Republicans."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is preparing to launch the Senate into a free-ranging immigration debate Monday, and groups of senators are racing to finish their proposals.
In addition to Trump's, a bipartisan group of senators believes it is close to clinching an immigration plan that has significant support in both parties. Also, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), is preparing a three-year extension of the DACA program...
Trump administration may target immigrants who use food aid, other benefits
The Department of Homeland Security has drafted new rules that would allow immigration officers to scrutinize a potential immigrant's use of taxpayer-funded public benefits to determine if they could become a public burden.
This is a major departure from previous guidelines that specifically prohibited authorities from considering these benefits in order to decide a person's eligibility to immigrate to the US.
The draft rule has not been approved by top administration yet.
via CNBC - Feb 8, 2018
The Trump administration is considering making it harder for foreigners living in the United States to get permanent residency if they have received certain public benefits such as food assistance, in a move that could sharply restrict legal immigration.
The Department of Homeland Security has proposed new rules seen by Reuters that would allow immigration officers to scrutinize a potential immigrant's use of certain taxpayer-funded public benefits to determine if they could become a public burden.
For example, U.S. officials could look at whether the applicant has enrolled a child in government pre-school programs or received subsidies for utility bills or health insurance premiums.
The draft rules are a sharp departure from current guidelines, which have been in place for nearly two decades and specifically bar authorities from considering such non-cash benefits in deciding a person's eligibility to immigrate to the United States or stay in the country.
"Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government and state and local entities for resources instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations," the document states. "An alien's receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States."
Receiving such benefits could weigh against an applicant, even if they were for an immigrant's U.S. citizen children, according to the document.
In 2016, nearly 383,000 people who would be subject to the new standards obtained permanent residence while already in the United States. The rules would not apply to permanent residents applying for citizenship, but would apply to a wide range of people living or working in the United States, including close family members of U.S. citizens and workers employed by U.S. companies.
A spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the DHS agency responsible for implementing the regulations, declined to comment on a regulation still under consideration.
The draft rule has not yet been approved by top leadership.
L.A. Mayor ‘Not Scared At All’ of Being Arrested for Sanctuary City Status
By Nicholas Ballasy, PJ Media
February 8, 2018
WASHINGTON – Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he is “not scared at all” about the Department of Justice considering charges against local officials in sanctuary cities, calling it a “weak and pathetic move.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recently told a Senate committee hearing that DOJ is “reviewing what avenues might be available” to charge local officials who do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
“The context of this is, of course, not only putting my [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers at risk, but also finding an efficient and effective way to enforce our immigration laws,” she said.
During an interview with Fox News, Acting ICE Director Tom Homan recently said, “We’ve got to take [sanctuary cities] to court, and we’ve got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes.”
PJM asked Garcetti if he is worried about potentially facing federal charges.
“Not at all. I think it’s a political circus...
Stemilt Ag settles farmworker class action for $464,000
Jefferson Robbins, Wenatchee World
via Yakima Herald (WA) - Feb 9, 2018
WENATCHEE — All parties in a class action lawsuit against Stemilt Ag Services agreed to dismiss the case Thursday, with the farm management company paying $393,624 to former fieldworkers as part of a nearly $464,000 settlement.
The settlement repays the money owed to 690 workers for rest breaks taken during their agricultural shifts in 2014 and 2015, and pays more than $168,000 in attorneys’ fees and administrative costs. It also includes a $5,000 payout to Francisco Flores Olivares, the lead plaintiff who pushed the case on behalf of himself and his fellow workers.
Chelan County Superior Court Judge Robert McSeveney signed off on the settlement in an afternoon court hearing, five months after his predecessor, Judge Alicia Nakata, approved the outline of the deal. Robert Siderius, attorney for Stemilt Ag, said the settlement represents roughly 96 to 97 percent of what the claimants’ actual compensation would have been if paid at the time.
Stemilt Ag Services, which manages orchard land for private fruit growers, hired the workers at a “piece rate” of pay based on productivity. A July 2015 state Supreme Court ruling, in Demetrio v. Sakuma Brothers, held that farmworkers paid a piece rate must also be separately compensated for rest breaks — 10 minutes for every four hours of work.
“It was kind of a hard, sharp ruling for all employers who pay on the piece rate,” said Craig Ackermann, an attorney for Olivares and the class plaintiffs.
Olivares filed the class-action suit in January 2017...