News & Commentary

July 27, 2020

Randon Herrera

Randon Herrera is a student at Harvard Law School.

Senate Republicans are expected to unveil plans for a new stimulus package today. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow stated that the new plan will include another round of $1,200 checks for Americans. The Republican plan will also include enhanced unemployment benefits. However, it will deviate from the previous stimulus package which provided individuals with up to an additional $600 per week in unemployment aid. The plan instead calls for unemployment benefits that will equal up to 70% of an unemployed worker’s wages. Democratic leadership have criticized the plan for being overly complicated and are worried about the implications for its administrability.

The new stimulus package couldn’t come sooner because, as CNBC reports, job recovery is beginning to reverse in many states. Data tracking the number of hourly workers for small and medium sized business suggests that job recovery has begun trending backwards in states currently being hit hardest by the virus—states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona. This should come as no surprise given that surging cases in these states has forced them to reinstate economic restrictions. Meanwhile, states in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest, where coronavirus numbers are relatively under control, are experiencing modest job recovery.

Google announced today that its employees will continue working from home until at least July of next year. This unprecedented move will affect nearly all of its 200,000 full and part-time workers, the Wall Street Journal reports. While other tech companies have stated intentions to remain remote, most only committed until January. And none have nearly as many employees as Google. While the move may seem premature, it may in fact be part of a trend. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg stated that he projects half of all Facebook jobs will be remote in the next decade. And both Facebook and Twitter recently announced immediate plans to permit workers to permanently work from home. Thus, the future of tech work might be virtual for many.

And finally, a Washington DC federal court ruled Friday that a visa petition revocation is not reviewable in court. At issue in the case was whether a visa applicant could seek judicial review of a decision by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to reverse a visa approval. The court stated that such decisions are “within the unreviewable discretion of the executive branch” and that the text of the governing statute gives USCIS the ability to revoke a petition at any time for any reason it deems to be “good and sufficient cause.” Additionally, the court stated that its decision is in line with the position of nine circuits. The Ninth Circuit is the only circuit that has come out the other way.

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