A tangled web of Covid-19 border restrictions has limited who can travel to the US. One of the rules bars migrants from seeking asylum. Others prevent foreigners from visiting family. And tourism from abroad has been effectively halted while the restrictions remain in place.

The ongoing discussions combine two issues Biden has grappled with since taking office — immigration and the coronavirus pandemic — at a time when both are under heavy political scrutiny. On Wednesday, the administration moved to delay opening up nonessential travel with Mexico and Canada until August 21.

The stakes are high for Biden, who officials say is trying to avoid a situation where restrictions are lifted only to be put in place again in the future. Meanwhile, liberals and conservatives alike are scrutinizing the President’s immigration policies and the Trump-era restrictions that remain in place.

When questioned about the timing for reopening borders, the White House has pointed to interagency working groups that were formed last month. Overseen by the White House Covid-19 response team and the National Security Council, the groups include representatives from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with officials from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Transportation.

The American officials were partnered with representatives from the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico and have met several times to discuss the reopening situation since the administration announced them at the start of Biden’s first foreign trip in June. There have also been multiple smaller group conversations in between those larger meetings to discuss specific issues, like the epidemiological situation, variants, surveillance, and vaccination efforts and plans for changing travel restrictions, a White House official told CNN.

But some people familiar with the working groups have questioned their effectiveness, as other countries begin to open to Americans with little clarity over whether the US will reciprocate. One source familiar with the discussions described “paralysis among agencies” over next steps.

“There are ongoing discussions between the working groups and, of course, updates and briefings with our health and medical experts about what it is safe to do,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday when asked about when the US might reopen its borders to travelers. “We will be guided by the science, and I don’t have any prediction of what the timeline looks like.”

Asked why Canada had reopened its borders while the US has not, she said: “We rely on the guidance of our health and medical experts, not on the actions of other countries.”

Last week, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressured him for answers on reopening travel during Oval Office talks, Biden said he’d have more to announce in the “next several days.”

The lack of answers is fueling frustration among members of Biden’s party, who are imploring the administration to ease restrictions.

“It is extremely frustrating that the United States government has failed to reciprocate current family exemptions already allowed by the Canadian government and failed to show

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden marks 100 days in office on Friday, April 30.

Judging a president’s performance after 100 days in office is an American political tradition that historians say began with Franklin Roosevelt’s first term in 1933, when he embarked on a rapid-fire rollout of measures to counter the Great Depression.

Here are some of the key policy issues of Biden’s first 100 days and how he has fared so far:


Biden’s major COVID-19 promise was 100 million shots in Americans’ arms by his first 100 days in office. Some 290 million shots have been distributed, more than 230 million administered, and about 96 million Americans are fully vaccinated, 29% of the population.

Biden’s vaccination campaign built on efforts started under President Donald Trump to manufacture and distribute the shots, but he added mass vaccination sites and ramped up government agencies to aid the distribution effort.

The United States has now vaccinated more people than any other country, although the pandemic has killed 572,000 people, more than any other country as well.

Over 3,000 people were dying per day when Biden took office. Now that figure is under 700 a day.

Biden’s next 100 days will force him to face vaccine hesitancy among millions of Americans, and an uptick in variants of the virus.


Biden devoted much of his first several weeks in office to passing a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill to limit economic fallout from the pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan, passed over Republican opposition, delivered on the key economic promise Biden made on the campaign trail: checks for Americans.

Helped by the stimulus plan for families and businesses and also by the steady rollout of vaccines, economic growth is expected to top 7% this year, the fastest since 1984. It would follow a 3.5% contraction last year, the worst performance in 74 years.

Nearly 1 million jobs were added in March, up from 379,000 in February. The improvement is expected to continue as normal commerce resumes and people become comfortable again with dining out at restaurants and other in-person services.

But the gap in employment levels compared with the months before the pandemic remains massive and concentrated in industries like leisure and hospitality that are important sources of jobs for the less skilled.

U.S. payroll employment is about 8.5 million jobs short of where it was in February 2020. A million or more jobs would be needed beyond that to account for the usual month-to-month growth in the labor force and employment.

Graphic: The jobs hole facing Biden – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ECONOMY/JOBS/xlbpgygrnpq/chart.png


Biden has proved to be unexpectedly tough on foreign policy regarding America’s chief challengers. He has imposed sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2020 elections and a massive cyber hack attributed to Russia, and referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “killer.”

Biden has held on to Trump-era sanctions on Iran and refused to lift them as a condition for getting