Items filtered by date: Saturday, 02 September 2017

Looks like DACA is going to END

Question: I’m on DACA and my friend is renewing DACA and another friend is going to apply for DACA. I have heard rumors about this. Should I be worried?

Answer: Yes, you should be worried. There have been various leaks from the White House. There have also been rumors that a number of White House officials, including former and current White House Chiefs of Staff Reince Priebus and John Kelly, President Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence, want the president to strike an ambitious deal with Congress that offers Dreamers protection in exchange for legislation that pays for the border wall, more detention facilities, legal immigration curbs, and the implementation of E-Verify.

This is atrocious that the President of the U.S. would seemingly use the DACA recepients as pawns to get a Wall built. Ironic that he wants to use as leverage a program that allows persons here illegally to stay here on an approved program in exchange for building a Wall supposedly used to keep people out from coming into the U.S.

Question: As of now, what are the requirements for DACA?

Answer: DACA or Dream Act or Dreamers or Deferred Action as it i s called has the following requirements:

To request Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, you must meet the following DACA requirements: You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; You entered the United States prior to your 16th birthday and You have resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 and currently are present in the U.S..

Question: What happens if is ended?

Answer: That is unclear. It is unclear if you are already on DACA as to whether you will be able to continue until it terminates or upon the day Trump does not renew it; whether a renewal already in the pipeline will be able to continue; whether a person outside the U.S. on Advance Parole can re-enter the U.S. without a problem and a variety of other factors.

It is likely that there will be multiple lawsuits depending on the language of the termination of DACA and its provisions. There will be due process requirements and notice issues.

Question: Is there anything I can do?

Answer: Absolutely. There are many ways to fix status and ultimately become legal. While DACA was certainly a good program, it does not mean the other programs will disappear. DACA was issued through an executive order, and therefore can likewise be revoked. However, changing other areas of Immigration Law on a whim it not possible for the President.

Rather, it is Congress that must pass legislation to properly change Immigration. It is a much more complex process. At a minimum, you should see a qualified immigration attorney in order to get a detailed consultation on what other options exist for you.


AB 1000: Bad policy that should be rejected

With the Legislature returning to work and rushing to vote on hundreds of bills before the end of the legislative session next month, it’s critically important that our elected officials stay focused on their fundamental responsibility: To carefully consider the policy merits of each bill and its long-term implications on the Californians they serve – including our Filipino communities – and on the future of our state. And when considered in that light, it’s obvious that Assembly Bill 1000 is bad policy that deserves to be rejected.

AB 1000 was introduced by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) for a singular reason: to halt the Cadiz Water Project, which aims to bring a new, reliable water supply to 400,000 people by conserving clean groundwater that is now becoming 10 times saltier than the ocean and evaporating into the air. The legislation forces a form of “double jeopardy” review by politicians and political appointees for certain water infrastructure projects on top of California’s already first-in-class environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act.

To be clear, the Cadiz Water Project has undergone every environmental review required by the state, including several rounds producing an Environmental Impact Report, public hearings and Court review, which have together shown that the project is safe for the environment.

Equally importantly, the project provides a major boost to the local economy in the form of thousands of good-paying jobs, including for veterans and union members, and nearly $1 billion in economic activity. That’s good news, not only for the Filipino community, but for the region and the state at large. And the project will have oversight from the County of San Bernardino, which has the authority to continually monitor the project to ensure groundwater levels remain at expected levels.

In short, supporters of AB 1000 are putting a new, safe, reliable water supply at risk. As it is, Californians’ access to water is put at risk due to drought and other natural disasters. Water is the lifeblood of our communities, and we cannot afford to wait until a wildfire or an earthquake strikes to find out if the water supplies we have today can withstand them and fulfill current and future demands.

Moreover, throwing up additional barriers to this project sets a precedent that could significantly delay or even block future infrastructure projects in California, threatening not only the economic growth and jobs those projects could create, but also their contribution to the long-term sustainability of our state.

Environmental review should be an objective, scientific process – not a political one. Allowing the Legislature to arbitrarily add even more hoops for projects to jump through means such reviews could drag on even longer than they do now. Adding an additional layer of review conducted by politicians and political appointees on top of the existing environmental process also politicizes this process and makes it even more unpredictable and complicated.

