|Sponsor||Rep. Grijalva, Raúl M.|
|Date||September 19, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)|
|Staff Contact||Andy Koenig|
On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 3319, a bill to allow the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to determine the requirements for membership in that tribe, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. The bill was introduced on November 2, 2011, by Rep. Raul Grijalva D-AZ) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark up and reported the bill, as amended, by voice vote on August 1, 2012.
H.R. 3319 would allow the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to add new members to the tribe’s rolls and determine the requirements for adding a new member to the tribe. The bill would allow the tribe to add “any person of Pascua Yaqui blood enrolled by the tribe.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, The Pascua Yaqui Tribe—located approximately sixty miles from the U.S.-Mexico border—has more than 18,000 members, many of whom have relatives residing on both sides of the border. When the Pascua Yaqui won federal recognition in 1978, those who were part of the Pascua Yaqui Association or living among the people were allowed to apply for tribal membership. According to the Tucson Sentinel, the tribe told “a House Natural Resources subcommittee that there are more than 800 people who deserve tribal membership, but they cannot be admitted because of an outdated law governing when people could be put on the rolls.”
According to the Department of Interior, “While the 1978 Act extended services to the Tribe, it also prescribed membership for the Tribe pursuant to the membership criteria and procedures provided for in the official governing documents of the Tribe. However, the deference to the Tribe’s governing documents for membership into the Tribe was prefaced by three caveats. In one instance, a Pascua Yaqui Association member must apply for enrollment into the Tribe within one (1) year after passage of the 1978 Act, in another, a person with Yaqui blood and is a citizen of the United States must apply for enrollment in the Tribe within two (2) years after passage of the 1978 Act. The third caveat restricted enrollment into the Tribe to only those lineal descendants of a person enrolled into Tribe within the two (2) year limitation.
“Subsequently, in 1994, Congress amended the 1978 Act by first, extending federal recognition to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and by extending the second caveat in the original 1978 Act, to allow those individual with Pascua Yaqui blood who are citizens of the United States and who, “within three years after October 14, 1994” apply for enrollment into the Tribe pursuant to the Tribe’s enrollment criteria. And, the third caveat restricted enrollment into the Tribe to only those lineal descendants of a person enrolled into the Tribe within the 1994 three (3) year limitation.”
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate was not available.