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The real disappointment is that this executive action distracts Congress and the American public from the far more important issue of the need to reform the entire US immigration system. Instead of focusing on unauthorized immigrants, who are less than 30% of all immigrants in the US, the US should rethink how it admits legal immigrants. The US needs to change its legal immigrant system to increase the number of visas available to workers and to reduce chain migration based on family ties.
The Ukrainian revolution, which began a year ago, started with no more than 150 people deciding to stay on Independence Square (also known as the Maidan) to protest the decision of former President Viktor Yanukovich to turn away from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union and, instead, accept $15 billion from Moscow, on top of a 30% discount on the Russian natural gas.
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Following her victory, Obama congratulated President Dilma in a phone call on October 28th and stressed the importance of bilateral relations between Brazil and the United States. But reconstructing the relationship probably won’t be a priority for Roussef as she continues to battle corruption accusations and economic hardships at home.
Policymakers and soon-to-be committee chairmen like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have their eyes on upping the ante on Russia and Iran sanctions, slowing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, clearing the way for trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, reevaluating the defense budget and bolstering military action against ISIS.
This week’s Sino-Japanese dialogue on the Senkaku Islands’ territorial dispute represents a breakthrough from recent years, in which the specter of an accidental clash between Japanese and Chinese paramilitary forces seemed to grow each month. While there is reason to doubt whether the two sides will be able to keep relations on an even keel for the long-run, at least in the short term the political leadership of both has indicated a willingness to look at the larger question of their bilateral relationship.