This week, we read about President Biden’s plans to announce an end to the travel ban, a plan for immigration reform amidst the new DACA court ruling, and the US DOJ’s plan to appeal that same court decision.

 

 

 

President Biden is expected to announce the end of the travel ban in the next few days. German Chancellor Angela Merkel brought up the matter during a news conference with the President at the White House.  

 

Airlines for America, a trade association, noted the inconsistencies in the travel ban. Despite vaccination rates being higher in the U.K and Canada than in Mexico, travel to the U.K and Canada is restricted while travel to and from Mexico is permitted.  

 

Currently, fully vaccinated travelers may travel from the U.S. to the E.U. However, those same travelers cannot return back to the States. U.S. airlines have been hit hard due to this lack of two-way travel.   

 

Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President of The U.S. Travel Association, addressed the emotional and economic burden that the travel ban has had on the U.S. in a statement.   

 

 “Each day that outdated restrictions on travel exist wreaks economic damage on our nation,” Barnes said, “not to mention the personal toll on individuals separated from their families and loved ones. Travel bans related to Canada, Europe and the U.K. alone cost the U.S. economy $1.5 billion every week—enough to support 10,000 American jobs.” 

 

 

 

A federal judge blocked new applicants from DACA* (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Democrats now face growing pressure to act on immigration reform that’s long been put on the back burner.  

 

Democrats are being encouraged to push their backup plan: a comprehensive spending package that includes immigration reform. This strategy will allow them to pass the law through budget reconciliation.  

 

The bill would provide Dreamers a pathway to citizenship. Despite legislation efforts for Dreamers, though, little progress has been made due to bipartisan disagreements.  

 

In order to get the $3.5 trillion bill passed, Democrats need the support of all 50 members of the Senate. Budget reconciliation will allow them to bypass the Senate’s 60 vote filibuster in order to pass the bill.  

In addition, Democrats will need the support of the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough. Despite MacDonough’s previous role as an immigration attorney, Senate members aren’t sure which way she will favor.  

 

 

“I think we need to find pathways to citizenship. Budget bill is an appropriate way to get around the filibuster to be able to make a judgment as to whether or not there should be a pathway. That’s for the parliamentarian to decide, not for Joe Biden to decide,” Biden said. 

 

US justice department to appeal DACA court decision, says Biden

President Biden announced that the Department of Justice plans on appealing a federal court decision that blocked new applicants from applying to DACA.*

 

Andrew Hanen, Texas federal judge, deemed the program unlawful last Friday (7/16). The ruling prevents any new applicants from becoming approved. Those that are already approved under the rule are still protected from deportation. 

 

Since its introduction, DACA has received criticism and pushback from conservatives. In 2017, the Trump Administration made plans to end the program entirely. The Supreme Court blocked this initiative after ongoing legal battles. 

 

During his campaign, President Biden made promises to make DACA permanent. Despite ongoing efforts, legislation that would allow a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers is still awaiting approval. 

 

In an official statement, the President expressed his disappointment with the court decision and plans to create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. You can read the entire statement here

 

*DACA is a program created for certain immigrants who arrived here as children that lack documentation. DACA recipients are often referred to as “Dreamers.” 

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