Rafael Bernal, Local 22 & Local 44

Rafael Bernal

Local 22 & Local 44

Washington, DC, United States

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Past articles by Rafael:

Advocates erupt as Biden weighs return to family detention

The Biden administration is ping-ponging among a series of Trump-era immigration proposals as officials fret over the end of Title 42. That pandemic immigration policy, enacted under former President Trump, has been central to the Biden administration’s management of the border, but is due to end May 11, along with other pandemic emergency measures. Apart […] → Read More

Senate Democrats file bill to allow DACA, TPS holders to work in Congress

Two Senate Democrats on Tuesday filed a bill that would allow beneficiaries of humanitarian immigration programs to work in Congress. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced the American Dream Employment Act, which would allow holders of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to work paid jobs […] → Read More

Argentine ambassador bemoans House Republican’s ‘offensive, insulting’ comments on Chinese involvement

The Argentine ambassador to the U.S. on Thursday denounced a Florida Republican’s comments on alleged Chinese military involvement in the South American country, calling the remarks “inaccurate” and “offensive.” In a letter to Rep. María Elvira Salazar, Ambassador Jorge Argüello lashed out at the lawmaker, who at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday accused […] → Read More

Bipartisan Senate bill would end Cuban embargo

A bipartisan group of senators on Monday introduced a bill that would end the commercial blockade on Cuba while maintaining other U.S. laws that impose human rights-based restrictions on the island nation. The bill, introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), showcases political […] → Read More

White House mulls return to migrant family detention: report

The Biden administration is considering a return to the policy of family detention for migrants who cross the border illegally, according to The New York Times, in what would be a stark reversal by the president, who ended the practice two years ago. A final decision has not been made, according to the Monday evening […] → Read More

Suicide attempts highlight mental health concerns in immigrant detention

A series of suicide attempts reported by detainees and officials at a single New Mexico immigration detention facility are underscoring concerns about mental health treatment outcomes in the system. Brazilian national Kelsey Vial killed himself at the Torrance County Detention Facility in Estancia, N.M., on Aug. 24, according to the official Immigration and Customs Enforcement […] → Read More

Biden asylum rule opposition pushes Democratic minority caucuses together

BALTIMORE — The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is working with the Congressional Tri-Caucus to write a statement opposing the Biden administration’s new rule that would restrict which migrants can apply for asylum at the border, revving up the group’s disapproval of the plan and setting the stage for a clash with the White House. Rep. Nanette […] → Read More

Advocates say Biden’s asylum rule is a Trump deja vu

The Biden administration is barreling towards a legal fight with immigration groups after rolling out a new asylum policy similar to a Trump-era directive already struck down by the courts. The tussle between the administration and its would-be allies on immigration has been brewing for years, but it hit a head Tuesday, when the administration […] → Read More

Former Mexican top cop found guilty of distributing 58 tons of cocaine

A federal court in New York on Tuesday convicted Mexico’s former head of internal security, who was accused of engaging in a criminal enterprise, making false statements, and conspiring to distribute 58 tons of cocaine. Former Public Security Secretary Genaro García Luna led Mexican law enforcement, including the now-defunct Federal Police, from 2006 to 2012, […] → Read More

Arizona Democrat goes on media blitz against GOP border narrative

Arizona Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva put his communications team to work Thursday, as the border lawmaker sought to put his stamp on wide-ranging coverage of the House GOP’s focus on the border. Grijalva kicked his team into high gear over Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) trip to Arizona with a group of first-term lawmakers in the […] → Read More

ICE unable to stamp out abuse allegations at detention centers

Advocates say conditions at U.S. immigration detention centers are getting worse, even after years of investigations, calls to action and pledges to improve the civilian incarceration system. Early in his tenure, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas ordered two detention centers shuttered, and he has since closed a handful more. “Allow me to state one foundational […] → Read More

How a Bush-era law requiring border ‘perfection’ stands at center of GOP impeachment case

A budding GOP impeachment case against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is relying on a 2006 law that says operational control of the border means the prevention “of all unlawful entries” to the United States — a standard seen as impossible to meet. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 was passed during a failed Bush-era effort to […] → Read More

Hispanic Caucus chair fires executive director; group’s staff down to zero

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) has no political staffers on the active payroll after Chairwoman Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.) fired Executive Director Jacky Usyk on Thursday. The n… → Read More

Biden gives lip service to immigration reform at SOTU

President Biden barely touched the polarizing subject of immigration in a State of the Union address focused on bipartisanship. Nearly an hour into his Tuesday speech before a joint session of Congress, Biden made a quick detour into immigration, doing his best to frame it as a bipartisan issue. “Let’s also come together on immigration […] → Read More

Democratic freshmen invite Parkland, Uvalde parents to SOTU

Two progressive Democratic House freshmen from Florida and Texas invited parents of two victims of school shootings as their guests for President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. → Read More

Poll: Parents trust Democrats over Republicans on K-12 education

Parents trust Democrats over Republicans when it comes to K-12 education, according to a new poll commissioned by the National Parents Union (NPU). The poll, released ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address, found that 46 percent of surveyed parents trust Democrats to lead primary education policy, while 38 favor Republicans and 16 […] → Read More

Biden administration unveils new green card design with eye on enhanced security

The Biden administration released a new design for Permanent Resident Cards, also known as green cards, and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), adding a series of new security measures for the immigration documents. The new cards will be issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as of Monday; older cards will remain valid until their […] → Read More

Gallego to step down from campaign group to focus on Senate race

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) will step down at the end of the quarter from his job as head of Bold PAC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s (CHC) campaign arm, to focus on his 2024 Senate bid. Gallego earlier this month was reelected by his peers to serve a second term at the PAC’s helm, following a […] → Read More

Hobbs continuing Ducey practice of sending migrants out of Arizona

Arizona’s new Democratic governor will continue her Republican predecessor’s policy of busing migrants north, with some changes. In a news conference Friday, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) left open the possibility of keeping the busing policy but said her administration would verify its efficacy. “We need to look at that practice and make sure that […] → Read More

Ohio lawmakers ask for immigration relief for Mauritanians at risk of slavery

A Senate Democrat and a House Republican from Ohio are asking the Biden administration to grant immigration relief to Mauritanian nationals in the United States, some of whom are at risk of being pressed into slavery if repatriated. Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Rep. Mike Carey (R) on Wednesday wrote President Biden and Homeland […] → Read More