Time is of the Essence: Bipartisanship in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process

Time is of the essence! Bipartisan calls from Congress are putting pressure on the State Department and the Biden administration to accelerate SIV processing. “These people have a bull’s eye and a target on their back from the moment we leave the country,” Rep. Michael McCaul, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned this month. “And if we abandon them, we are signing their death warrants.”

What is the Discussion about Critical Race Theory

Many Americans believe racism is the product of intentionally bad and biased individuals, but critical race theory alleges that racism is systemic and is inherent in much of the American way of life from health care to housing, economics to education, clean water to the criminal justice system and more. It is argued that those systems have been “constructed and protected over generations in ways that give white people advantages – sometimes in ways that are not obvious or deliberately insidious but nonetheless result in compounding disadvantages for Black people and other racial and ethnic minorities.”

Crisis at the Border – A PEG Exclusive

The situation at our country’s southern border continues to present immense challenges. Although the Biden administration has taken steps to reverse former President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy, thousands of people are still struggling with food insecurity, unsanitary conditions, and the threat of violence in camps along the border. Additional problems are caused by recent policy and personnel changes that have created confusion and uncertainty at the border.
  The Biden administration is facing ongoing political pressure to decrease or halt the number of migrants at the US’s southern border, which hit a two-decade high for a single month in April, according to US Customs and Border Protection’s latest figures. Nearly half of the 178,622 migrants encountered at the US-Mexico border came from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras that month.

Legal entry into the United States

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a refugee is an alien who, generally, has experienced past persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  Individuals who meet this definition may be considered for either refugee status under Section 207 of the INA if they are outside the United States, or asylum status under Section 208 of the INA, if they are already in the United States.

Ku Klux Klan Act (KKK) of 1871

Today, in 1871, Ulysses S. Grant requested that Congress pass legislation to address the KKK activities on racially motivated conspiracies intended to deprive people of equal protection under the laws — providing a civil remedy to the victims of private acts of violence motivated by discrimination and racial bias. This federal legislation was necessary as local and state courts were ineffective in prosecuting Klan violence due to either sympathies for or fear of repercussions of the Klan.

DC Statehood would give full rights of citizenship to 712,000 Americans

DC is a historically Black city and Black people still make 47% of the population. And although DC’s 712,000 residents pay taxes, vote in elections, serve in the military and carry out all the responsibilities of American citizenship, they have little say in the regulation of their city; the Federal Government solely holds that power, including affecting local laws, city funding and its operations. 

Presidential Actions since February 4, 2021

This has been an ongoing series where Presidential Actions have been parsed out in an effort to acquire some transparency into the intentions President Biden has implemented in the opening days of his administration. For a full breakdown of the difference in the kinds of  Actions available, please visit PEG’s article “Presidential Actions: What’s the Difference?”. It must be noted that it is easy to revoke the executive orders of previous administrations without the proper legislation to codify policy. It is imperative to understand that without urging congress to pass bills that support Executive Orders, they are vulnerable once a president leaves office.

The subjects of the following actions range from policy revocations, civil rights, and foreign policy. There are links directly to the officially published documents in the Federal Register. As of the date of this article, fifty days into his administration, President Biden has issued 35 Executive Orders, 16 Proclamations, and 11 Memoranda. Notices have not been presented, but can be found in the Federal Register.

CIVICS DECK – What is a Filibuster?

The Guardian sees the filibuster as a way for a relatively small group of senators to block some action by the majority. The filibuster rule allows a minority of 41 senators (out of 100 total) to prevent a vote on most species of legislation. This political strategy takes advantage of a U.S. Senate rule that says a senator, once recognized on the floor, may speak on an issue without being impeded by anyone, thus allowing senators to speak for hours to delay efforts to vote for a bill.

There is no filibuster in the House of Representatives because rules adopted in that larger legislative body strictly limit the amount of time each representative may speak on the House floor.