Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva thanked the Senate today for last night’s passage of HR 3319, his bill authorizing Southern Arizona’s Pascua Yaqui Tribe to set its own membership criteria. The bill replaces an outdated Congressional mandate that artificially limited enrollment to certain Yaqui people based on application deadlines and other requirements unrelated to tribal policy or input.
The bill reflects the modern federal policy of allowing federally recognized tribes to set their own membership criteria.
“The Pascua Yaqui Tribe, like all federally recognized tribes, has the inherent right to determine its own membership without arbitrary federal restrictions,” Grijalva said today. “This is long overdue, and I’m glad the Senate recognized the importance of moving on this before the end of the year.”
“I’m thankful for the work Congress and Rep. Grijalva did on this,” said Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio. “This is monumental for the Tribe. It’s been a goal of ours since I was a child.”
President Obama is expected to sign the bill before the end of the current legislative session.