Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Biden Budget Includes Immigration Reform, But No Citizenship Pathway

Play

Friday, October 29, 2021   

SEATTLE -- The Biden administration has released a slimmed-down spending proposal that includes $100 billion for immigration reform.

The latest Build Back Better plan added up to about $1.75 trillion, excluding immigration funds, because the administration is waiting to hear if the Senate parliamentarian agrees it can be included in the budget reconciliation process.

Alizeh Bhojani, immigration policy manager for OneAmerica, a Washington state-based immigration advocacy group, is glad the Biden administration has recognized immigration as a priority, but is disappointed the latest proposal does not include a pathway to citizenship.

"What we're hearing loudly and clearly from our communities is that we need permanent protections," Bhojani asserted. "Particularly since immigrants are the ones who are the front-line workers, were out in the field, kept this country going through a pandemic."

The Biden administration said the $100 billion in the current budget framework would be used to reduce backlogs in the immigration asylum system and expand legal representation at the border. Republicans say immigration reform needs to address larger issues at the border, which they describe as in crisis.

Bhojani pointed out the Senate parliamentarian has been a source of frustration, twice ruling pathways to citizenship for some people should not be included in the budget reconciliation package because its policy impact outweighs the budget impact.

Bhojani emphasized OneAmerica has spoken with grassroots leaders in the state about these setbacks.

"The first and only thing we hear is, 'How is an unelected official obstructing the legislative process like this?'" Bhojani remarked.

States are limited in how they can support undocumented immigrants, but Bhojani acknowledged Washington state has been able to support folks with COVID-19 aid.

"When you have a federal government that is hostile to communities, states have had to do a lot of heavy lifting," Bhojani contended. "So for example, the Washington Immigrant Relief Fund was a huge victory for getting cash support to undocumented workers when federal relief explicitly excluded them."

She noted the Senate can overrule or ignore the Senate parliamentarian. In the meantime, she stressed OneAmerica will continue its efforts to add the citizenship pathway to the budget reconciliation package.


get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021