Washington Markup

DHS Sends Troublingly Mixed Messages on Secure Communities Reform

DHS Sends Troublingly Mixed Messages on Secure Communities Reform

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:01am
UPDATE: ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña had this to say on Friday afternoon about her comments regarding Secure Communities: “Any effort at federal legislation now to mandate state and local law enforcement’s compliance with ICE detainers will, in our view, be a highly counterproductive step and lead to more resistance and less cooperation in our overall efforts to promote public safety.”  See full statement here.  -- 1:46 p.m., 3/20/2015
Millions Severed From the Body Politic

Millions Severed From the Body Politic

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:43pm

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march for voting rights and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.  In this historic year, as we work to strengthen and update the law that protects voters of color at the polls, it…

Can You Think of a Better Way to Spend $7.2 Billion Than Unnecessarily Locking Up Nonviolent Offenders and Undocumented Immigrants?

Can You Think of a Better Way to Spend $7.2 Billion Than Unnecessarily Locking Up Nonviolent Offenders and Undocumented Immigrants?

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:16am

The Department of Justice spends $7.2 billion a year to incarcerate over 209,000 people in the federal Bureau of Prisons at a cost of over $30,000 per year per person.

This is unsustainable, both morally and economically.

The majority…

CISA Isn't About Cybersecurity, It's About Surveillance

CISA Isn't About Cybersecurity, It's About Surveillance

By Rachel Nusbaum, Media Strategist, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:25am

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. But sometimes that's the easy part.

When it comes to cybersecurity, it seems everyone in Washington admits we have a problem. It's in the solutions phase where things really start to…

Budgeting Away Women's Reproductive Rights

Budgeting Away Women's Reproductive Rights

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 4:23pm

In its first month, Congress has launched assault after assault on the rights of women, and the federal budget process will be no different. Year after year the budget becomes a vehicle for a host of restrictions limiting access to reproductive health…

On Women's Health, the House Trades One Bad Idea for Another

On Women's Health, the House Trades One Bad Idea for Another

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 5:32pm

Watching Congress' actions toward women last week might leave you confused about what year it is. Instead of advancing a single policy designed to help women, the U.S. House of Representatives has chosen to attack women's health any way it can.

Even…

The House's #TBT – Roll Backs on Women's Health

The House's #TBT – Roll Backs on Women's Health

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 5:09pm

Tomorrow marks the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. Instead of honoring that legacy of support for women, the U.S. House of Representatives is planning a throwback Thursday, marking the occasion by rolling back…

This Bill Is Mandating Perfect Border Security, Using Your Tax Dollars, Without a Plan.

This Bill Is Mandating Perfect Border Security, Using Your Tax Dollars, Without a Plan.

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:55am

Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, last year proposed a logical approach to border security: In rejecting measures to put the "cart" of border spending before the "horse" of measuring what resources are needed, he introduced…

Business as Usual: House Leadership Uses DHS Spending Bill to Try to Kill President’s Executive Action on Immigration

Business as Usual: House Leadership Uses DHS Spending Bill to Try to Kill President’s Executive Action on Immigration

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 5:16pm

There is already a clear picture of the House majority's agenda – block the immigration executive actions announced last November by President Barack Obama.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a spending bill to…

DOJ Solidifies Protection for Transgender Rights

DOJ Solidifies Protection for Transgender Rights

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:13pm

While the American workplace is often notoriously inhospitable to transgender Americans, the federal government last month moved decisively to change that. In a new memorandum, the Department of Justice explicitly clarified that gender identity discrimination…