As it is, the Cadiz Water Project has successfully passed all necessary environmental reviews and, for that reason alone, should be allowed to move forward. But even for those who don’t support the project, AB 1000 represents bad policy and a bad precedent that should be stopped. If legislators are serious about standing up for Filipino communities, for our jobs, for our water and for the sanctity of our state’s legacy of environmental protection, then they must reject AB 1000.


Two Filipinos named 'Asia 21 Young Leaders'

A social entrepreneur working to end poverty for farming and fishing families and the founder of a nonprofit school that provides high-quality education to low-income communities are among the 30 remarkable professionals recently named “Asia 21 Young Leaders” by Asia Society.
AGREA CEO Cherrie Atilano and Mano Amiga Academy founder Eleanor Rosa Pinugu were selected for the 2017 class of Asia 21, Asia-Pacific’s foremost network of young leaders. They will travel to Melbourne, Australia in December for the Asia 21’s annual summit, where they will meet members of the 2017 class from 20 other countries as well as Asia 21 alumni. The goal of the summit is to explore opportunities for collaboration to create positive impact and change across the Asia-Pacific region. 
Cherrie Atilano
Cherrie Atilano
Atilano is the founder and CEO of AGREA Agricultural Systems International, Inc., an agro-social enterprise that aims to help eradicate poverty for farming and fishing families in order to alleviate the effects of climate change and establish food security in the Philippines. AGREA has been mobilizing communities, businesses, academia, local and national governments, and international partners to bring an “Ecology of Dignity” to farming and fishing communities on the island of Marinduque. Previously, Atilano worked as a consultant with the Department of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines and helped to form a cooperative of 241 smallholder farmers in the country.
Eleanor Rosa Pinugu
Eleanor Rosa Pinugu
Pinugu founded Mano Amiga Academy, a sustainable nonprofit school designed to provide high-quality education and development services to low-income communities. She is also the co-founder of Bistro 3846, a social enterprise that provides healthy meals to schoolchildren, employs the parents of the Mano Amiga students, and donates its profits to the Mano Amiga scholarship fund. Pinugu’s vision is to make quality education accessible to all children. She was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and was chosen to speak at the IdeasLab session at the 2012 WEF annual meeting in Davos, where she received a grant of $10,000 from the Good Planet Foundation. 
Other member of this year’s class include Melissa Jardine, a former Australian police officer examining how law enforcement in Asia responds to drug use, economic crimes, and terrorism; Chenhui Liu, co-founder of a mobile health startup transforming China’s healthcare system; Sana Mir, a cricket star challenging attitudes about women’s participation in Pakistan’s male-dominated world of sport; “Krating” Poonpol, a venture fund manager ushering in a startup revolution in Thailand and across Southeast Asia; Shameer Rasooldeen, a news host giving voice to Sri Lanka’s marginalized and silenced voices; and Sim Chi Yin, a Singaporean photographer and filmmaker capturing how industrialization and urbanization are reshaping the landscape, and the people of Asia. 
“Asia 21 really brings to life Asia Society’s mission to build bridges of understanding across the Asia-Pacific region, across different sectors and between Asia and the world,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “Our goal is not just to recognize the amazing work these young leaders are doing, but to connect them to one another so that they can take on some of the biggest challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region today.” 
Asia 21, now in it’s 12th year, has grown into a network of more than 800 young leaders from 40 nations, working together to shape a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region. Asia 21 alumni are proven leaders representing a variety of professional backgrounds and serve as mentors and potential collaborators. Filipino alumni include former Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, Teach for the Philippines CEO Clarissa Delgado; IP Ventures CEO Jaime Enrique Y. Gonzalez; and co-founder Henry Motte-Muñoz
About Asia Society
Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding of Asia in a global context and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington, DC, and Zurich.

CA lawmakers urged to pass SB 100 for 100% clean electricity by 2045

LOS ANGELES A broad coalition from the public health, environmental justice, environmental, clean tech, business and labor communities gathered at Los Angeles City Hall this week to urge the State Assembly to pass Senate Bill 100 (De León), which will ensure that California generates 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2045.

“We are 100% ready for 100% renewable electricity,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California. “It’s good for our planet, good for our kids, and good for our economy. We must take action now to ensure a clean energy future for California.”

