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Kim Kardashian visits the White House to highlight criminal justice reform

Kim Kardashian met with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss criminal justice reform.
AFP via Getty Images
Kim Kardashian met with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss criminal justice reform.

Businesswoman and reality TV star Kim Kardashian visited the White House Thursday to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris about criminal justice reform, an issue for which Kardashian has long been an advocate.

Harris announced a new rule from the Small Business Administration that lifts some restrictions on loans for people with criminal records.

"Making this available, reducing and eliminating that restriction is going to mean a lot in terms of second chances and the opportunity for people to excel," Harris said.

"Is it not the sign of a civil society that we allow people a way to earn their way back, and give them the support and resources they need to do that?" Harris said.

The event comes the day after President Biden used his clemency authority to pardon 11 people who were convicted of non-violent drug offenses and commute the sentences of five others. The White House says these individuals received disproportionately long sentences and would have been given shorter sentences under current laws and policies.

Four of the pardoned individuals attended the event with Harris and Kardashian Thursday.

"I am super honored to be here to hear your stories today," Kardashian said. "I think it's so important to share them an amplify them because there are so many people that are in your position that can use the inspiration."

Kardashian was instrumental in elevating the issue during the Trump administration, advocating for pardons and meeting the former president and his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.

The White House says so far, Biden has commuted the sentences of 122 individuals and granted pardons to 20 who committed non-violent drug offenses.

Biden has recently been highlighting his efforts on marijuana reform, even mentioning it in his State of the Union address last month. In 2022 and 2023, Biden issued and expanded a proclamation that pardoned those with convictions of simple possession of marijuana under federal law.

The topic is one that invigorates many young voters and voters of color, which are groups Biden will need to turn out for him in order to win reelection in November.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Deepa Shivaram
Deepa Shivaram is a multi-platform political reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.
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