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New Biden Administration Has Some Priorities Aligned With Key issues On Central, South Coasts

(White House photo)

The ceremonies are over, and America’s new President wasted no time getting to work even before his first day in office was finished.   Democratic Congressman Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara says many of the President’s top priorities to tackle are some of the biggest concerns in our region, like immigration and the environment.

The President is proposing an immigration reform package which includes an eight year path to citizenship for immigrants currently in the U.S. without legal status.  It could open a huge door for thousands of people now living, and working on the Central and South Coasts.

The pathway would allow qualified undocumented people in the U.S. as of January1st to live here for five years with temporary status.  Three years later, they could apply for citizenship.

But, how realistic is it the package will get the support it needs in Congress to become law?  Dr. Herb Gooch is a longtime political science professor at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.  Gooch says everyone recognizes immigration is an issue, but the Biden plan will probably end up being pared down to get approval.

Another major issue for our region is the environment.  The Trump Administration’s efforts to open the Central and South Coasts to new offshore oil and gas exploration failed, but some other safeguards were removed.

Carbajal says he sees the new Administration protecting our coastline, as well  as well as taking big picture steps like having the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Change Accord, which was repealed by President Trump.

Gooch says he sees the Biden Administration following the lead of California on a number of environmental issues, because the state has been on the cutting edge of green policies.

He thinks we’ll see a flood of action by the Biden Administration during the next two years.  He says the reality is with Democrats controlling Congress as well, they will want to do as much as they can before mid-term elections.

Congressman Salud Carbajal says it says a lot about the goals of the Biden Administration that on the day of the inauguration, it went way beyond the ceremonies introduce a number of initiatives.

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