SB 100 has passed theState Senate as well as two key committees in the State Assembly. Now, theAssembly Appropriations Committee and the full Assembly need to vote on it before the legislative session ends for the year on September 15, 2017.

The Los Angeles CityCouncil, which last year directed the Los Angeles Department of Water &Power to work with stakeholders to study how L.A. can achieve 100% clean energy, may lend its support to the bill via a resolution authored by Council member Paul Koretz and seconded by Council members Bob Blumenfield, Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian, Mitch O’Farrell and David E. Ryu. The resolution will be voted on by the City Council Rules, Elections, andIntergovernmental Relations Committee on Tuesday.

“Climate change is not happening to our children and our grandchildren, it’s happening to us, right here, today, in real time, and, perhaps thanks in part to the fear the Trump administration’s environmental policy has struck into the hearts of human beings across the planet, we are really starting to do something serious about it, ” said Council member Koretz.

"TheWhite House has turned it’s back on renewable energy and environmental justice.However, California will continue to lead our country with a clean environment and thousands of new green jobs by passing SB100. Angelenos need this legislation to pass so we can continue to create healthier neighborhoods for future generations," said Council member Ryu.

“SB 100 and other aggressive clean energy mandates are crucial to advancing the cause of ending our reliance on fossil fuels and inspiring all of us to work together to create a more healthy and equitable economy in Los Angeles and in California,” said Bahram Fazeli, director of research & policy with Communities for aBetter Environment. “We ask the Los Angeles City Council members to unanimously support SB 100.” 

“Moving to 100 percent clean, renewable energy will have significant health benefits inCalifornia,” said Dr. Michael Ong, a volunteer physician with the American Lung Association in California.“By reducing dangerous emissions from power production we can all breathe easier, especially those suffering from lung diseases like asthma and lung cancer.”

“California communities breathe some of the most polluted air in the nation,” said Sara Gersen, clean energy staff attorney with Earth justice. “SouthernCalifornia won't have clean air or a stable climate until we make a complete switch to zero-carbon energy.  We deserve a California free of fossil fuels, and SB 100 will help us get there.”

“Thousands of California health care and public service workers speak with one voice -- we need 100% renewable, pollution-free energy for our public health, for our communities, for our children,” said Keenan Sheedy, Environmental Justice Committee of SEIU 721.

California passed its first clean energy standard in 2002 (Sher). That law required California energy providers to generate 17% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.Subsequent bills have ramped up the clean energy standard. SB 350 (De León) was the last clean energy bill to pass, two years ago. It requires that California energy providers generate 50% renewable electricity by 2030.

California utilities are ahead of the current clean energy goals that have been enshrined in law.

“We've been preparing for this moment for years,” said Katya English, organizing representative with the Sierra Club. “Every time we’ve set a stronger goal for clean energy, we've surpassed our own expectations, created more job opportunities and watched our economy grow. It’s time to go all in on clean energy and expand on this strong foundation of success.”

“The Los Angeles Clean tech Incubator understands that smart, forward thinking public policy has accelerated the development of markets for clean technology, especially here in California,” said Michael Swords, VP government relations forLACI. “SB 100 will send an unequivocal message to the market that renewable energy is a huge business opportunity here in California, which in turn will create jobs and attract investment capital to our state.”

A recent report byEnvironment California Research & Policy Center found that California has seen a 2,583% increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun and a245% increase in wind power production over the past decade. The report, Renewables onthe Rise, makes the case that the progress we’ve seen in California and around the country on renewable energy and technologies such as battery storage and electric cars should give Californians the confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level.

“In these troubled times, California has the opportunity to lead once again,” said Dan Brotman of SoCal 350 ClimateAction. “Let’s do it now by declaring that the age of dirty electricity is over.”



McDonald’s USA to celebrate Literacy Month with popular children’s books in Happy Meals

Oak Brook, Ill. – In celebration of National Literacy Month in September,McDonald’s USA is inviting families to celebrate the joy of reading with the launch of the latest Happy Meal Books promotion. Happy Meal Books will return to restaurants nationwide from September 5-18 helping spread the gift of reading to families across the U.S.

