Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1.Supreme Court Blocks President Trump’s Efforts To Eliminate DACA Program
In a major rebuke to President Donald Trump, the US Supreme Court has blocked the Trump administration’s plan to dismantle a program implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012 that has protected 700,000 so-called DREAMers from deportation. The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the opinion. Under the Obama-era program, qualified individuals brought to the US as children were given temporary legal status if they graduated from high school or were honorably discharged from the military, and if they passed a background check. Just months after taking office, President Trump moved to revoke the program, only to be blocked by lower courts, and now the Supreme Court. Roberts’ opinion for the court was a narrow but powerful rejection of the way the Trump administration went about trying to abolish the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote. “The wisdom of those decisions is none of our concern. Here we address only whether the Administration complied with the procedural requirements in the law that insist on ‘a reasoned explanation for its action.’ “
2. President Donald Trump Announces Year-Long Suspension of Emplyoment-Based Immigration Visas
President Donald Trump on June 22 issued a proclamation suspending some employment-based visas, including H-1B visas for highly skilled workers, through the end of the year as the US struggles to weather the widening coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration is touting the move as a way to protect American jobs amid the highest unemployment rate since 1939, but the decision has been panned by a broad range of companies who say they cannot access the labor they need in the US and who warn that the move could lead them to move operations abroad. The order is part of a broad effort by the Trump administration to severely limit immigration into the US during the pandemic. It suspends H-1B visas for highly skilled workers, most H-2B visas for non-agricultural guest workers, many J-1 visas for exchange visitors like teachers, interns, au pairs and camp counselors, and L-1 visas used by companies to transfer foreign workers to locations in the US, officials told reporters on June 22. Food supply chain workers are exempt, as are workers whom the government deems essential to the fight against coronavirus The order will also extend Trump’s April 2020 edict barring green cards for family members of US citizens.
3. Senate Vote On Police Reform Bill Fails
A Republican-sponsored bill meant to rein in police misconduct in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis failed in the US Senate on June 24, leaving congressional efforts to address racial inequities in American policing at an impasse. Democrats, denouncing the measure as irrevocably flawed, defeated a Republican push to move to final debate by a vote of 55-45, short of the 60 votes needed, a month after Floyd’s death in police custody set off weeks of worldwide protests against police brutality. The legislative fight over reform now moves to the House of Representatives, which plans to vote on a more sweeping Democratic bill on June 25. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats said they believed the June 24 vote makes it more likely that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s top Republican, will agree to negotiations on a stronger bipartisan measure. McConnell said he would schedule another vote if there was enough progress on closing Republican-Democratic differences. President Donald Trump said he would not accept Democratic reforms and suggested the issue could end in stalemate. “If nothing happens with it, it’s one of those things. We have different philosophies,” he told reporters.
4. Amid A Worsening Coronavirus Pandemic In US, President Donald Trump Announces Plan To Eliminate Federal Funding Of Coronavirus Testing Sites
As Coronavirus cases continue to spike across the US, the nation on June 24 saw its largest daily increase in confirmed new infections since the pandemic began, the Trump administration is reportedly planning to cut off federal funding for 13 coronavirus testing sites in five states at the end of the month, a move that is in keeping with the President’s vow to slow screenings for the virus. As reported by Politico on June 24, the federal government is ending its support for 13 drive-thru coronavirus testing sites on June 30, urging states to take over their operations, even as cases spike in several parts of the country. Seven of the sites set to lose federal funding and support are located in Texas, which has seen new Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations skyrocket during the reopening process, a spike that Texas Governor Greg Abbott (one of President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters at the state level) predicted last month in a private call that leaked to reporters. Texas was one of six states that saw a record increase in new infections on Wednesday. The other testing sites that will lose federal support next week are located in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New Jersey.