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.

Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed

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

By: - February 1, 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 […]

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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

By: - January 27, 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 […]

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will cancel thousands of dollars in student debt and pause student loan repayments. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Democrats in Congress condemn Biden administration expansion of Title 42

By: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly 80 Democratic members of Congress 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 policy that immediately turns away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, […]

Food on shelves

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

By: - January 18, 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 […]

Protesters hold signs that read "hate is a virus" and "stop Asian hate"

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

By: - January 17, 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 […]

People demonstrate with signs in front of white house

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

By: - January 10, 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 […]

Vice President Kamala Harris looks on as President Joe Biden delivers remarks about border security

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

By: and - January 6, 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 […]

Police clash with supporters of President Donald Trump during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Alex Kent/Tennessee Lookout)

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

By: - January 5, 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 […]

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

By: and - December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced Friday she is leaving the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent. The first-term senator wrote in an opinion piece for the Arizona Republic that she does not intend to change the way she legislates or casts votes, but plans to be “an independent voice for Arizona.” “​​When […]

Raphael Warnock

‘Worth the wait’: U.S. Senate Democrats celebrate a 51-seat majority with Georgia win

By: - December 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer jubilantly announced Wednesday that the Georgia runoff election victory will next year end an evenly divided U.S. Senate, giving Democrats more subpoena power in committees and a quicker turnaround in approving federal and judicial appointments. Schumer, a New York Democrat, congratulated Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock for winning a […]

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Talks over protecting Dreamers pick up in Congress, but agreement still elusive

By: - December 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — In a last-minute push, U.S. senators are working on a bipartisan agreement to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people who were brought to the United States as children. But the success of any major immigration deal appears unlikely, as a lame-duck session of Congress dwindles into its last days. Democrats are […]

Derek Schmidt appears on stage in front of a GOP banner on election night

U.S. Supreme Court to review Biden student debt relief plan in February

By: - December 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday it will hear oral arguments in February over a legal challenge by six Republican-led states to the Biden administration student borrower relief plan. Until the arguments are heard and the court issues a ruling, the $400 billion Biden plan is on hold due to a nationwide injunction […]