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https://www.natlawreview.com/article/president-biden-issues-proclamation-adding-india-to-covid-19-travel-restrictions-us

President Biden Issues Proclamation Adding India to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (US)

Monday, May 3, 2021

On April 30, 2021, the President issued another Proclamation suspending entry into the United States of nonimmigrants and noncitizens who were physically present within the Republic of India during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry into the United States. These restrictions take effect at 12:01 am EDT on May 4, 2021 and remain in effect until terminated by order of the President.

The scope of this Proclamation is similar to those issued by President Trump covering ChinaIran, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the European Schengen Area, and Brazil. On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed a Proclamation continuing the suspension of entry of certain travelers from these countries and added South Africa.

The following categories of individuals are exempted from the entry restrictions:

  • U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals and lawful permanent residents;

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;

  • Parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, if the U.S. citizen or permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;

  • Sibling of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;

  • Child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;

  • Noncitizen (foreign national) traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;

  • Nonimmigrant crewmembers holding C-1, D or C-1/D nonimmigrant visas;

  • Noncitizen seeking entry or transiting the United States under an A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4 or NATO-6 visa;

  • Noncitizen whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives; or

  • Noncitizen whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security or their designees.

While the National Interest Exception (NIE), referenced in the last bullet point, has been included in all of the geographic Proclamations issued since February 2020, the qualifying criteria has evolved over time. One could even say, the definition of “national interest” has mutated. Per recent guidance issued by the State Department, national interest includes travelers “who are seeking to provide vital support for critical infrastructure sectors” or seeking to enter the United States “for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.” In addition, the State Department has determined the following individuals automatically qualify for an NIE:

  • Fiancé(e)s.

  • Students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs; students with academic programs beginning August 1, 2021 or later; students with valid F-1 and M-1 visas intending to begin or continue an academic program from August 1, 2021 or later;

  • Journalists.

  • Pilots and aircrew traveling to the United States for training or aircraft pickup, delivery, or maintenance.

  • Certain J-1 exchange visitors, including:

    • Au pair caring for children of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or nonimmigrants when the au pair possesses special skills required for a child with particular needs (e.g., medical, special education, or sign language);

    • Au pair that prevents a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or other nonimmigrant from becoming a public health charge or ward of the state or of a medical or other public funded institution;

    • Au pair providing childcare services for a child whose parents are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 or COVID-19 related medical research at United States facilities;

    • Travel for an exchange program conducted pursuant to an MOU, Statement of Intent, or other valid agreement or arrangement between a foreign government and the U.S. government designed to promote U.S. national interests if the agreement or arrangement with the foreign government was in effect prior to June 24, 2020;

    • Interns and Trainees on U.S. government agency-sponsored programs;

    • Specialized Teachers in Accredited Educational Institutions with a program number beginning with “G-5” on Form DS-2019;

  • Travel in support of critical foreign policy objectives; limited to exchange visitors participating in a small number of exchange programs that fulfill critical and time sensitive foreign policy objectives, per the State Department guidelines; and

  • Derivative family members accompanying noncitizen who is excepted from or otherwise not subject to the Proclamation and who is engaging in certain types of long-term employment, studies, or research of four weeks or longer.

NIEs have become increasingly difficult to obtain in recent months, particularly for standard business visitors, but even for many workers on visas related to critical infrastructure sectors, with the Department of State often determining that their activities can be properly conducted remotely or that the connection to critical infrastructure is insufficient.

 

Did anyone else notice the difference from the left on this latest travel ban from President Biden?  SF thought the left believed ALL travel bans were racist.......

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Biden Believes in Science — So Long as the Teachers’ Unions Approve

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/05/biden-believes-in-science-so-long-as-the-teachers-unions-approve/

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Democrats love to claim that they stand against political interference in “science.”