In celebration of its 200th anniversary, HarperCollinsPublishers, one of the leading publishers of children’s books, is joining forces with McDonald’s USA to bring families a collection of four HappyMeal-sized books featuring popular titles – “Pete the Cat’s Got Class” by JamesDean, “Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School” by Herman Parish, “Just A SchoolProject” by Mercer Mayer and “If You Take a Mouse to School” by Laura Numeroff.Books are available in English and, in select restaurants, in Spanish.

“HarperCollins is pleased to be part of McDonald’s HappyMeal Books promotion again this year to place beloved books in the hands of millions of children,” says Suzanne Murphy, President and Publisher,HarperCollins Children’s Books. “Reading has a profound impact on the educational development of a child and through this program along with our donation to Reading is Fundamental, we hope to make book ownership for children more accessible.”

McDonald’s is also a proud supporter of Reading isFundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, which seeks to promote literacy by making it easier for children throughout the country to have access to interesting, captivating reading materials. By 2018,McDonald’s will have donated approximately 400,000 books from the Happy MealBooks promotions to RIF literacy efforts and programs across the country.

"McDonald’s partnership with RIF is a celebration of the power and joy of families reading together,' said Beth Meyer, ChiefMarketing Officer of Reading Is Fundamental. “Six out of 10 low-income families still have no age-appropriate books in their homes, so providing children with books coupled with supplemental literacy resources they need to achieve their full potential has never been more important.”

McDonald’s Happy Meal Book promotion is among a list of the company’s actions supporting a commitment to promote children’s well-being by inspiring kids to engage in active and imaginative play in a fun way and help develop a sense of community.

This announcement follows a number of changes McDonald’s has made to its Happy Meal including:

“As we continue to raise the bar for our customers, we’re excited to add to the fun of the Happy Meal experience by inspiring more family time together,” said Julie Wenger, senior director of U.S. marketing atMcDonald's. “We’re proud to partner with HarperCollins and Reading isFundamental and invite families to spread the joy of reading through these fun, classic books in our Happy Meals.”

Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that reading daily to young children stimulates early brain development and helps build key language, literacy and social skills.

HappyMealBooks Social

Through McDonald’s partnership with RIF, families can extend learning after reading “Pete the Cat’s Got Class”, “Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School”, “Just A School Project” and “If You Take a Mouse to School” throughLiteracy Central. This new, free digital portal, will feature lesson plans, puzzles, activities, and leveled reading passages designed to help build literacy development in children with a focus on the books from the Happy MealBooks program.

For more information about Happy Meal Books, visit www.McDonald’



It has been said that immigration laws and regulations are aptly called a labyrinth that only a lawyer could navigate. The courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals have recognized that attorneys are more familiar with the standards and factors an immigration judge examines and can present evidence more effectively. In addition, attorneys have special competence and duties to represent their clients. Attorneys are held to professional standards and obligations. They have a duty to exercise their knowledge and skill in order to present the strongest legally-valid case possible.
Recognizing that aliens have difficulty in presenting their cases forcefully and effectively, the courts have held that aliens have a due process right to competent legal counsel. Competent legal counsel means that aliens have the right to be represented by an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in immigration law because the due process right stems from the attorney’s unique role in removal proceedings and other immigration-related transactions.
When the lawyer fails to render competent assistance and the client is prejudiced (harmed) by that failure, the client can file a motion to reopen to seek a new trial. The request is made upon the assertion that the attorney’s representation was outside of the wide range of professionally-competent assistance and was not the result of reasonable professional judgment. It is called ineffective assistance of counsel.
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, aliens hire a non-lawyer (sometimes known as a legal consultant, an immigration consultant or a notario) to assist them with their immigration problem. In some cases, they believe they are hiring an attorney. In other situations, they know that the person they have hired is not a lawyer. In other cases, the person they are hiring is an attorney but has very little or no prior experience in immigration law. Relying on these people is dangerous. Consultants and notaries do not undergo necessary legal training and are not permitted to appear in court or at Citizenship and Immigration Services offices. Lawyers with no immigration law experience lack familiarity with the complexities of immigration law or procedure.
Many problems arise when the consultant files an application for an alien. If the alien is statutorily ineligible for the relief, he or she may be issued a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court because the government believes they are removable (deportable) from the U.S. If the alien does not go to his hearing, he is ordered deported in absentia (in his absence). It doesn’t matter that the alien didn’t get a notice of the hearing. As long as the notice was sent to the alien’s representative or to the address given by the alien, the alien is considered to have received notice.

