Federal Relations

July 24, 2020

What We’re Reading this Week (July 20th-24th)

Below is a selection of articles the Federal Relations team read this week.

Rep. John Lewis: On the 17th, Congressman John Lewis passed away. He was a well-known civil rights activist and had a long and successful career in the US House of Representatives.

Federal Law Enforcement in US Cities: Citizens and local leadership of several major cities, most notably Portland, have expressed outrage at unidentified federal law enforcement being deployed to quell protests, including officers from DHS and DoJ. The Administration has indicated that further units could be deployed. Read more.

China Relations: The State Department announced on Wednesday that the US will order China to close its Consulate General in Houston in order to protect US intellectual property and the privacy of US citizens. The US accused China of espionage and attempting to interfere in American internal affairs. China called the move an “unprecedented escalation”, and in turn, will close the US Consulate in Chengdu. More at Politico.

US Detains Chinese Researcher: Federal law enforcement has detained Juan Tang, a researcher at UC Davis, who is accused of lying on her US visa application regarding her prior Chinese military service and Communist Party affiliation. She is believed to have been taking shelter at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco since she first met with investigators last month. More at Bloomberg.

Michael Cohen: A federal judge ruled that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, was improperly taken into custody earlier this month. The judge ruled that the US Government acted in a “retaliatory” manner following the release of his tell-all book. More at CNN.

USCIS Furloughs: US Citizenship and Immigration Services was set to furlough more than 13,000 employees until Congress intervened and found new revenue estimates which would leave USCIS with a budget surplus. Furloughs are now delayed another month. Revenue shortfalls with USCIS are expected to be addressed in subsequent stimulus packages. More here.

CDC Changes Course on Schools: New guidance from CDC strongly recommends reopening schools in fall, claiming that children are less likely to become sick from COVID-19 or spread it, and that they will suffer from being out of the classroom. However, the guidelines do recommend reevaluating if their is uncontrolled community transmission. More at CNN.