News India Times – that’s all you need to know Opinion News India Times February 26, 2021 4 Biden Is Still Blocking People LikeMe, With Visas, FromEntering The U.S. M y dream of starting a new life in America has been blocked on the orders of Donald Trump: Last April, he issued a proclamation suspend- ing entry to the United States for a wide range of legal immigrants. The suspension was extended in June, and though it was supposed to expire in December, Trump - in one of his last and most spiteful acts as president - extended the suspension until March 31, more than two months into President Biden’s admin- istration. Wherein lies my predicament. I am in Côte d’Ivoire, holding a valid, use-it-or-lose-it immigrant visa sched- uled to expire before March 31 - that is, before my family and I can use it to travel to the U.S. Others are in the same position. In line, but in limbo. Legal, but not. Afraid that our once-in-a-lifetime chance is about to vanish. Unless Biden takes action now: He pledged to restore humanity and fairness to America’s immigration system, but so far he’s left Trump’s 11th-hour extension in place. Biden has been president for less than a month, of course. He’s leading a country confronting an array of problems, and immigration is only one pressing is- sue among many. But he could rescue our hopes with the stroke of a pen by issuing an order countermand- ing Trump’s original proclamation. Biden could restore normal immigration rules, even while pandemic-related travel precautions remain in place. As the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Justice Action Center and Innovation Law Lab outlined last year, Trump’s suspension is “unprecedented in scope,” affecting an estimated 525,000 people. These in- clude workers, innovators, entrepreneurs and consumers whose lives and plans have been thrown into uncertainty and confusion, many who have jobs or families waiting for them in the United States. According to these orga- nizations, some estimate that the suspension will mean that as many as 20,000 employers won’t be able bring needed employees to the U.S. - many of them in health care, with life-saving skills to fight the pandemic. Then there are those of us holding of so-called diver- sity visas, distributed by lottery to people from underrep- resented countries. It’s an ingenious American initiative to strengthen and enrich itself through broader inclusion. For instance, according to the American Immigration Council, in 2015 over 40 percent of diversity visas were granted to people, like me, immigrating from African nations. Congress created the visa lottery as part of the Im- migration Act of 1990, reflecting its judgment, in keeping with America’s status as a nation of immigrants. And as Carly Goodman wrote in 2017 for TheWashington Post, the lottery has become “a vital source of goodwill toward the United States” in countries around the world. But Trump’s suspension rejected the judgment of Congress and his last extension attempted to tie the hands of his successor. Karen Tumlin, founder and director of the Justice Action Center said Trump’s suspension takes “a wrecking ball to our nation’s legal immigration system.” Like his border wall, “Muslim ban” and hateful remarks about immigrants from “shithole countries,” Trump’s or- ders last year reflected his administration’s obsessive ef- fort to turn a nation of immigrants into a colder, crueler, less inclusive place. I’m grateful to America. It remains a place of promise and hope. Although my husband and I have built decent lives for ourselves in Côte d’Ivoire - I am a chemist by training and he runs his own businesses - we’ve been unable to put our professional credentials to the best use here. We’ll be able to contribute so much more as U.S. residents. We also want greater educational and econom- ic opportunities in America for our young daughters. And we’ve been lucky, so far. After first applying in 2018, we won the golden ticket in 2019: a diversity lottery visa that was approved in 2020. Congress allocates only around 50,000 of them in an ordinary year, and many more apply across the globe. The State Department had issued only about 12,000 diversity visas in 2020 before Trump suspended the pro- gram in April. I was among an additional several thou- sand lottery winners who received visas after a federal court ordered the State Department to resume issuing them in September. Diversity visas normally have to be used within six months. So as 2020 drew to a close, I was hopeful that with Biden taking office, we would be able to immigrate. We sold our properties, I resigned my job, my husband turned down long-term work contracts, and we prepared to move. But then Trump extended the suspension. That means visas from September, including ours, will expire before the Trump suspension ends. My heart is breaking, and I’m not sure what to tell my daughters about the dwin- dling prospects for our American dream. There’s a solu- tion, however, to our predicament: Biden could rescind the suspension before these visas expire. This would not be a drastic step; it would merely restore the status quo: The U.S. system of lawful immi- gration based on family ties, employment and diversity. It would let normal visa processing resume, with all the protections that Congress built into the system to vet immigrants and bar