Biden Meets DACA Recipients in Immigration Overhaul PushBiden Meets DACA Recipients in Immigration Overhaul Push

President Joe Biden met Friday with six immigrants who benefited from an Obama-era policy that protected those brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The president is trying to turn attention toward overhauling the nation’s immigration laws, but it’s an issue he has made scant progress on in the first months of his presidency.

Maria Praeli, one of the immigrants who participated in the meeting, said she and others spoke candidly to Biden about their concerns and about worries that their fates could be upended by a Texas court decision if Congress doesn’t act.

“Our lives have been in limbo for far too long,” Praeli said. She was brought to the U.S. from Peru when she was 5 and is now government relations manager at the immigrant advocacy group FWD.us.

Immigration has been largely left on the back burner while Biden has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic and pushed for legislative action on a massive infrastructure package.

The immigrants invited to Friday’s Oval Office meeting have used the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program instituted in 2012 to legalize their residency. Biden renewed his call for Congress to codify DACA and to approve longer-shot legislation that would establish a pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the country illegally, an effort that faces tough odds in a closely divided Congress.

The White House in a statement said Biden reiterated to the group his commitment to immigration reform. He noted his support for legislation that’s passed the Democratic-controlled House to enshrine the DACA program in law and for a separate bill intended to help migrant farm workers attain lawful status and better working conditions.

Ahead of the meeting, White House press secretary Jen Psaki pushed back against the notion that immigration has slid as a priority, noting that Biden has continued through the early days of his administration to have conversations with top aides on strategy to push the issue forward. She added that Biden viewed meeting with individuals helped by DACA — a program that has widespread, bipartisan support among the American public — as a chance to highlight an area on immigration reform where there is a measure of agreement with many Republicans.

“He believes there’s an opportunity to move forward on areas where we agree,” Psaki said.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in March that his agency was issuing a rule to “preserve and fortify DACA,” but the policy faces a Texas court challenge that could invalidate the protections established under Obama. Former President Donald Trump tried to phase out the program. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that Trump could end it but that he did so improperly.

Biden has made clear that passing legislation enshrining DACA should be the floor for action on immigration.

“If you don’t like my plan, let’s at least pass what we all agree on,” Biden said in his address before the joint session of Congress last month. “Congress needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for Dreamers — the young people who have only known America as their home.”

To be certain, there’s been little sign of progress on Capitol Hill.

A bipartisan group of senators led by Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas — two veterans of immigration debates — appears to have hit a stalemate, with only halting progress despite weeks of private meetings.

A more narrow House-passed measure focused on DACA and another bill to revamp rules for farm workers has almost zero chance of passage in the Senate.

It’s a familiar political standoff as Republicans are focused on the problems at the border, while Democrats want to consider changes to the immigration system.

Ali Noorani, president of the National Immigration Forum, said the meeting with the DACA recipients — a group often referred to by immigration advocates as “Dreamers” based on never-passed proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act— is a positive development.

Still, Noorani said he’s hoping for the issue to receive greater White House and congressional attention once lawmakers get beyond infrastructure package negotiations. Biden has set a soft deadline of Memorial Day for finding the contours of a deal with Republicans on infrastructure.

“The sense here is that you get past infrastructure, the next immigration meeting on the couch in the Oval Office should be a bipartisan set of senators,” Noorani said.


Mississippi River Traffic Reopened Under Damaged BridgeMississippi River Traffic Reopened Under Damaged Bridge

Waterway traffic has returned on the Mississippi River close to Memphis, Tennessee, three days after it was shut when a break was found in the Interstate 40 extension that associates Tennessee and Arkansas, the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation, in the interim, said a video taken by an investigator two years prior discovered “huge rust and the start of a break” in the very region as the crack that provoked the scaffold’s closure this week.

In excess of 60 towing boats pulling in excess of 1,000 flatboats were in line Friday to cross under the Hernando De Soto Bridge, the Coast Guard said.

Monetary improvement authorities had been worried that an all-inclusive conclusion of stream traffic could hurt the area’s economy and have far reaching influences on the country’s inventory network.

The actual scaffold will stay shut to vehicles inconclusively, with street traffic rerouted to Interstate 55 and the 71-year-old Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, around 3 miles (5 kilometers) south.

Stream traffic under the six-path connect was closed down Tuesday after investigators tracked down a “critical break” in one of two 900-foot (274-meter) level steel radiates that are vital for the scaffold’s trustworthiness, said Lorie Tudor, head of the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Designers needed to guarantee the extension could remain all alone prior to resuming waterway traffic.

“In view of data gave to us by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Coast Guard has confirmed that travel under the I-40 extension is alright for oceanic traffic,” Coast Guard Capt. Ryan Rhodes, skipper of the Port of Memphis, said in a proclamation.


The Arkansas Department of Transportation on Friday said a picture caught by a controller’s robot video in May 2019 showed proof of harm on the lower side of the extension, the very region as the break that was found for this present week.

Spot representative Dave Parker said the harm was found by a counseling firm that was reviewing the scaffold’s links that year.

“ARDOT is currently exploring to check whether that harm was noted in a September 2019 investigation report and, assuming this is the case, what moves were made,” the office said in an explanation.

The extension stayed shut as dealings increased between the White House and a gathering of Republican legislators over a potential foundation bundle. Liberals have said the closure features the critical requirement for more foundation subsidizing.

Conservatives have required a framework plan with a more modest sticker price than President Joe Biden’s and with a smaller meaning of public works.

The Arkansas Trucking Association on Friday assessed the conclusion would cost the shipping business in any event $2.4 million every day as a result of the more extended courses to cross the stream. The gathering utilized information given by the American Transportation Research Institute.

Arkansas Trucking Association President Shannon Newton said the outing on the I-40 extension between the two states found the middle value of eight minutes. Since the I-40 extension conclusion, stumbles on the I-55 scaffold being utilized as the nearest backup course of action have found the middle value of 84 minutes.

“Regardless of whether you’re taking a gander at 6 two months, that is a staggering use that the business can’t just retain,” Newton said.

Tennessee’s transportation division said there’s no sign the scaffold is proceeding to break down and said creators were working on an interval fix plan that would depend on steel bars that would be joined to the extension and length over the cracked area. Fashioners were additionally taking a gander at the chance of introducing a steel plate to augment the broke segment.

The interval plan would permit time for another extension part to be manufactured to supplant the harmed segment, the office said.

In an assessment for the 2020 National Bridge Inventory report, the Federal Highway Administration said the I-40 extension looked at in reasonable condition in general, with all essential construction components sound and just some minor breaks and chips in the general design. Its underlying assessment looked at “fairly better than least sufficiency to endure being left set up with no guarantees.”

In any case, stature and width clearances for oversize vehicles were “fundamentally unbearable requiring high need of restorative activity,” the controllers found. Tennessee suggested “connect deck supplanting with just accidental extending.”

Arkansas transportation authorities said the break didn’t show up in the last examination of the scaffold, which happened in September 2020. The extension opened in 1973 and conveys a normal of around 50,000 vehicles per day, with about a quarter being trucks, Tennessee transportation authorities said.

Towing boats pushing barges could be seen passing under the scaffold soon after the Coast Guard’s declaration Friday. A few spectators went to a riverside park to get a brief look at the vessels.…