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.

Biden issues first pardons and sentencing commutations of his presidency

By: - April 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday granted clemency to nearly 80 individuals charged with nonviolent crimes and unveiled an administration strategy to help formerly incarcerated people secure employment. Of that list, three were pardons and 75 were commutations, which is a reduction in an individual’s prison sentence. They were the first pardons and commutations […]

LGBTQ community, people of color in the crosshairs of banned book movement

By: - April 19, 2022

Students in one Pennsylvania school district were not allowed to read a biography of the first Black President, Barack Obama. In some Tennessee classrooms, a nonfiction comic book about the atrocities of the Holocaust is banned. And one school district in Wisconsin banned from libraries a picture book about a gay rights activist who was […]

‘Sitting on a time bomb’: Mobile home residents at risk in red-hot housing market

By: - April 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — Jon Zang walks his dog several times a day in his mobile home community in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. It’s quiet, as most of his neighbors are at work. But he often wonders how many more walks he and his bulldog mix, Ladybug, will have down the streets of the place he’s called […]

DOJ rule cracks down on ghost guns

By: - April 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden Monday unveiled the Department of Justice’s plan to regulate untraceable firearms known as ghost guns, as well as announced his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Department of Justice’s final rule bans the business of manufacturing ghost guns, such as “buy build shoot” kits that […]

On the hook

Pause on federal student loan repayments extended by Biden through Aug. 31

By: - April 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration Wednesday announced its plans to extend the pause on federal student loan repayments until the end of August. “I recognized in recently extending the COVID-19 national emergency, we are still recovering from the pandemic and the unprecedented economic disruption it caused,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.  “If loan payments […]

Biden signs law named for Emmett Till that makes lynching a federal hate crime

By: - March 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — Nearly 70 years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi by two white men, President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime. “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone belongs in America,” Biden said at  the Rose […]

New process for asylum cases at the border unveiled by Biden administration

By: - March 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Thursday steps to expedite asylum cases at the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to resolve a years-long backlog, but policy advocates worry the streamlined process could prevent asylum seekers from obtaining legal representation if their cases are denied.  “If somebody is not approved in the first instance, they’re going […]

Ketanji Brown Jackson

GOP senators attack and interrupt in final day of questioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee

By: - March 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — In the third day of hearings Wednesday on the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, several Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee interrogated her about sentences she handed down for child pornography offenses, disagreeing vehemently with her judicial decisions. Republicans grilled her with questions she had already answered […]

U.S. Senate backs shift to permanent daylight saving time

By: - March 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate with little debate on Tuesday unanimously supported a permanent change to daylight saving time, several days after Americans once again went through the hated “spring forward” ritual of changing their clocks. If the bill, the Sunshine Protection Act, clears the House, it would mean most states would stay on daylight saving […]

Pressure ramps up to halt Trump-era policy that expels migrants at the border

By: - March 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats and immigration advocates are pushing the White House to end a controversial Trump-era immigration policy enacted during the pandemic that allowed U.S. officials to expel migrants and asylum seekers at the border. “I continue to be disappointed, deeply disappointed, in the administration’s response,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, […]

Congress hates changing the clocks just like everyone else

By: - March 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — Republicans and Democrats in Congress can agree on sleep, or more precisely, the inconvenience of losing or gaining an hour of it each year thanks to going on and off daylight saving time. “I believe that any justifications for springing forward and falling back are either outdated or are outweighed by the serious […]

White House allows Ukrainian nationals to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation

By: - March 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is granting Temporary Protected Status that will shield Ukrainian nationals living in the United States from deportation, following pressure from members of Congress. “Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries,” […]