In a 60 – 38 vote, the U.S. Senate has sent Trade Promotion Authority to the President’s desk as a standalone bill not packaged with Trade Adjustment Assistance. Trade Adjustment Assistance also passed the Senate packaged with an African Trade Preference bill. The Senate passed TPA Wednesday afternoon after a procedural vote on Tuesday that passed, preventing the chance for a filibuster. TPA will allow the White House to send trade deals to Congress for up-or-down votes. The Senate will not be able to filibuster them, and lawmakers will not have the power to amend them.

The State Department, working with the Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection has essentially cleared the current backlog of visas for farm workers. The next test will come next week. The agencies used an emergency visa waiver process written by Tom Roach, one of the nation’s top immigration attorneys. The Tijuana Consulate opened up special appointments in recognition of the fact that many of these workers should have been scheduled last week.

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