Even if the alien does go to his hearing, consultants are not permitted to represent him in the courtroom. He will be on his own. That is what happened in a 9th Circuit case. Their notario told them that they did not need to call witnesses, provide expert testimony or submit documents in support of their application for relief. Not surprisingly, the immigration judge denied their applications. When they obtained competent counsel and filed a motion to reopen based on ineffective assistance of counsel, the motion was denied. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit said that non-attorney immigration consultants simply lack the expertise and legal and professional duties to their clients that are necessary preconditions for ineffective assistance of counsel claims. The court went on to say that if an alien chooses not to retain an attorney and knowingly relies on assistance from individuals not authorized to practice law, such a voluntary choice will not support a due process claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
The result of that decision is that, if an alien knows the person he is hiring is not a lawyer and relies on that person anyway, no matter how bad the representation is, the alien will not be able to claim ineffective assistance of counsel. (That is also true if the alien decides to represent himself. He cannot do so and then claim that his representation is inadequate because he did not know what he was doing). If the consultant pretended to be an attorney, ineffective assistance may still be an option. Even if the alien was aware that the representative was not a lawyer, the alien may be able to raise other due process claims. Those assessments must be made by a competent attorney. If you have an immigration problem, make sure that you place your life into the hands of someone competent. Seek the assistance of a skilled, experienced immigration lawyer.


What are My Fiduciary Duties if I Am Involved Romantically with Someone?

It is important to understand that when people live together, whether or not they are married, a ìconfidential relationshipî arises between them. For married persons this relationship arises from a legally recognized nature of matrimony. For unmarried persons, certain important legal obligations are present but may be of lesser value. Nonetheless, due to the trust and confidential nature of the relationship, duty of loyalty, care and disclosure in transactions will be imposed.

Spousal duties have evolved over the years but management and control of assets and disclosure of such assets are well established. Family Code 721 is the starting point. Subsection (b) states, ìThis confidential relationship is a fiduciary relationship subject to the same rights and duties as non-marital business partnersÖî as set forth in the Corporations Code. It imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other.î

Section 721 (b)(1) further entitles each spouse access to information about all things affecting any transaction which concerns the community property estate.î This duty arises by operation of law and no requests needs to be made of that status of property or assets. FC 2100 (c) makes this obligation clear that ìeach party has a continuing duty to immediately, fully, and accurately update and augment that disclosure to the extent there have been any material changes so that at the time the parties enter into an agreement for the resolution of any of these issues, or at the time of trial on these issues, each party will have a full and complete knowledge of the relevant underlying facts.î

An interesting and on point case is Marriage of Rossi. Ms. Rossi won $1,336,000 in a lottery pool and shortly thereafter filed for divorce. She never told her husband about her lottery winnings and failed to disclose the funds in any of her required disclosures. She even consulted with lottery officials how to conceal her winnings from her husband learning about the price. A judgment was entered in the divorce case without Mr. Rossi knowing about the winnings. Two years later, he inadvertently received a letter regarding the winnings. He filed a motion to set aside the divorce judgment and the court held that Ms. Rossiís failure to disclose constituted fraud, oppression and malice and award him 100% of the winnings.

Another seminal case is Marriage of Feldman. This case focuses on the duty of disclosure during dissolution proceedings and confirms the consequences of breaching those duties. The trial court found that the husband established a ìpatternî of financial non-disclosures and issued sanctions against him. The sanctions were set in an amount the court deemed sufficient to deter future noncompliance with the disclosure requirements.

Notably, unlike FC 271 which requires the court to consider the partiesí incomes, assets, and liabilities. FC 2107 addresses sanctions and attorney fees for violations for nondisclosure only require sanctions in an amount sufficient to deter bad behavior.

Transparency and honesty is required in divorce proceedings as to asset disclosures, ìhiding the ball,î means severe penalties as these two seminal cases exemplify. Preliminary and final declaration of disclosures are exchanged prior to judgment and for some cases, discovery work will be required to get all critical information about the assets obtained during marriage and their valuation thereof.
A qualified and experienced family attorney will be needed to navigate the complexities of these issues.

Any questions, call my office at 310-601-7144 or email me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and always visit my website for more articles,

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