Friday, October 7, 2022


Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.


Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.


Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

COVID Exposes Public Health Risk of Immigration Policies


Tuesday, April 7, 2020   

OMAHA, Neb. -- The coronavirus has put a spotlight on the heroic role played by health care workers in Nebraska and across the nation. And a new measure introduced in Congress would give immigrant workers the same support as other Americans passed in recent relief packages.

Alexis Steele, policy staff attorney with the Omaha-based Immigrant Legal Center, said the crisis shows how every part of the health care infrastructure is needed to meet these challenges.

"All of our resources, both human and otherwise, and there are 27,000 health care-industry workers who are DACA recipients that we desperately need now and going forward," Steele said.

The Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act would ensure everyone has access to COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines, and prohibit ICE from carrying out immigration enforcement in hospitals.

The U.S. Supreme Court is also expected to rule on a case that could determine whether individuals protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, can remain in the U.S. One in 4 health care workers and at least 70% of agriculture workers providing food for grocery store shelves are immigrants.

Steele said it's a common misconception that people remain undocumented by choice or out of carelessness. She said the majority want to become lawful U.S. residents, but it's near impossible under the current system.

"These individuals are following the rules," she said. "Around two-thirds of people who are currently undocumented entered the country with authorizations, and the fact that there aren't many options with our outdated immigration system, are not able to participate in the formal way that they would prefer to."

In 2015, immigrant-led households contributed more than $600 million in federal, state and local taxes.

Steele said the public health crisis has exposed how all parts of society - from food-service workers to health care workers, young, old, documented or not - are interconnected. She said once we get to the other side of the pandemic, she hopes policy makers will take the opportunity to make new rules that reflect this reality.

get more stories like this via email

In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…

Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …

The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

Methane released into the atmosphere is responsible for at least 25% of current global warming, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. (


Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

Health and Wellness

Even for people who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although often …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …


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