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Biden sends immigration Bill to Congress

Thousands of Indian IT professionals to benefit | Launches Covid initiatives on 1st day in WH

Biden sends immigration Bill to Congress

grand welcome: Fireworks over the National Mall during the “Celebrating America” event in Washington. Reuters

Washington, January 21

US President Joe Biden on the first day of his presidency sent a comprehensive immigration Bill to Congress. The Bill proposes a major overhaul in the immigration system, including granting legal status and a path to citizenship to tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants and other groups and reduce the time that family members must wait outside the US for the green card.

Called the US Citizenship Act of 2021, the legislation modernises the immigration system and proposes to eliminate the per country cap for the employment-based green card, a move that would benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals, whose current wait period for legal permanent residency runs into several decades.

“Today, President Biden sent an immigration Bill to Congress. The US Citizenship Act modernises our immigration system. It provides hard-working people who have enriched our communities and lived here for decades an opportunity to earn citizenship,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a news conference.

“The President’s priority reflected in the Bill are to responsibly manage the border, keep families together, grow our economy, address the root causes of migration from Central America and ensure that America can remain a refuge for those fleeing prosecution,” Psaki said.

The Bill would stimulate America’s economy while ensuring that every worker is protected. The Bill creates an earned path to citizenship for immigrant neighbours, colleagues, parishioners, community leaders, friends, and loved ones, including “Dreamers” and the essential workers who have risked their lives to serve and protect American communities, the White House said.

According to the White House, the Bill clears employment-based visa backlogs, recaptures unused visas, reduces lengthy wait times, and eliminates per-country visa caps.

It makes it easier for graduates of US universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) stay in the US, improves access to the green card for workers in lower-wage sectors, and eliminates other unnecessary hurdles for employment-based green card.

Biden also launched initiatives on Thursday to rein in the raging Covid-19 pandemic, tackling his top priority on his first full day in the White House as he tries to turn the page on Donald Trump's tumultuous leadership.

His administration plans a coordinated federal coronavirus response aimed at restoring trust in the government and focused on boosting vaccines, increasing testing, reopening schools and addressing inequalities thrown up by the disease.

“We can and will beat Covid-19. America deserves a response to the pandemic that is driven by science, data, and public health… not politics," the White House said in a statement outlining the administration's National Strategy on for the Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Prepar edness. — Agencies

Your faith brought me here: Harris credits her Indian mom

Vice-President Kamala Harris with her husband at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. REUTERS

New York: Kamala Harris, who scripted history by becoming the first-ever woman Vice-President of the US, has credited her Indian mother for showing faith in her and always reminding her two daughters that "though we may be the first, we should not be the last". Harris remembered her late mother Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist from India, saying she had always carried that lesson from her mother with her throughout her career. "My story is the story of millions of Americans. My mother Shyamala Gopalan arrived in the US from India. She raised my sister Maya and me to know that though we may be the first, we should not be the last," Harris said at the Presidential Inaugural Committee's official Asian American inaugural ball. "Your continued faith in me has brought me to this moment," she said. PTI

Joint video message by 3 ex-presidents

Washington: Former US presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama have recorded a rare joint video through which they sent their wishes to President Joe Biden while rooting for his success. “Inaugurations signal a tradition of a peaceful transfer of power that is over two centuries old,” said Obama. PTI

No more ‘patriotic education’ in schools

Washington: President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked a recent Trump administration report that aimed to promote “patriotic education” in schools but that historians mocked and rejected as political propaganda. In an executive order signed in his first day in office, Biden disband Donald Trump’s presidential 1776 Commission and withdrew a report it released on Monday. AP

Leaders laud return to climate fight

Berlin: World leaders breathed a sigh of relief that the United States under President Joe Biden is rejoining the global effort to curb climate change, a cause that his predecessor had shunned. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron were among those welcoming Biden's decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord, reversing a key Trump policy in the first hours of his presidency Wednesday. Agencies

US rejoins WHO, UN hails decision

Washington: The US rejoined the World Health Organisation (WHO) in one of the first official orders of the Joe Biden presidency, reversing a key foreign policy decision his predecessor Donald Trump took last year. Biden, in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday, said, “The US intends to remain a member of the WHO.” PTI

Praise for Inaugural address writer

Washington: US President Joe Biden's powerful inaugural speech, penned by Vinay Reddy, has received glowing tributes. Reddy — an Indian-American from Telangana who wrote the speech that outlined Biden’s goals for his administration, focusing on healing from the current state of division in national politics — has been praised for his “calming” and “inspiring” words. PTI

22-yr-old poet turns bestseller

Washington: The US inauguration catapulted 22-year-old Amanda Gorman to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. Hours after Gorman’s electric performance at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, her two books, neither out yet, topped Amazon sales list.

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