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Policy Pulse 7.31.23


Causes - powered by Countable - provide millions of advocates an intuitive understanding of pending legislation and streamlines the communication process with lawmakers, enabling advocates to influence voting decisions effectively. Advocates can also sound off on issues of national, local, or personal importance: policy, news, campaigns, and more. 

As the only advocacy software to also run a community that consistently engages, Causes gives Countable a unique perspective. We get first-hand insights into what advocates think about and discuss, and we're passing these insights on to you. 

This week advocates were focused on issues like immigration and aviation and had a lot to say about it. But that's not all. This Policy Pulse also includes some bonus content: an exclusive conversation with Global ID's COO Vadim Slavin and Countable's CEO Bart Myers on the future of digital identity, illuminating the intersection of technology and human rights and emphasizing the vital role advocates play in shaping responsible digital landscapes.


  • Judge Blocks Biden's Asylum Ban
  • Digital Identities with Global ID x Countable
  • BILL: Should We Invest in U.S. Aviation?

A specific topic had our advocates' attention all week:

Judge Blocks Biden's Asylum Ban

  • A federal judge has blocked a rule that allows immigration authorities to deny asylum to seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border without applying beforehand or seeking protection in transit countries before they reach the U.S.  
  • U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar from the Northern District of California, an Obama appointee, delayed his ruling from taking effect for 14 days, which will give the Biden administration time to appeal. Tigar stated that "the Rule — which has been in effect for two months — cannot remain in place."
  • The Justice Department immediately appealed the order and requested that it be put on hold while the case is heard. The agency said it's confident that Biden's asylum rule is lawful.
  • Judge Tigar's ruling eliminates one of the Biden administration's key enforcement tools, which came into effect after the coronavirus-based Title 42 expired in May. The rule imposes limits on migrants seeking asylum via the border, with limited exceptions, such as minors traveling alone.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that the asylum rule violates a U.S. law that protects the right to asylum, regardless of how or where migrants enter the country. The group argues that the rule forces migrants to seek out asylum in countries that do not have strong human rights records.
  • Judge Tigar rejected the administration's argument that it has created robust alternative pathways. The Biden administration pointed to a program that allows migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to seek asylum if they have a sponsor and if they fly into the U.S. rather than transit via the border. The judge dismissed this as prohibitive for most migrants. 
  • Judge Tigar also said that demand for asylum appointments vastly exceeds the 1,450 available daily via the CBP One app which border officials require migrants to use to set up asylum appointments. Human rights groups also point to the tech failures and barriers associated with the CBP One app.
    • Human rights groups have applauded the ruling. ACLU attorney Katrina Eiland said:

      "The promise of America is to serve as a beacon of freedom and hope, and the administration can and should do better to fulfill this promise rather than perpetuate cruel and ineffective policies that betray it."

    • Judge Tigar said:

      "While they wait for an adjudication, applicants for asylum must remain in Mexico, where migrants are generally at heightened risk of violence by both state and non-state actors."

      These are the words that kept coming up:

weekly wordcloud

And in the comments advocates really sounded off:

I don't love the new plan.

I don't love the new plan, but it's likely the best the administration can do under the current laws. We all need to be asking our Congressional members to pass immigration reform, but considering the debt ceiling and the upcoming holiday, they may not act quickly enough.



I would like better, more realistic and equitable immigration laws.

I would like better, more realistic and equitable immigration laws generally and better asylum laws specifically as part of immigration reform. We can have the jobs and economic benefits associated with a working population and population growth though immigration. But to do som the current system had got to be fixed.

I don't like this solution.

I don't like this solution, especially since the app still doesn't work as well as intended. The only solution I see is for Congress to get up from their slumber and craft new immigration legislation.


Bonus content:

Digital Wallets and the Future of Digital Identity with Global ID

Picture having a digital wallet that safeguards your identity assets, validating someone's identity without compromising privacy. In our recent webinar, Global ID's COO Vadim Slavin and Countable's CEO Bart Myers took us into the realm of digital identities.

Here's the wrap up on another notable topic this week:

BILL: Should We Invest in U.S. Aviation? - Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act - H.R.3935

Bill Status

  • Introduced by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) on June 9, 2023
  • Committees: House - Transportation and Infrastructure
  • House: Passed on July 20, 2023
  • Senate: Received on June 20, 2023 - Not yet voted
  • President: Not yet signed

Bill Overview

  • The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through fiscal year 2028. It authorizes funding for activities and programs related to airport planning and development, facilities, equipment, and operations.
  • The act allows the reliable, predictable funding the FAA needs to invest in its critical priorities.
  • The bill prohibits the requirement of masks or COVID-19 vaccines for passengers and crew.
  • The bill directs the FAA to increase air traffic controller hiring targets and addresses staff shortages for commercial airline pilots.
  • The bill prohibits aircraft dispatchers from working remotely, with limited exceptions for emergencies.
  • The current FAA authorization ends on Sept. 30.

What advocates are saying:

I'm good with everything except

I'm good with everything except "The bill prohibits the requirement of masks or COVID-19 vaccines for passengers and crew."

I definitely want to invest in the FAA but

I definitely want to invest in the FAA, but the mask ban needs to go. We don't know what diseases or other conditions might arise in the near future and the airlines have a responsibility to protect their employees, if not their passengers, if something does break out again.