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.

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by 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 […]

An aerial view of the American flags flying over an international bridge as immigrants line up next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence to seek asylum on December 22, 2022 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/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, […]

Gun wall rack with rifles (Getty images)

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

By: - January 24, 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 […]

In this photo illustration, the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on Aug. 7, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Members of Congress sign up for TikTok, despite security concerns

By: - January 19, 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 […]

A sign noting the acceptance of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that are used by state welfare departments to issue benefits is displayed at a convenience store on Dec. 4, 2019, in Richmond, California. EBT cards can be used to spend benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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" at the End The Violence Towards Asians rally in Washington Square Park on Feb. 20, 2021, in New York City. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

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 briefing. […]

(Getty Images)

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 […]

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 Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The ceremony was in the East Room of the White House. (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 […]

Vice President Kamala Harris looks on as U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks about border security policies in the Roosevelt Room in the White House on Jan. 5, 2023. in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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 […]

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., with military veterans at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. Sherrill spoke at a press conference on the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol calling on the House Republican majority to denounce political violence. (Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

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 […]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks at a 2022 press conference following Senate Republicans' vote on their leadership for the next Congress. From left behind McConnell are GOP Sens. Joni Ernst, John Barrasso, John Thune and Shelley Moore Capito. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt)

U.S. Senate opens a new session with a record set by McConnell

By: - January 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed reelected and newly elected senators Tuesday afternoon to a new session of Congress, highlighting the bipartisan success of the previous two years and outlining his optimism for a continued approach.    “There’s no reason why the success of the last two years needs to end today,” Schumer, […]

Protesters in front of the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol urged Congress to pass the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in December 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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

By: - December 7, 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 […]