Here is today's foreign policy mandate: The United States extends far-reaching immigration restrictions; Leaders out Russia, China and India Encountering limit voltages; and Malawi repeats its 2019 presidential election.
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New US curbs effectively stop key sector immigration
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new executive order that will, though temporarily, reduce U.S. immigration to an extent that has not been seen since he took office. The regulation extends the freezing of green card applicants outside the United States and now includes a series of temporary visas for seasonal workers and multinational US companies – particularly technology companies.
When the order was announced, the White House made a controversial allegation, often used by the Trump administration, that foreign workers in the United States harm native workers. "We need to take into account the impact of foreign workers on the United States labor market, particularly in the current exceptional environment of high levels of domestic unemployment and depressed labor demand," the proclamation said.
The decision was immediately criticized by Trump's own Republican Party. "Those who believe that legal immigration, particularly work visas, are harmful to American workers do not understand the American economy," wrote Senator Lindsey Graham in a Twitter thread condemning the executive order. Graham said that visa closure would likely "affect our economic recovery."
Hundreds of thousands affected. The decision has the potential to hit hundreds of thousands of foreign workers and disrupt hiring processes for US companies. In 2018, the last year for which full numbers are available, applicants who do not yet live in the United States were granted over 500,000 green cards. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) reported 2.2 million applications for work permits in 2019 and issued another 500,000 visas to non-migrant workers who are now banned due to the new executive regulation.
India hit worst. The decision to stop H1-B visas, which are traditionally used by large US technology companies to hire foreign workers, is the one that will hit India workers the most: According to a USCIS report, three out of four are holders of H1-B -Visa Indian.
Manipulation of a "formula for success". On June 18, Edward Alden of FP wrote about how recent changes have caused US immigration hurdles to rise from "large to almost impassable". According to Alden, if the United States wants to keep pace with China in technological progress, it is essential to be a magnet for the world's innovators. “An unprecedented success in the US in many areas of science and technology was based on attracting the best talent in the world and then giving that talent the opportunity to build rewarding and often lucrative careers in the US. The United States manipulates this formula for success at its own risk.
What we are pursuing today
Democratic foreign policy leader on the ropes in New York. The President of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Eliot Engel, is at risk of losing his seat in the US Congress if today's New York area code violates him. Polls show angel neck to neck with his challenger Jamaal Bowman. As Robbie Gramer and Jack Detsch report in foreign policy, the area code reflects deep divisions with the Democratic Party: Sens.Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have approved Bowman, while Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer, and the Majority leader of the house, Nancy Pelosi, supported all the angels.
South Korea in the second wave. Jeong Eun-Kyeong, director of the South Korean Disease Control and Prevention Center (KCDC), has confirmed that the country is experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections. South Korea largely banished the virus in April, only to increase in early May. "We originally predicted the second wave would occur in the fall or winter," said Jeong. “Our forecast turned out to be wrong. As long as people are in close contact with others, we believe that the infections will continue. “South Korea's daily number of new cases is still relatively low: the KCDC reported 17 new cases on June 22.
Saudi Arabia limits the Hajj pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia has announced that the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca will take place later this year, albeit with a reduced number of pilgrims and a ban on foreign arrivals. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said the number will be limited to pilgrims "who come from all nationalities who only live in Saudi Arabia and are ready to do Hajj". The Hajj pilgrimage planned for late July draws approximately 2 million believers to Saudi Arabia each year.
Malawi decides. Malawi voters are voting today to repeat the country's 2019 presidential election. Malawi's constitutional court overturned incumbent Peter Mutharika's election victory last year, citing irregularities in the vote.
Trilateral talks. Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are meeting today via video conference to discuss the tensions between India and China. The meeting is seen as another attempt to alleviate tensions in the region following the clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley last week.
Ebola is disappearing. Congolese health officials are expected to declare the end of the world's second deadliest Ebola outbreak this week as the 42-day threshold since the last confirmed case. The outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo lasted 23 months and has killed 2,280 people so far. It is the first outbreak in which an Ebola vaccine has been used since the onset of the health crisis.
Cambodia's next leader. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has led the country since 1985, has indicated that his son – 34-year-old Hun Manet – could be next if he ever decides to give up power. Hun Sen said, although his son is not the only person considering the role, "I have to support and train my son so that he is capable (for this position). If he can't be like his father, his capacity should at least match that of his father by 80 or 90 percent. "
Scholz promises a dramatic resolution by the ECB. Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the clash between the German constitutional court and the European Central Bank would soon bring "a solution without drama". At the beginning of May, the German court ordered an investigation into Germany's participation in an EU-wide bond purchase program worth EUR 2.2 trillion to show that the "economic and fiscal effects" of the program fall within the bank's area of responsibility. Scholz said the dead end will likely be resolved this week.
Green concert. The Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house in Barcelona reopened on Monday and was busy for a special performance by the Uceli String Quartet. However, the only people present were the performers on the stage; Instead, 2,292 houseplants filled the squares. The concert was an idea by conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia, who came up with the idea after establishing a closer relationship with his own plants during Spain's strict ban. "I think that all these plants inside, in their cells, in their photosynthesis somehow know that they were at this concert," he said afterwards. The plants are now being donated to local health workers.
That was it for today.
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