A new federal program aimed at preventing the separation of illegal immigrants from their families will begin next week.
Beginning on March 4, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting I-601A waiver applications, which allow immigrants the temporary ability to stay in the United States while the government processes their visa application.
Campaign finance watchdogs are floating the idea of a new federal agency to replace the “woefully inept” Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The FEC has become “completely dysfunctional” and is failing to meet its responsibilities to uphold and enforce campaign finance laws, the American Constitution Society said in a new brief.
“We have reached the point where we have the illusion of campaign laws because in reality, there is little or no enforcement of these laws,” Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer and counsel Don Simon wrote.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has been named chairman of a new Senate oversight panel aimed at enforcing federal regulations.
The Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action will function as an arm of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Overseeing federal agency rulemaking means working with advocates, activists, and every-day Americans to fulfill the promise of federal protection,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “The purpose of this new subcommittee is really to ensure that federal agencies follow and enforce the law – assuring protection of legal rights with effective remedies.”
More than one-third of federal regulations move through the early stages without input from the public, according to a government watchdog.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), an investigative arm of Congress, conducted a study of federal rules and found that 35 percent of “major” regulations — those with an economic impact of $100 million or more — are issued without a public comment period.
“This is a missed opportunity, because GAO found that when agencies did respond to public comments they often made changes to improve the rules,” the report says.
The Treasury Department moved Wednesday to freeze assets belonging to several international criminals as part of an effort to crack down on three organized crime syndicates.