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.”

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.

100 year anniversary of Tulsa, Oklahoma Greenwood Massacre

May 31, 2021, marks the 100 year anniversary of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Greenwood massacre. Listen to survivors of the Tulsa race massacre share their memories of Greenwood before a White mob attacked the affluent community 100 years ago in “Tulsa 1921: An American Tragedy.” The special airs Monday, May 31, at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.
Tulsa is currently taking action to find and identify victims who were buried in mass graves. MSN describes some of this activity. Both the New York Times and Atlantic articles provide an outstanding overview of this tragic event.

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.

CENSUS – the ongoing saga of delayed results and the impact on the 2022 election

date changes have created angst for the political parties and its’ constituencies and placed states in difficult positions to legally and accurately complete their responsibilities.  Some states have constitutional deadlines for redistricting and/or statutory filing deadlines for primaries.

Michigan’s redistricting commission will hold an open meeting at 1 PM on March 5th to discuss the conflict between when Census data will be available and constitutional deadlines. Complicating matters, voting rights advocates have said, is that this will be the first redistricting cycle since the Supreme Court eliminated the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act that required states with a history of racial discrimination to prove to the Department of Justice that their electoral maps weren’t drawn to dilute the power of voters of color. The shortened redistricting window leaves less time to challenge maps in the courts as discriminatory.