This is often an oversimplified understanding of how science and technology interact with government. Decisions about public-health policy or energy policy almost invariably entail the sorts of competing priorities that should involve the people’s democratically elected representatives. We do not live in a dictatorship robed in white lab coats. It is also wildly hypocritical. Democrats are not against politics in science — only against politics they do not like. A glance at their treatment of embryology, biological sex, or nuclear power is proof enough of that. The latest example comes from evidence of the Biden administration allowing the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance on school reopening to be influenced by one of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions.

During the 2020 campaign, Biden and his political and media allies leaned hard on the argument that the Trump administration was using undue political influence to disregard science. Biden was the first presidential candidate endorsed by Scientific American in its 175-year history. In Biden’s convention speech, he declared, “Decency, science, democracy. They are all on the ballot.” In October, he tweeted, “I believe in science. Donald Trump doesn’t. It’s that simple, folks.” In January, announcing his science advisers, Biden proclaimed, “We’re going to lead with science and truth” — a line intended and received as an attack on the Trump administration. One of his first executive orders declared it “the policy of my Administration to listen to the science.” His CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, claimed that Trump “muzzled” scientists. Kamala Harris recently tweeted, “I am proud that science is back in the White House.” Biden’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has even instituted an investigation into what it calls its predecessor’s “blatant attempts to distort, to cherry pick and disregard science.”

 

One of the specific charges against the Trump administration was that White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas had intervened in shaping the language of CDC reports during the pandemic. Biden ally Representative James Clyburn thundered that this amounted to “political interference in the nation’s public health response to the coronavirus pandemic, overruling and bullying scientists and making harmful decisions that allowed the virus to spread more rapidly.”

The Biden-Harris campaign even stoked irresponsible fears that a COVID vaccine developed by pharmaceutical companies and cleared by the regulatory bureaucracy would be unsafe if it was announced by the Trump White House. As Harris declared in the vice presidential debate, “If Donald Trump tells us to take it, I’m not taking it.”

Given all of this rhetorical high dudgeon, voters might reasonably expect this administration to be purer than Caesar’s wife on the specific issue of the CDC’s pronouncements on the COVID pandemic. Any voter who believed that should be sadly disappointed.

In February, Dr. Walensky told the press that there were “increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated.” Press Secretary Jen Psaki immediately backtracked, telling reporters that Walensky was speaking in her “personal” capacity and that there was no “official guidance from the CDC yet on the vaccination of teachers and what would be needed to ensure the safe reopening of schools.” This despite extensive evidence, even from CDC studies, that it was safe for schools to fully reopen. The CDC ignored that evidence in releasing its guidelines in March, insisting that schools should generally be closed or partly virtual when community spread is high and the school doesn’t have routine testing — a standard that would be failed in 90 percent of the country at the time, under the agency’s definition of high spread. A group of doctors who conducted a study of school districts in Wood County, Wis., even publicly accused the CDC of misrepresenting their research. The administration also intervened to block the CDC from revising its guidelines on travel to allow for travel by people who have been fully vaccinated.

Now, a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative watchdog group Americans for Public Trust, reported by the New York Post, reveals the depth of political interference in the school-reopening guidance. The powerful American Federation of Teachers, which spent nearly $20 million to elect Democrats in 2020, was deeply involved in crafting the CDC guidance. One AFT email to officials in the Biden White House said: “We were able to review a copy of the draft guidance document over the weekend and were able to provide some initial feedback to several staff this morning about possible ways to strengthen the document.” This and other AFT emails to the White House were then forwarded to Walensky by the White House, lest she miss the point of who was calling the shots. The AFT also leaned on Walensky directly, and AFT president Randi Weingarten lobbied her by phone. As a result, the Post noted at least two instances of AFT-drafted language being inserted verbatim into the CDC guidelines, in each case to limit in-person instruction.

Many Americans have had their eyes opened during the past year to the lengths to which the teachers’ unions will go in placing the interests of their members ahead of the interests of children. Now, they can see the Biden administration bending the CDC itself to the union’s will. Whatever this is, it is not science.

 

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