Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 02: Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) (C) and fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House on February 02, 2023 in Washington, DC. Members of the caucus encouraged the administration to push for national law enforcement reform in the wake of several high-profile killings of unarmed Black men, most recently the beating death of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police officers. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Congressional Black Caucus meets with Biden to push for police accountability

By: - February 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Black Caucus met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris Thursday evening to urge the administration to use its executive power for law enforcement reform, following criminal charges for police officers in the killing of a Black man in Memphis, Tennessee.  “My hope is this dark memory spurs some […]

EL PASO, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 22: (L-R) Jheanpiere Contreras, Genesis Contreras, and Daniel Soto, who two days ago arrived from Venezuela after crossing the U.S. border from Mexico, wait in line for dinner at a hotel provided by the Annunciation House on September 22, 2022 in El Paso, Texas. The Venezuelans will stay for a day or two at the hotel before being sent on to Ohio where their sponsors live. In recent weeks, Venezuelans have arrived in increasing numbers in El Paso. Annunciation House and other migrant shelters have been at capacity as they struggle to find housing and other aid for the migrants. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. House Judiciary’s debut hearing on the border centers on blame for fentanyl crisis

By: - February 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee blamed the Biden administration for fentanyl drug smuggling at the U.S.-Mexico border during a Wednesday hearing. Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio also blamed U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the number of migrants at the border, and said there are already hundreds of […]

Capitol rally to support Dreamers as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up cases against the Trump administration's push to end the DACA program. 11/12/19

Lengthy timeline for DACA legal fight puts lives on hold for years

By: - January 30, 2023

WASHINGTON — Karen Judith Briseno Ortiz mailed in her application for a program meant to protect undocumented children from deportation, one day after her twin sister’s application. Her sister was accepted into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but Briseno Ortiz, who grew up in Dallas, was not. Now her application is in limbo […]

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks at a U.S. Capitol press conference on the Title 42 immigration policy, Jan. 26, 2023. Photo by Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom.

Democrats in Congress condemn Biden administration expansion of Title 42

By: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly 80 Democratic members of Congress including Wisconsin Reps.  Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan sent a letter to the White House expressing their “great concern” that the Biden administration is walking back on its promise to restore migrants’ access to asylum. In the letter, they also condemned the administration’s expansion of a controversial […]

Joe Biden smiling with Everytown for Gun Safety in background

Wave of mass shootings prompts Biden to call yet again for assault weapons ban

By: - January 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — Following a mass shooting on the eve of Lunar New Year in which 11 people in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in California were killed, President Joe Biden again urged Congress to pass legislation banning assault weapons. Communities across America “have been struck by tragedy after tragedy, including mass shootings from Colorado Springs to […]

Recording a dance video for Tik Tok. Despite national security warnings, many members of Congress have Tik Tok accounts. | Getty Images Creative

Members of Congress sign up for TikTok, despite security concerns

By: - January 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — Just like teens, members of Congress are setting up TikTok accounts — even as the popular app is increasingly barred from government devices and heads of federal intelligence agencies raise concerns about data collection and surveillance obtained by a Chinese-owned company.  At least 32 members of Congress — all Democrats and one independent […]

Dane County Farmers' Market

U.S. House agriculture leaders discuss anti-hunger measures in upcoming farm bill

By: - January 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — The new Republican chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and a top Democrat on the panel on Wednesday laid out anti-hunger initiatives Congress could tackle in the upcoming farm bill. During a panel discussion, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, the new head of the Agriculture Committee, said he believes members of […]

People united against racism protest. | Getty Images

Days after Indiana attack, White House vows to fight hate against Asian Americans

By: - January 18, 2023

WASHINGTON— The White House on Tuesday announced a multi-agency strategy to help combat anti-Asian American hate, promote language access and improve governmental data collection for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. “This unprecedented plan builds on the administration’s broader equity agenda,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Tuesday’s press briefing. […]

Student loan debt graduating IOU college cost

New federal student loan repayment plan aimed at low-income borrowers

By: - January 11, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would overhaul a federal student loan income-driven repayment plan, and, if implemented, could help millions of low-income borrowers. However, it’s unclear how the agency would be able to finance the program. Many student debt relief advocates also criticized the proposal for leaving out […]

JANUARY 6: U.S. President Joe Biden embraces Gladys Sicknick, the mother of late Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, as she accepts a Presidential Citizens Medal on behalf of her late son during a ceremony to mark the two-year anniversary of the January 6th 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol in the East Room of the White House January 6, 2023. Biden awarded 12 Presidential Citizens Medals to police officers who defended the Capitol and state officials who resisted pressure to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Biden honors more than a dozen Americans for upholding democracy on Jan. 6

By: - January 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — On the second anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, President Joe Biden on Friday awarded citizen medals to 14 Americans who protected democracy and law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol. “Two years ago on Jan. 6 our democracy was attacked,” Biden said at the White House. “Our democracy held because […]

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan

D.C. nears Jan. 6 anniversary with warnings about extremism, awards for courage

By: - January 6, 2023

WASHINGTON – On the eve of the second anniversary of the U.S. Capitol insurrection, congressional Democrats and dozens of veterans on Thursday in a press conference called on incoming House Republican leaders to condemn political violence and hold their members who supported the attack accountable for their actions. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is scheduled on […]

Over 4,000 people gather for the Voces de la Frontera march for immigrant rights on May Day, 2022. This was part of a two day action. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Biden administration to rapidly expel more migrants at the border, add legal pathways

By: and - January 5, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced dual immigration strategies that would increase expulsions of migrants who attempt to cross the Southern border, while also expanding opportunities for migrants from several countries to legally enter the United States. But the sweeping new immigration plan brought condemnation from advocates who said he should not broaden […]