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'Sanctuary Cities' Bill Gets Initial Approval In Texas House

The Texas House of Representatives has given tentative approval of a bill to ban so-called sanctuary cities. The chamber passed Senate Bill 4 early Thursday morning after about 16 hours of debate on a 93-54 vote. The bill would penalize jurisdictions that limit local law enforcement's cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests .

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Following news reports Wednesday that the Trump administration intended to begin the process of withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, the White House said President Trump reassured the leaders of Canada and Mexico by phone that the U.S. had no immediate plans to do so.

A White House statement issued late Wednesday night said that Trump had spoken by phone with both Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The full White House statement:

With just two days left to stop a partial shutdown of the federal government, the Trump administration on Wednesday removed another major sticking point in the spending bill negotiations.

The White House told lawmakers it will not cut off federal subsidies that help low-income Americans pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, at least for now, an administration official and congressional sources confirm to NPR.

Democrats sought to have the federal payment — known as a cost-sharing reduction, or CSR — included in the spending package.

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Wednesday put forth a proposal that it labeled a "massive" tax overhaul, which would give big tax cuts to individuals and corporations and reduce the number of tax brackets and deductions.

Eric Schlegel

The Texas Senate on Wednesday passed legislation requiring three-point seat belts be installed on newly purchased school buses across the state. 

Senate Bill 693, authored by Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, cleared the chamber in a 25-6 vote following strong pushback from one Republican who suggested seat belts make buses less safe.

“Seat belts save lives,” Garcia said on the floor.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A federal judge in California on Tuesday froze President Donald Trump’s executive order that would withhold funds from “sanctuary cities” across the nation. So far, the base definition of such an area includes jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with immigration detention orders.

ErikaWittlieb/Pixabay (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas is one of six states that tries 17-year-olds as adults. But a new bill wants Texas to follow the national trend of raising the age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18.

House Bill 122, authored by Reps. Harold Dutton Jr. (D-Houston) and Gene Wu (D-Houston), passed the House last week and could be on its way to the Senate.


BETTMANN/GETTY

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Isaac Newton Farris Jr., former CEO at the King Center, grandson of the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and nephew of Dr. King Jr.

In this new foreword to the book, Farris shares what Daddy King meant to him as a family member and discusses the far-reaching legacy of King Sr.’s activism for civil rights and racial justice. 

For more than four decades, Jonathan Demme threaded a diverse path through the film industry — beginning as a publicist, filming everything from documentaries to comedic sendups, and finally earning the status of Oscar-winning elder statesman. He was 73.

The director died Wednesday in Manhattan from complications of esophageal cancer. His publicist, 42 West, confirmed Demme's death to NPR.

Demme made films such as The Silence of the Lambs and Stop Making Sense that have helped define their respective genres.

Updated 11:45 p.m. ET

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities, commonly known as sanctuary cities.

For the first time in more than a decade, Mexicans no longer make up the majority of immigrants staying in the U.S. illegally, according to new estimates by the Pew Research Center.

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