President Biden tours food bank, vaccine distribution center in Texas trip

Joanna Estrada
Февраля 28, 2021

"The president has made very clear to us that in crises like this, it is our duty to organize prompt and competent federal support to American citizens, and we have to ensure that bureaucracy and politics do not stand in the way", said Homeland Security Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall, who accompanied Biden to Houston.

"And it harms individuals who were selected to receive the opportunity to apply for, and those who have likewise received, immigrant visas through the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery", Biden, a Democrat, said.

The Biden administration has received blowback for the decision from progressive Democratic lawmakers and some on the right.

There were a record-high number of unaccompanied minors who crossed the southern border of the United States in February, but officials are preparing an even more robust number of unaccompanied children to attempt to enter into the U.S.in May. In Texas, they opened up one. used in the last administration.

"Our goal is for them to then be transferred to families or sponsors", White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said of the facilities.

According to the White House, reopening the facility was a better option that sending the migrant children on a treacherous journey back to their home countries.

In a statement on Friday, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cited an increase in border encounters amid the coronavirus pandemic and "natural disasters impacting the area", adding that the new facility aims to "help accommodate migrants in our custody".

"But we always need to keep communicating more effectively about how this is a unsafe time to travel, this is a risky time for families to come, for children to come, and we'll continue to work to do that more", she said in response to a question. "We've already connected thousands of them in that way".

Former President Donald Trump had frozen "green cards" for new immigrants, and halted temporary work visas for skilled workers, managers and au pairs in the H-1B, H-4, H-2B, L-1 and J categories, to protect jobs.

Progressive lawmakers, including Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY, blasted the administration's move to reopen the facility.

"This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay - no matter the administration or party", Ocasio-Cortez tweeted earlier this week.

Indian IT professionals, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the United States mainly on the H-1B work visas, are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Card or permanent legal residency. "It's no accident that challenging how we approach both these issues are considered "controversial" stances". "That's why bold reimagination is so important".

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