Austin

News, events, and entertainment happening in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Thousands gathered at the Texas state Capitol on Saturday for a rally to show solidarity with immigrant and refugee communities, and to protest recent federal and state immigration actions.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

At the rear of the Terrazas Branch of the Austin Public Library on E. Cesar Chavez Street, roughly 10 people gather in a meeting room. It looks like any classroom. There’s a white board at the back, unflattering lighting above, and rows of chairs stacked to the side.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Recent reports show hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. have spiked to levels not seen since just after 9/11. This has led one Austin-area Muslim group to try and combat misconceptions about their religion. They’re holding a series of community conversations, inviting people to come and ask any questions they have about Islam.

The future of a residential facility for adults with autism is in limbo after a vote by a city of Austin commission.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It’s lunchtime at the Quickie Pickie on East 11th Street. Customers fill the patio tables and several others line up to order food inside. Manager Mohammad Walid describes the business as part restaurant, part convenience store.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Reedy Spigner, 45, straddles a gray carpet strewn with empty glass bottles and pieces of tape – just some of the things left behind in a move. In front of him is an entire wall of windows. From there, he looks out onto East 22nd Street and is transported some 35 years into the past.

Andrew Weber / KUT

Resolutions are the participation trophy of Texas legislation.

They’re a way for lawmakers to honor everything from a state championship high school football team, to the indiscriminate eradication of groundhogs, to the merits of the Boston Strangler killings. Pretty much everything under the sun has been recognized by a resolution, but the Texas flag is especially dependable resolution fodder for lawmakers.

KUT Weekend brings you our favorite stories from the KUT newsroom. Updated Fridays.

Wikimedia Commons

The Associated Press is reporting the existence of a draft memo from U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that proposes the deployment of as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to enforce immigration laws in 11 states, including Texas. The memo is dated Jan. 25.

The AP writes:

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Danny Fowler stands in the middle of his driveway holding a vase full of red flowers.

He is taking them to his neighbor, who lives just across the street, over the crest of the steep hill that cuts this East Austin cul-de-sac in two. The street, which begins as E.M. Franklin Avenue before morphing into Grant Street, makes up Ebony Acres, a historically black neighborhood.

Courtesy of Greg Casar's office

Austin City Council approved $200,000 in emergency funding for immigration legal services Thursday, while immigrants and advocates took to the steps of City Hall outside to protest ICE raids and national anti-immigrant policies. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Businesses across Austin were closed Thursday as part of a nationwide strike to show support for immigrants in the U.S.

“Day Without Immigrants” was organized in response to President Trump’s immigration agenda, including the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, the proposed border wall with Mexico and the now-suspended travel ban. The aim of the protests is to show the contributions immigrants make in the country on a daily basis.

Scores of protesters gathered at Austin City Hall and marched to the Capitol in a peaceful protest of the ICE actions. 

Austin Police Department

Austin City Council has approved a $3.25 million settlement with the family of a black 17-year-old who was unarmed and naked when he was shot and killed by an Austin police officer last year.

“It is our sincere hope that the public nature of the settlement will make future police shootings less likely,” David Johnson's mother, Ketty Sully, said in a statement. “David was a wonderful son and a loving brother. He will remain in our hearts forever.”

The statement continued: 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Stand atop the hill at the northeast corner of the Texas State Cemetery, and you’ll have a clear view of the Texas State Capitol. It rises alongside a row of trees, now leafless, and a Texas flag. That view, some City Council members say, demands protection.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez plans to evaluate a wider range of alleged crimes in determining whether to hand over jail inmates to federal immigration authorities. 

Hernandez changed the policy at the Travis County Jail earlier this month, saying deputies would honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to detain people for possible immigration violations only if an inmate was booked on capital murder, murder, aggravated sexual assault or human trafficking charges.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Your favorite Austin businesses could be closed Thursday as part of a national grassroots strike to highlight the impact immigrants have in the country on a daily basis.  

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

A federal appeals court last week refused to reinstate President Trump’s travel ban, which temporarily bars travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. The ban is still on the minds of students and teachers at Austin Peace Academy, though.

Adler Says ICE Arrests Make Austin 'Less Safe'

Feb 14, 2017
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

After dozens of Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests last week, Mayor Steve Adler wrote an open letter in opposition to deportation action in Austin by the federal agency.

In a letter on Medium, Adler characterized the detainment of undocumented immigrants in Austin as counterproductive and harmful to Austin.

Martin do Nascimento for The Texas Tribune

With Donald Trump in the White House and rumors of widespread law enforcement raids percolating throughout her heavily immigrant community in North Austin, Irma Perez said she decided to help pay off her brother’s unpaid tickets to help him avoid any trouble. 

It would lead to her own family’s undoing.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected a bid to reinstate President Trump’s travel ban. The executive order temporarily bars travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. 

Pages