Free From Charge: Revamping the Public Charge Rule

(Source) The Biden administration must confront a plethora of immigration issues following the immense number of restrictions the Trump administration placed on immigrant applicants. These “land mines” of Trump-era anti-immigrant policies are rooted deep- “buried under layer after layer of bureaucratic actions and then [can] essentially devastate the system in untold ways that aren’t discovered until policies are applied in particular cases.” One land mine worth addressing is the controversial “Public Charge” Rule.  In 1882, Congress first implemented the “Public Charge” Rule as a relatively vague statute that allowed the U.S. government to deny a visa to anyone who “is likely at any time to become a public charge.” The Public Charge Rule was designed to prevent noncitizens from entering and remaining in the country if they are likely to require some undesignated degree of public assistance. Laws frequently identify self-sufficiency of noncitizen applicants as a compelling government interest and cite it as justification for this exclusion rule. This Rule is also meant to remove the incentive for illegal immigration provided by the availability of public benefits. However, the 1882 federal law did not provide a set definition of what a “public charge” is, nor did it provide any specific guidelines to [read more]

American Infrastructure and the Biden Administration

(Source) On March 31, 2021, the White House issued a press release on the first landmark piece of legislation for the Biden administration, “The American Jobs Plan.” The Administration describes the Plan as “an investment in America” amidst a time of mounting climate change concerns and increasing inequality. The Administration also touts the Plan as a strategic component of the “Build Back Better” framework, President Biden’s proposed solution to tackle many of America’s most pressing issues in both physical and human infrastructure. To that end, the Administration is seeking to frame the Plan as a tool to combat “long-standing and persistent racial injustice.” To understand the impetus for such a claim, one must be familiar with the strong historical connection between infrastructure and racial injustice as well as the implications that improved access to quality infrastructure may have for marginalized communities.  I. How does the American Jobs Plan Address Racial Injustice?  While the American Jobs Plan seeks to improve antiquated structures across many industries, most objectives in the bill focus on infrastructure. According to the press release, “the United States of America is the wealthiest country in the world, yet we rank thirteenth when it comes to the overall quality of [read more]

President Biden’s Self-Defeating Environmental Dyad

(Source) Appeasing environmentalists and Democrats, President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order halting progress on the Keystone XL Pipeline, a perennial project to construct an underground pipeline that would distribute 830,000 barrels of crude oil every day from Calgary, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The executive order fulfilled one of President Biden’s campaign promises, creating a perception of political fealty on day one of his presidency. The decision was, however, simultaneously met with criticism by some Republicans, who have suggested that Biden’s inaugural commitment just hours earlier to unify the country, which is reeling from partisan division, was fleeting or disingenuous. President Biden should reverse course on his mandate to nix the pipeline and on his twin mandate to temporarily prohibit the issuance of new permits for fracking on federal lands. This environmental dyad has, thus far, stagnated environmental progress, destroyed thousands of current and future American jobs, and imperiled the bipartisanship Biden has sought to court with Republicans.   The most self-defeating, even shortsighted, aspect about President Biden’s environmental dyad is its lack of any salutary effect on the environment. His nixing of the pipeline merely swaps one method of oil distribution for a dirtier and lengthier [read more]

The Issue Spotter Podcast, Episode 1: An Interview with Ankush Khardori

http://jlpp.org/blogzine/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Interview-with-Ankush-Khardori-Final.mp3   (Image Source) Please Note: The following transcript has been edited for clarity and concision.  Christina Lee : Hello and welcome to The Issue Spotter podcast. My name is Christina Lee and I am the Senior Online Editor for the Journal of Law and Public Policy at Cornell. Today, we are really excited to welcome you to our first podcast ever, so welcome and thank you so much for tuning in. I’m going to turn it over to our Online Associate, Trevor Thompson, who will introduce our first guest. Thanks again. Trevor Thompson: Thanks, Christina. So, yeah, my name is Trevor Thompson and I’m a 2L here at Cornell Law and I’m very excited to get the podcast rolling for the Issue Spotter. Our guest today, who we’re very excited to have on, is Ankush Khardori. Ankush is an attorney and former federal prosecutor based in Washington, D.C. Until January of this year, he specialized in financial fraud and white-collar crime in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. Before that, he worked at a law firm in New York City and clerked for a judge in the Southern District of New York. He has written on [read more]