In a petition filed on February 6th, Peri & Sons Farms, Inc. asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Ninth Circuit ruling that employers must reimburse workers participating in the H-2A program for pre-employment travel and immigration expenses within the first week of their employment.
California Senator Lara to Propose Access to Healthcare for Undocumented Immigrants
State Senator Ricardo Lara, chairman of the state’s Latino Legislative Caucus, proposed legislation last week that would allow undocumented immigrants that are not covered by the Affordable Care Act, to receive medical coverage. According to Lara, ”immigration status shouldn’t bar individuals from health coverage, especially since their taxes contribute to the growth of our economy.”
California Supreme Court Allows Undocumented Immigrants to Practice Law
Sergio C. Garcia was brought to the United States from Mexico at 17 years old. Garcia went to college and Cal Northern School of Law. Upon graduating from law school, Garcia passed the bar in 2009. For about two weeks, Garcia was sworn in as an attorney. Then he received a notice from the state bar that his admission was in error. The issue ended up in a California state court before going before the California Supreme Court. During arguments in the fall, the California Supreme Court justices appeared unlikely to back Garcia because federal immigration law precludes giving a law license to people living in the United States illegally. Federal law prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving many public benefits, including a public license, unless a state expressly allows it. To address this issue, lawmakers in California created a new law allowing undocumented immigrants the ability to be a lawyer.
New Law Affects Immigration Attorneys
This article was featured on the California Bar Website
Attorneys and immigration consultants are prohibited from collecting money for services related to federal immigration reform until Congress acts under a State Bar-sponsored bill that went into effect last month.
Hunger Strikers Hope to Draw Attention to Immigration Reform
The “Fast for Families” Campaign kicked off on November 12 in Washington D.C. with participants refusing to eat until House Republicans vote on immigration reform. Similar hunger strikes have occurred in California, including an “11 days for 11 million” hunger strike in Bakersfield which began on Tuesday.
H-2A Workers’ Travel and Immigration Expenses Subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act Despite Seemingly Contradictory H-2A Regulation Says 9th Circuit
Agricultural employers employing H-2A workers should take note of a new ruling out of the 9th Circuit interpreting the FLSA and H-2A regulations. In Rivera v. Peri & Sons Farms, Inc. (9th Cir. 11-17365) the defendant, an onion producer, harvester, and packager in Nevada, hired farmworkers through the United States Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) H-2A program. The H-2A farmworkers, who were from Mexico, claim they had expenses related to their employment with Peri & Sons including hiring/recruitment fees, H-2A visas, and lodging. According to the workers, the initial travel expenses they incurred exceeded $400.00 each. In addition to the initial travel fees, the workers claimed their employer required them to buy protective gloves costing $10.00 per week and that they incurred additional travel expenses of at least $100.00 per week travelling to and from the work site and their homes in Mexico.
Boehner Nixes Immigration Reform in 2013
If there was any hope in passing comprehensive immigration reform before the end of the year, such hope is lost. On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner repeated his opposition to the Senate-passed immigration bill and pledged that the House would never vote on it. "I'll make clear we have no intention ever of going to conference on the Senate bill." While immigration reform advocates were cautiously optimistic reform would occur before the end of the year, only 15 working days are left for the House to take the issue up. Boehner's comment seems to be the nail in the coffin for immigration reform in 2013.
Brown Signs Trust Act
California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a new law known as The Trust Act (AB 4). The Trust Act limits the state's cooperation with a federal program known as Secure Communities that allows the Department of Homeland Security to check fingerprints taken by local law enforcement and screen them for their immigration status.
California Legislature Sends Indocumented Immigrant Driver's License Bill to Gov. Jerry Brown
The following was written by Jeremy B. White and appeared in The Sacramento Bee
In the waning hours of the 2013 legislative session, the California Assembly sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses.
The 55-19 vote moved California a signature away from putting into law a measure immigrant advocates have sought fruitlessly for years, with past attempts thwarted by legislative vote and gubernatorial veto.
Pro-immigration report: 73 percent of state farm jobs held by non-citizens
The following was written by Raju Chebium and appeared in The Salinas Californian
California agriculture would suffer unless Congress overhauls the immigration system, the Obama administration said Monday in a renewed push to lobby for a Senate-approved measure that has the support of the Golden State’s farm lobby.
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