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  • Writer's pictureOlga Nesterova

White House Unveils Immigration and Diplomatic Initiatives Amidst Pressing Domestic and Global Issues

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the briefing on June 18 2024
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the briefing on June 18 2024

Yesterday began with a significant announcement from the White House, as President Biden prepared to sign an Executive Order on immigration granting undocumented spouses of US citizens who have lived in the country for a decade the opportunity to apply for permanent residency. Additionally, international students, including DACA recipients and Dreamers who have obtained a degree and secured a job offer, will be eligible to apply for work visas without needing to leave the country.

This groundbreaking move sparked a flurry of questions during the subsequent press briefing with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Concerns were raised about the capacity of USCIS to handle the influx of applications expected under the new rules, set to take effect by the end of this summer. In response, the White House assured that while they strive for a balanced approach, congressional approval is essential, highlighting the current political polarization hindering comprehensive immigration reform.

Pressed further on the potential transience of the Executive Order under future administrations, the Press Secretary emphasized President Biden's commitment to long-term immigration reform, calling on Congress to act decisively in addressing systemic issues that have persisted for decades.

The briefing also touched on international affairs, notably the visit of Russian President Putin to North Korea, prompting concerns about deepening cooperation between Russia and North Korea, particularly in light of China's support for Russia amid the Ukraine conflict. Jean-Pierre underscored the administration's stance on sovereignty and stability, expressing apprehension over collaborations that could escalate global tensions.

Turning briefly to US-Israel relations, Jean-Pierre addressed recent statements by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding alleged delays in arms shipments from the US. She clarified that discussions between the two nations remain constructive and any reported delays do not reflect the broader state of bilateral relations.

Shifting focus to domestic issues, the briefing addressed the ongoing wildfires in California and New Mexico, which the administration is closely monitoring. FEMA has been mobilized to assist affected areas, and residents are urged to heed evacuation advisories issued by local authorities.

Concluding on a lighter note, the White House acknowledged the US cricket team's recent championship victory, extending congratulations to the team and its fans. However, the Press Secretary indicated that no discussions had taken place regarding a congratulatory call from the President.

As today's developments unfold, the White House remains committed to addressing both domestic challenges and international relations with a focus on stability, equity, and effective governance.


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