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House members have cast more than 31,000 votes by proxy since the practice was first allowed in May 2020 as a COVID-19 emergency precaution. With COVID waning, some say it’s time to end the practice, which many say has been abused, but others see advantages to limited proxy voting going forward.

More than 31,000 proxy votes have been cast during more than 700 roll calls since absent members were first allowed to vote by proxy as an emergency COVID-19 safety measure - almost 10% of more than 311,000 possible member votes in that time. Read more» 1

After two years of what was supposed to be a short-term experiment with proxy voting in the House, some Arizona lawmakers have used the practice hundreds of times, while others have never voted by proxy. Critics say it’s time to end a practice that they say is being abused, but its defenders see a place for limited proxy voting in the future.

Two years after the House allowed proxy voting as a pandemic precaution, two Arizona lawmakers remain among the House’s most active proxy voters, while two others are among the stubborn minority that has never cast vote by proxy. Read more» 1

Los agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza utilizaron el Título 42 para transportar a los migrantes encontrados cerca de Sasabe de regreso a la frontera entre EE. UU. y México, en esta foto de marzo de 2020, los primeros días de la orden. Desde entonces, más de 1,8 millones de personas han sido devueltas bajo el Título 42, que la administración de Biden quiere terminar el 23 de mayo.

Los funcionarios de la Casa Blanca dijeron esta semana que una posible orden judicial que retrasa el fin del Título 42 solo empeoraría la crisis fronteriza que los funcionarios estatales afirman que están tratando de prevenir al solicitar la orden. Read more»

El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional planea usar más instalaciones blandas, como está en una foto de archivo de 2021 de Texas, para manejar el aumento de inmigrantes que se espera después de que se deje de hacer cumplir el Título 42 el próximo mes.

Los funcionarios fronterizos detuvieron a la mayor cantidad de migrantes en la frontera sur en al menos 22 años el mes pasado, lo que presenta un nuevo desafío para el plan para poner fin a la aplicación del Título 42 dentro de unas semanas. Read more»

Border Patrol agents wear personal protective equipment as they take a group of migrants found near Sasabe back to Mexico in this March 2020 photo, shortly after Customs and Border Protection began enforcing Title 42. Some lawmakers worry that CBP may not be prepared to handle rising numbers of migrants after Title 42 ends this month.

Border officials apprehended the most migrants at the southern border in at least 22 years last month, presenting a new challenge for the Biden administration’s plan to end enforcement of Title 42 just weeks from now. Read more»

Nationally, food service added 61,000 jobs in March, the most of any industry, but total bar and restaurant employment was still below pre-pandemic levels. In this 2017 photo, Jose Rojas prepares food for the Artizen Crafted American Kitchen & Bar at the Devour Culinary Classic in Phoenix.

The Arizona unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% in February, well below pre-pandemic levels and the lowest it has been since 2007, but industries like public service, hospitality and education are still suffering from vacancies created by COVID-19. Read more»

The U.S. Supreme Court said it will consider whether the Arizona Supreme Court erred when it refused to grant a new sentencing hearing to an inmate on death row for the 2003 killing of a Tucson police officer.

The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear an Arizona death-row inmate’s claim that he was wrongly denied the chance to tell jurors he would be ineligible for parole if they sentenced him to life instead of death for the killing of Tucson Police Officer Patrick Hardesty in 2003. Read more»

White Mountain Apache Chairwoman Gwendena Lee-Gatewood showed lawmakers a picture of the tainted water collected near Carrizo on her tribe’s reservation.

Leaders of two Arizona tribes asked Washington lawmakers Wednesday to support funding for development of critical water infrastructure and to OK a bill that would let tribal water be sold to others in the drought-stricken state. Read more»

The Washington protest calling for an end to Title 42 was one of several held around the U.S. and in Mexico, including rallies scheduled for Phoenix and Nogales, Sonora, on Monday, the second anniversary of the rule.

Former Arizona resident Rev. Noel Andersen was one of several dozen protesters who marched in a number of protests scheduled across the U.S. and in Mexico, including rallies scheduled for Phoenix and Nogales, Sonora, calling for an end to Title 42. Read more»

Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has been increasingly targeted by progressive members of her party, and a new book about the first year of the Biden administration is not likely to smooth thing over. But political analysts note that she does not face re-election for two years, and that being seen as a maverick could play to her advantage in Arizona.

Political analysts say it’s too soon to tell what impact, if any, a new book about the Biden administration’s first year will have on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, who is reportedly quoted in the book as mocking the president. Read more»

Jóvenes hacen fila para una comida en una foto de marzo de 2021 de una instalación de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza en Texas que procesó a familias y menores no acompañados detenidos en la frontera. El Título 42, una regla de la era de la pandemia para rechazar a los inmigrantes, ya no se aplicará a los menores no acompañados, pero se usará con otros inmigrantes indocumentados.

El CDC dictaminó este fin de semana que los menores no acompañados no deben ser devueltos en la frontera por preocupaciones de COVID-19, una medida bien recibida por los defensores que dicen que el cambio ahora debe extenderse a todos los inmigrantes. Read more»

The National League of Cities conference in Washington this week drew about 2,000 local officials, including close to 100 from Arizona cities, for several days of meeting and lobbying.

President Joe Biden came to the National League of Cities conference this week to tout the success of the American Rescue Plan, which besides tax credits, rental assistance and expanded jobless benefits, directed just over $1 billion to 24 Arizona cities. Read more»

Young men line up for a meal in a March 2021 photo from a Customs and Border Protection facility in Texas that processed families and unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border. Title 42, a pandemic-era rule to turn away migrants, will no longer be applied to unaccompanied minors, but will be used on other undocumented migrants.

The CDC ruled this weekend that unaccompanied minors should not be turned back at the border over COVID-19 concerns, a move welcomed by advocates who say the change now needs to be extended to all immigrants. Read more»

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken tours evacuation operations in September for Afghan refugees at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the first stop for many evacuated from Afghanistan.

Refugee resettlement groups in Arizona found homes for almost 1,900 Afghan refugees from the fall of Kabul in August through February, and DES and its partners are prepared to take any Afghans who will be resettling in Arizona, even though they do not know how many to expect. Read more»

The Supreme Court has agreed to consider to the Indian Child Welfare Act, which gives Native American families preference for foster or adoptive placement of Indigenous children. Opponents say it is an illegally race-based law, but supporters call it best for Native children, keeping them close to their family and cultures.

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act filed by a white Texas couple that was almost denied the chance to adopt a Native American boy who was set to be placed with a Navajo family. Read more»

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