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.

Harvard student Emma Oyakhine (left) at a protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court | Photo by Ariana Figueroa, States Newsroom

Affirmative action supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court

By: - November 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The onset of rain did not deter students and supporters of affirmative action from protesting Monday morning outside the U.S. Supreme Court while justices considered two cases that could reshape the college admissions process. “It’s not a secret that if you eliminated race conscious policies, it would further diminish the number of students […]

Biden student debt forgiveness plan on temporary hold after appeals court ruling

By: and - October 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Friday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from carrying out its student loan forgiveness plan, until the court makes a determination on a request for an injunction brought by six Republican-led states, according to multiple media reports. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the Biden administration until […]

SIgn close up reads 'bans off my body' and mask of woman holding it reads 'Ruth sent me'

Biden vows codifying Roe v. Wade will top his agenda if Democrats expand control

By: - October 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday promised that if Democrats keep control of the U.S. House and gain a few more Democratic seats in the Senate, then “the first bill that I will send to Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade.”  He also told supporters at a Democratic National Committee event that […]

Student loan debt graduating IOU college cost

The student debt relief application is live: Here’s what you need to know

By: - October 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Monday that student loan borrowers can begin to apply for debt relief through a new online application. Biden said the application is easy and fast. It will allow every borrower with an income of $125,000 or less ($250,000 for married couples) to have up to $10,000 in debt forgiven, […]

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)

New plan for Venezuelan migrants will accept some into the U.S., send others to Mexico

By: - October 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday night announced new guidelines for Venezuelan migrants, under which some will have a pathway to temporary residence in the United States and others who crossed the border without authorization will be sent back to Mexico. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an agreement between Mexico […]

Capitol view from the House to the Senate

The battle for control of Congress: Abortion, inflation, crime and Biden

By: , and - October 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress are fanning out to every district in the country, leaving the wonky floor debates on Capitol Hill behind for the campaign trail in advance of the crucial Nov. 8 midterm elections.  Democrats are fighting to hold their razor-thin majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, citing two years of […]

marijuana plants

Biden to pardon all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession, review criminalization

By: , and - October 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced executive actions that would pardon thousands of people with prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. He will also direct U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to review how marijuana is classified under federal law as a Schedule I […]

Supporters of the DACA program rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court. (Robin Bravender/ States Newsroom Washington Bureau)

DACA ruled unlawful by federal appeals court, but program continues for now

By: - October 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has upheld a prior ruling that the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is unlawful, sending the case back to a lower court that will decide the legality of the program that includes more than 600,000 undocumented people. The ruling means the program remains for now and those […]

Alabama case that could limit Voting Rights Act heard at U.S. Supreme Court

By: - October 4, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday heard oral arguments in a case that challenges an Alabama redistricting map and could potentially eliminate remaining federal safeguards against racial gerrymandering. Voting rights advocates fear that the high court’s conservative majority will further weaken the Voting Rights Act, with implications for voters in states across the […]

security fencing topped with barbed wire against a backdrop of clouds in the sky

Federal prisons ‘riddled with mismanagement’ probed by U.S. Senate panel

By: - October 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee grilled the top leader of federal prisons last week on how the agency would address staffing shortages and reports of abuse of incarcerated people.  “The Bureau [of Prisons] has been riddled with mismanagement and, sadly, with scandal,” the chair of the committee, Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, […]

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) prepares for a Senate Rules Committee meeting on Capitol Hill

Key U.S. Senate panel advances bill aimed at preventing another Jan. 6

By: - September 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee on Tuesday passed legislation that would update an 1887 elections law and clarify how electoral votes are certified, with the hopes of averting another attempt to overturn a presidential election.  Sens. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat and Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, put forth the bill, […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 12: Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears on a video screen above members of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol during the seventh hearing on the January 6th investigation in the Cannon House Office Building on July 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, is presenting its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

U.S. House panel investigating Jan. 6 attack postpones hearing

By: - September 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — A Wednesday hearing planned by the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol has been postponed due to Hurricane Ian nearing landfall in Florida. A new date has not been announced. “In light of Hurricane Ian bearing down on parts of Florida, we have decided to […]