Civil Rights + Immigration


Hey, trolls: The word ‘Black’ is not racist

BY: - October 6, 2022

Don’t feed the trolls. Most days, I don’t. But it wasn’t easy this week to ignore social media pests spewing their racist and negative garbage. It’s hard to know: Is it a troll, social media bot or everyday bigot? Maybe the stories I published this week brought them out. I wrote about Mothers Against Violence’ annual […]

Two Mason City doctors sue feds over eight-year wait for green card

BY: - September 20, 2022

Two Mason City physicians and their daughter are suing the federal government over an eight-year wait for their green card. Dr. Pranav Singh, his wife, Dr. Harpreet Kaur, and their daughter, Ishnoor Kaur, are suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the U.S. District Court for the Northern […]


A trip to Perry brings home why we need immigration reform

BY: - September 14, 2022

I went to Perry, Iowa (population 7,836) on Friday to help train a new news guy at Raccoon Valley Radio. Perry is about an hour and a half long drive away from home. I had planned to arrive mid-morning, but at about 5:30 a.m., a gut feeling told me to leave soon. So I did. I arrived […]

Confronting history, Congress studies addition of lynching sites to national park system

BY: - September 11, 2022

The U.S. House is considering a bill that would put lynching sites in western Tennessee on track to become part of the National Park Service, part of a trend this year of Congress using the agency to advance discussions of the nation’s troubled and often violent racial history. A bill from U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, Tennessee Democrat, […]

DHS finalizes end to Trump-era ‘public charge’ rule for immigrants

BY: - September 8, 2022

The Biden administration finalized a new public charge rule on Thursday that would eliminate Trump-era policies that penalized low-income immigrants seeking health benefits and other services. The new rule from the Department of Homeland Security will roll back the types of assistance immigration officers can consider when evaluating immigrants for a green card and deciding […]

Bill codifying same-sex marriage nears critical vote in U.S. Senate

BY: - September 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate is on track to vote on a bill codifying marriage equality as soon as next week with negotiators increasingly confident it could become law. Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday they’re close to getting at least 10 Republicans to back the same-sex marriage […]


Coaches, please don’t lead team prayers

BY: - August 25, 2022

To the Iowans who coach student athletes or lead other public school-based activities: As a new academic year begins this week, you may feel more emboldened to bring your religion into practices, games, or other school group gatherings. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that high school football coach Joseph Kennedy was wrongly disciplined over his […]

U.S. House on bipartisan vote passes bill protecting right to same-sex marriage

BY: - July 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House voted Tuesday to enshrine the right to same-sex and interracial marriages in federal law, though the bill’s path forward in the Senate is unclear. The 267-157 bipartisan vote stemmed from concerns that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn the constitutional right to […]

immigration migrants border

Courts take the lead role as U.S. immigration policy remains in limbo

BY: - July 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — Eighteen months into the Biden administration, immigration reform has stalled despite campaign promises to reform the system, with the most recent movement on immigration policy doled out by the U.S. Supreme Court and in lower federal courts. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Biden administration in a 5-4 decision on June 30 that […]

Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa Republicans work to continue construction on southern border wall

BY: - July 1, 2022

Iowa lawmakers joined this week in focusing attention on illegal immigration and the southern border, while also advocating for disaster aid, Farm Bill updates and a proposal to control prescription drug prices. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks proposed a resolution to direct the federal government to hand over materials for constructing the southern border wall to states […]

The District of Columbia allows incarcerated people to vote, a rarity in the U.S.

BY: - June 21, 2022

This article is published through a collaboration between States Newsroom and Bolts. WASHINGTON — Earlier this month, about 10 men detained in the Young Men Emerging unit in the Washington, D.C., jail sat around a TV to watch the Democratic candidates for mayor debate issues including affordable housing and gun violence. “It was on a communal TV, and […]

Iowa Juneteenth proclamation signed in second year of federal observance

BY: - June 20, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds proclaimed the celebration of Juneteenth in Iowa Monday in the second year of the holiday’s recognition nationally. Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, when Union general Gordon Granger and troops arrived to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865. Enforcements arrived more than two years after […]