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Joe Biden to propose 8-year citizenship path for immigrants

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US President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the country without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies.

The legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies and mass deportations.

It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years, but it fails to include the traditional trade-off of enhanced border security favoured by many Republicans, making passage in a narrowly divided Congress in doubt.

Expected to run hundreds of pages, the bill is set to be introduced after Biden takes the oath of office Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the legislation and granted anonymity to discuss it.

As a candidate, Biden called Trump’s actions on immigration an unrelenting assault on American values and said he would undo the damage while continuing to maintain border enforcement.

Under the legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other basic requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization, if they decide to pursue citizenship.

For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements.

The bill is not as comprehensive as the last major immigration overhaul proposed when Biden was vice president during the Obama administration.

For example, it does not include a robust border security element, but rather calls for coming up with strategies. Nor does it create any new guest worker or other visa programs.

It does address some of the root causes of migration from Central America to the United States, and provides grants for workforce development and English language learning.

Biden is expected to take swift executive actions to reverse other Trump immigration actions, including an end to the prohibition on arrivals from several predominantly Muslim countries.

During the Democratic primary, Biden consistently named immigration action as one of his day one priorities, pointing to the range of executive powers he could invoke to reverse Trump’s policies.

Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and enough other GOP senators to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades.

That kind of major win even if it involves compromise could be critical as Biden looks for legislative victories in a closely divided Congress, where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities that involve rolling back some of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending.

As a candidate, Biden went so far as to say the Obama administration went too far in its aggressive deportations.

source: The statesman

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SUV with 20 gelatin sticks found dumped near Mukesh Ambani’s house

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In a shocking development, an SUV filled with at least 20 gelatin sticks was found abandoned outside Antilia, the lavish multi-storied home of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, here on Thursday evening, officials said.

“A Scorpio vehicle with 20 gelatin sticks was found near Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai residence. The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police is investigating the entire matter and the truth will emerge soon,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said late on Thursday evening.

Late in the night, Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP S. Chaitanya said that a letter has been found inside the vehicle, but declined to reveal its content.

“The registration number displayed on the said vehicle (SUV) matches with the registration number of a vehicle in Mukesh Ambani’s security detail. The SUV has been seized by the police for investigation,” Chaitanya said.

The SUV was noticed at around 3 p.m. after which some people from the vicinity alerted the local police, who rushed to the spot and cordoned off the entire area, sending the state government and the police into a tizzy.

Top police officers, including Joint Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil, a team of explosives experts, sniffer dog squad, bomb detection and disposal squad and others rushed to the spot and inspected the SUV in which the gelatin sticks were kept.

Minister of State for Home, Shambhuraj Desai, told mediapersons that he has instructed the top police officers to probe the matter thoroughly and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

Desai added that if required, the government would consider other measures, including enhancing the security at the Antilia building and also around the Ambani family, even as the entire locality was brought under a high alert.

CCTV footages of the area revealed that the SUV with a couple of unidentified persons in it was driven and parked beside a tree on the Carmichael Road at around 1 a.m.

The suspicious persons seemed to have fled after deserting the SUV there, but strangely, it was noticed only after another 12 hours.

Chaitanya said that the gelatin sticks recovered in the SUV were “not an assembled explosive device” but details of the risks they posed would be known only after a thorough probe.

Efforts are on to trace the persons who parked the vehicle there, from where they came, what were their diabolic motives, who or what were the exact targets etc., officials said.

Antilia and the south Mumbai neighbourhood house the who’s who of the Indian corporate world, top politicians, official or private residences of various bigwigs, government officials, diplomats, people from the glamour industry and others.

source: The Statesman

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U’khand: 136 missing ‘presumed dead’

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The Indo-Tibetan Border Police, SDRF and other sister organisations on Tuesday launched an operation at the artificial lake, which was formed after the recent flash flood-triggered landslide blocked flow of the Rishiganga river, in Chamoli. To increase the volume of water at the Rishiganga near Muranda, the team removed tree trunks that were blocking the flow.

The artificial lake continues to be a hot topic of debate among scientists and administrators and an object of fear among locals. A team of ITBP, SDRF and other agencies are presently camping at the lake site. The administration is on alert after the Indian Meteorological Department forecast for light rainfall on 24, 25 and 26 February and moderate rainfall at Tapovan area on 27 February.

Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand government has issued a notification authorising officials to declare “presumed dead” 136 people still missing after the flash flood in Chamoli district over two weeks ago. Sixty-eight bodies have so far been recovered after the February 7 disaster possibly triggered by an avalanche.

~With inputs from PTI~

source: The Statesman

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PM Modi inaugurates important Oil & Gas projects and Engineering Colleges in Assam

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation INDMAX Unit at Indian Oil’s Bongaigaon Refinery, Oil India Limited’s Secondary Tank Farm at Madhuban, Dibrugarh and a Gas Compressor Station at Hebeda Village, Makum, Tinsukia remotely from Dhemaji in Assam today.

He also inaugurated the Dhemaji Engineering College and laid the foundation stone for Sualkuchi Engineering College in Assam.

Governor of Assam Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameswar Teli were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the public at the event, the Prime Minister said North East will be the new growth engine of India and he is inspired to work more for the people of Assam.

He recalled how the North Bank in the Brahmaputra gave birth to Assamese cinema eight decades ago with the film Joymoti. He added this region has produced many personalities that enhanced the pride of Assam’s culture. He said the Centre and State Governments are working together for the balanced development of Assam and the major basis of this is the state’s infrastructure.

He said, today, energy and education infrastructure projects worth more than Rs 3000 crore are launched in this region. He said these projects will strengthen the identity of the region as a hub of energy and education and would act as a symbol of Assam.

The Prime Minister stressed the necessity for India to continuously become self-sufficient, to increase its strength and also its capabilities. He said over the years, the refining capacity in India has greatly increased, especially at the Bongaigaon Refinery.

He added the gas unit plant launched today is going to increase the capacity of LPG production and will make life easier for the people in Assam and Northeast. It will also increase employment opportunities for the youth in this region.

The Prime Minister said a strong talent pool of our scientists, engineers and technicians plays a major role in giving impetus to an AatmaNirbhar Bharat.

The Prime Minister said Assam is known the world over for tea, handlooms and tourism. Self-Reliance will increase the strength and capabilities of the people of Assam. Tea production will strengthen the vision of a self-reliant Assam. He said in such a situation when the youth here learn these skills in school and college itself, it will be of great benefit. He added in this year’s budget, a provision has been made to open hundreds of new Eklavya model schools in tribal areas, which will also benefit Assam.

The Prime Minister said the state and central government are working together for the farmers of Assam to increase their potential and their income. He said a major scheme of Rs 20000 crore has also been made for the farmers in the fisheries sector, which will also benefit the people of Assam.

He added the government’s effort is that the produce of the farmers in Assam should reach the international market. He said that the North Bank’s Tea Gardens also plays a major role in Assam’s economy.

He lauded the Assam government for launching a campaign to lease land to small tea growers. He said now the need of the people in Assam is to strengthen the double engine of development and progress.

source: the statesman

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