them if necessary to protect national security and public health. Biden campaigned on putting a stop to what he called Trump’s “unrelenting assault on our values and our his- tory as a nation of immigrants.” This is his chance. The author is a plaintiff in Gomez v. Trump,a lawsuit chal- lenging the Trump immigra- tion suspension, which will be heard before the U.S. District Court of the District of Colum- bia on Feb. 18. Ijeoma Golden Kouadio is a diversity visa lottery winner from Côte d’Ivoire. -Special to TheWashington Post By Ijeoma Golden Kouadio J oe Biden is only the second baptized Catholic president of the United States, and the first since abortion became a central issue in our politics. The Catholic Church’s opposition to the deliberate kill- ing of unborn children is both firm and well-known. But Biden supports an almost unlimited right to abortion and federal funding for it. That juxtaposition is renewing the debate about the moral obligations of conscientious Catholic citizens, including public officials. News stories have heralded the rebirth under Biden of a politically liberal version of Christianity that places more emphasis on such issues as poverty and immi- gration than on sexual morality. Catholic bishops have reportedly been divided over how to respond. It is a moment for Catholics, laity and clergy alike, to be clear about what the church teaches. Catholicism is quite capacious: It has room for many political tenden- cies. A Catholic may in good conscience believe that the federal government must do more to regulate markets to serve the common good, or that excessive regulation has contributed to poverty and should be relaxed, or some- thing in between. The catechism instructs that “more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.”What that means in practice for U.S. policy is, however, something on which equally faithful Catholics may reasonably disagree. Nothing, then, is in principle wrong with liberal and conservative Catholics making themselves heard as distinct voices. But Catholic teaching imposes limits on what policies can be supported. No Catholic should, for example, approve a policy that leads to the routine and large-scale separation of children from their parents in the name of combating illegal immigration. Indeed, Cath- olics are called to oppose any such policy. To the extent we fail in this duty - because of partisanship, timidity, hardness of heart or some other reason - we fall short of what our faith demands. So it is with abortion. Biden is among those Catholics who have contributed to confusion on this point. He has said his faith teaches that human life begins at concep- tion and declared, “I accept it in my personal life.” But he will not “impose it” on others. Yet it is science, not any catechism, that teaches us that at conception a new and distinct member of the species Homo sapiens comes to be. What the Catholic Church adds is that we have a solemn obligation to do what we can to see to it that justice is done to all human be- ings - including those at the earliest developmental stages. (Catholics are, of course, and thankfully, not alone in seeing this imperative.) Abortion is, in the church’s view, not just immoral in the way it is to take the Lord’s name in vain or to commit adultery. It is not in itself a matter of sexual ethics. It is a grave injustice in the same way it is to perform any act designed to kill an innocent human being. Laws allowing it, or treating it as a right, are gravely unjust, too, in the same way that it would be unjust for laws to allow the deliberate killing of any other innocent human beings, especially on a mass scale. Pope Francis has for this reason appealed to “all politicians, re- gardless of their faith convictions, to treat the defense of the lives of those who are about to be born and enter into society as the cornerstone of the common good.” Biden, however observant he may be in other respects, does not accept the church’s teaching on this subject. He flagrantly rejects it. He may sincerely wish that nobody would ever procure or perform an abortion, and in that sense be “personally opposed” to it. He nonetheless favors excluding a particular class of human beings from the same protection against homicide that he favors for everyone else. He speaks in favor of that injustice, and he works to further it. Nothing in the church’s teaching on abortion implies that it is the only issue that ought to concern Catholic citizens and officials. Nor does it preclude working with the Biden administration on initiatives that seem likely to promote the general welfare, or commending it when de- served. We are, however, obligated to tell the truth about abortion and what the church actually teaches about it: to tell it to our fellow Catholics, and to everyone else. We owe it to the unborn. We owe it to our fellow citizens of a nation committed to “justice for all.” And we owe it, as well, to President Biden himself, who on this issue is guilty of profound injustice. Ramesh Ponnuru is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. Robert P. George is the Mc- Cormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. -Special To TheWashington Post Biden’s Stance On Abortion Contradicts His Catholicism By Ramesh Ponnuru,Robert P. George TheWashington Post TheWashington Post Photo:Twitter@McCormickProf