Saturday, November 27, 2021

Play

Don't want the hassles of Black Friday - consider a refurbished gift this year; day after Thanksgiving travel could be messy - and supporters regroup for recreational marijuana in South Dakota.

Play

Big retailers predict an historic holiday shopping season, but small businesses are not sharing that optimism, and economists weigh in on what s behind the nation's labor shortages.

Play

South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

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
Vicki Harder-Thorne is honoring 30 years of sweat equity her parents put into restoring 80 acres of land in Ottawa County. (Harder-Thorne)

Environment

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Succession is an inevitable process for Ohio farmers, and it can also be an opportunity to re-imagine the land. Vicki Harder-…


Environment

HELENA, Mont. -- To honor the Biden administration's steps toward greater ties with tribal nations, conservation groups are calling on it to list the …

Social Issues

PIERRE, S.D. -- Supporters of establishing recreational marijuana in South Dakota say they're pouring all their energy into a new ballot initiative…


Farming is Virginia's largest private industry, according to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

RICHMOND, Va. -- In central Virginia, permanent access to land is one of the biggest barriers to farming. A new land-trust model aims to secure both …

Social Issues

BOSTON -- This holiday season, consumer advocates are urging Commonwealth residents to consider giving gifts that don't require purchasing anything…

The mission of the 'Buy Nothing Project' is to promote the giving of goods and services within hyperlocal circles. (bfleeson/Pixabay)

Social Issues

AUSTIN, Texas -- Supply chain delays have some holiday shoppers stressed that gifts won't be on store shelves on this "Black Friday," or won't arrive …

Social Issues

DETROIT -- As cold weather moves in, state agencies are working to make sure Michiganders know how to apply for the Michigan Energy Assistance …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- A team of New York-based filmmakers is producing a documentary about reclaiming Indigenous heritage, told through the experiences of an 18…

 

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