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U.S. President Joe Biden arrives next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the House of Commons of Canada, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 24, 2023.

REUTERS/Blair Gable

Immigration: A political minefield for Biden and Trudeau

After an unsuccessful effort to kill two birds with one stone, President Joe Biden is stoneless and dead-birdless.

To sweeten his request for more aid for Ukraine and Israel, Biden included a request for more funding for security at the Mexico border to appeal to Republicans, who are increasingly reluctant to fund the war in Ukraine and incensed about migrants.

But in tying foreign policy and border security together, Biden opened himself up to demands from the GOP for more consequential changes to his immigration policy. Republicans blocked Biden’s emergency spending bill to provide $50 billion to Ukraine and $14 billion to Israel, demanding the White House impose policies that would make most migrants ineligible for asylum and require them to wait in Mexico until their case is processed.

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Texas Governor Gregg Abbott speaks during a news conference near the International Bridge between Mexico and the U.S

REUTERS/Marco Bello

Texas takes immigration into its own hands

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott just signed SB4, a bill that is being described as the harshest state immigration law in modern US history, into law. Set to take effect in March 2024, it will allow law enforcement in the Lone Star State to arrest and jail migrants on new state-level illegal entry charges and enable state judges to issue de facto deportation orders.
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Migrants stand near the border wall after having crossed into the US from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

US immigration wars look ahead to 2024 election

It's been a big week for US immigration politics.

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Family of Afghan refugees in Concord, California


Where are fleeing Afghans going?

Afghans living under Taliban rule continue to leave the country in droves. While many initially tried to make their way to Europe after the US withdrawal in Aug. 2021 – making their way on flimsy boats across the Mediterranean – a growing number of asylum-seekers have set their sights on a more distant destination: America.
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Why Chris Christie calls DeSantis "anti-conservative"
Why Chris Christie calls DeSantis "anti-conservative" | GZERO World

Why Chris Christie calls DeSantis "anti-conservative"

The Republican Party is in the midst of an identity crisis. Between the far-right MAGA supporters and more traditional “Never Trump” conservatives, there doesn’t seem to be a coherent through-line for GOP priorities ahead of the 2024 race for US president.

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Flags of Mexico, United States, and Canada are pictured at a security booth at Zaragoza-Ysleta border crossing bridge in Ciudad Juarez.

REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

US wants Mexico visa restrictions

The US has asked Canada to reintroduce visa requirements for Mexican visitors in an effort to stop the flow of migrants across the northern border. In 2016, Trudeau lifted the visa requirement, which was an irritant in Canadian-Mexican relations. Recently, though, human smugglers have started to use the route for Mexicans who want to enter the United States, taking them on short boat trips from Canada to the US.

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Migrants wait to cross into Canada at Roxham Road, an unofficial crossing point from New York state to Quebec for asylum-seekers.

REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

Will US-Canada border deal mean riskier future for migrants?

It had been nearly seven years since a US presidential visit to Canada when Joe Biden arrived in Ottawa last Thursday. President Donald Trump came by in 2018 for the G-7 summit, but it’s not the same as a dedicated stop.

As these things usually go, Biden’s visit was cast as part politics, part policy.

Would it help Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, lower in the polls than he’d prefer and surely thinking about an election that is due by Oct. 2025 but could arrive sooner? Would it help Biden, who comes from a country where presidential elections run 24/7/365? Would anything meaningful come from all the banners and speeches and flags and handshakes?

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A parade participant in a Winnie the Pooh costume waves a Chinese flag before the Lunar New Year parade in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York, U.S., February 12, 2023.

REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

Hard Numbers: HK cancels Winnie the Pooh, French torch Bordeaux town hall, Indigenous voice for Oz, Darién Gap crossings soar, CAR hearts China/Russia

0: That's how many Hong Kongers can watch the in-theaters-only slasher film “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” after the movie’s distributors pulled it from cinemas. The honey-loving bear has been in the crosshairs of Chinese censors since this photo of Xi Jinping and Barack Obama went viral almost a decade ago.

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