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•  Amazon is publicly lobbying the federal government to process the existing backlog of green card applications before the September 30 deadline.

Here's the statement released by Amazon:

"Amazon is proud to hire people from around the world, and we’re passionate about supporting our employees and their families - including those who have immigrated to the U.S. and want permanent residency. However, we know that many of those employees are stuck in the green card backlog. That’s why we are advocating on behalf of our employees and their families ahead of September 30 - the federal government’s deadline for processing green card applications this year.

"Immigrants faced long waits for green cards before 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic created even greater delays. In fact, more than 65,000 employment-based green cards went unused in 2021. In 2022, Congress allotted 281,000 employment-based green cards, but more than 100,000 still needed to be adjudicated as of June 30.

"We are thankful for all of the efforts that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has taken to date, including granting over 176,000 green cards through June 30. But a large backlog remains ahead of the September deadline. If the green cards are not used, they are not transferred or added to next year’s count … To support our teams and communities, Amazon continues to reach out directly to USCIS, the agency within the Department of Homeland Security that administers green cards. We are strongly urging the agency to issue all green cards by the deadline. We know that this backlog has a big impact on our employees’ lives and families, which is why we have also offered to help USCIS resolve these cases and efficiently eliminate the backlog. We hope USCIS will take the important and urgent step of allocating all green cards for this year."

•  Engadget reports that Apple is rumored to be developing new smart home devices to succeed the HomePod product that it discontinued last year.

One of them is said to be "a kitchen accessory that combines an iPad with a speaker. Meanwhile, the other reportedly brings together the functionality of an Apple TV, camera and HomePod into a living room device … A kitchen device would see Apple competing more closely with Amazon and Google. The two are most closely associated with the smart display category thanks to releases like the Nest Hub and Echo Show 15. It would be interesting to see what Apple thinks it can bring to the field since most smart displays don’t feel essential."

These devices, if released by Apple, would not be available until late next year or early 2024, the story says.