Senate Parliamentarian Rejects Third Immigration Reform Proposal
The Senate parliamentarian on Thursday night rejected Democrats’ third attempt to include immigration parole in their $1.75 trillion social and climate spending bill. The bill is being advanced through a process called “budget reconciliation,” which means that anything included must comply with special Senate rules. It is the job of the Senate parliamentarian to decide whether a piece of legislation complies with those rules, but her guidance is not binding.
Democratic leaders slammed the parliamentarian’s decision, saying “we will pursue every means to achieve a path to citizenship in the Build Back Better Act.” The White House meanwhile called the decision “deeply disappointing,” but has not gone so far as to call for lawmakers to ignore the parliamentarian’s decision.
State Department Won’t Require In-Person Visits for 50K Immigrants
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of State announced it will waive the interview requirement for nearly 50,000 immigrants. According to the new rule, applicants who were already approved for an immigrant visa in the same classification and on the same basis on or after Aug. 4, 2019 would be exempt from appearing in-person for their interview. The rule will be in effect from Dec. 13, 2021 to Dec. 13, 2023.
Harris Secures $1.2B in Private-Sector Commitments to Central America
Vice President Kamala Harris announced millions in investments on Monday as part of her mission to address the reasons people choose to leave their homes in Central America and attempt the dangerous journey to the United States. The White House announced that seven companies committed a total of over $1.2 billion in investments in the economies of Central American countries. This is in addition to previous private-sector commitments made following the launch of the Vice President’s Call to Action on May 27 for businesses and nonprofits to work together to sustainably address the root causes of migration.
Utilities Agree to No Longer Allow Sensitive Customer Data to be Shared With ICE
A nationwide group of utility companies including power, water, telecommunications, and cable TV have been directed to stop selling Americans’ sensitive personal information to data brokers used by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other law enforcement agencies. The companies routinely gave sensitive information from customers’ phone, TV, and power bills to the credit reporting bureau Equifax, which sold it for profit to database companies used by government agencies, including ICE. Privacy and constitutional law advocates have repeatedly criticized the practice as a way for law enforcement to get around the Fourth Amendment laws governing search warrants.
Massive human trafficking bust rescues at least 100 immigrants
At least 100 immigrants were rescued from a massive human-trafficking and visa fraud ring in Georgia. A years-long federal investigation uncovered the operation, where migrant workers were smuggled into the United States and forced to work in deadly conditions under threats of violence and deportation.