Thursday, February 25, 2021
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1/ The House passed the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by extending civil rights protections to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Last week Biden called the bill “a critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality and freedom for all.” The same legislation was previously passed by the House in 2019, but blocked in the Republican-led Senate. While Democrats now control the White House, House, and Senate, the measure still faces an uphill fight in the Senate, where it would need 60 votes to break a legislative filibuster. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)
2/ Biden ended Trump’s ban on legal immigration that had dramatically cut legal immigration to the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic. Last spring, Trump ordered a “pause” on the issuance of green cards and halted certain temporary work visas, saying he needed to protect U.S. jobs amid high unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic. Biden said the Trump policy did “not advance the interests of the United States” and had prevented qualified and eligible non-U.S. residents from entering the country. Biden also eliminated Trump’s effort to cut funding for cities he deemed were “permitting anarchy, violence and destruction” following anti-police brutality protests last summer. (NPR / New York Times / NBC News / CBS News / The Guardian /Bloomberg)
3/ The Biden administration reopened a tent facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, to house up to 700 immigrant teenagers after they cross the U.S.-Mexico border unaccompanied by a parent. The facility, closed since July 2019, is reopening because permanent facilit...