On the one-year anniversary of his long-awaited appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, former Vice President Joe Biden penned a post about “the failures of America’s greatest experiment”—the U.S. government’s practice of safeguarding citizens from crime and illness by keeping them in close contact with doctors.
Writing in the Washington Post’s “Outside the Beltway” blog, Biden wrote that such policies have “been the subject of intense criticism, and even ridicule, for decades.” However, “[t]here is much in our past that can help illuminate how to fix and not simply restore this fundamentally flawed policy,” he wrote. “I share this story because it can help the Senate learn from the past without sacrificing our protections.”
The Post noted that part of Biden’s rationale for reiterating his previous criticisms was his plan to return to New York City this Saturday to advocate for those affected by the “deteriorating conditions” on the U.S.-Mexico border. In a radio interview published Tuesday by WAMU, Biden said he hopes Congress can pass legislation before a judge, currently evaluating the Trump administration’s attempted Muslim travel ban, orders a judge’s ruling against the ban be extended to include citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, who do not pose a threat.
After his comments about his travel ban advocacy on Wednesday afternoon, Biden informed his Twitter followers that he was returning to Washington later that evening, as the Senate was expected to hold another hearing and vote on expanding the criminal justice system’s rights to stop prisoners from being shackled in court.
The support of supporters can help the Senate appreciate the gaps in the law regarding prisoners and ensure we’re doing everything possible to prevent anyone from being shackled in court or in a holding cell!
Biden was clearly displeased with the continued effort to revive former President George W. Bush’s travel ban, which was blocked by a federal court in Hawaii over concerns about “draconian security measures.” There have been conflicting reports from the Office of Legal Counsel’s website, which includes contradictory statements on the travel ban. “The Executive Order does not override federal law concerning U.S. nonimmigrant visas or the laws governing admission procedures for international visitors to the United States,” the OLC wrote in a statement issued in the waning hours of President Obama’s term. However, in a filing released on Jan. 3, 2017, the OLC cited the “United States’ sovereign power” to screen potential visitors as a matter of “constitutional status.”
Whether or not it is an indication of Biden’s intentions, the government’s approach to citizen health and safety on the Mexican border took a new turn this week after not one, but two journalists resigned over their previous support for Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims from the U.S. The new Trump administration announced Thursday that no U.S. resident is subject to Trump’s 90-day and 120-day travel bans.