Texas

Border & Immigration
1:55 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Watch: Gov. Perry's Border Announcement

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is ordering National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.

Gov. Perry says the U.S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed with the humanitarian needs of the tens of thousands of children coming in from Central America, and unable to devote enough of its resources to border security.

Perry is also calling on the federal government to pay for another 1,000 guard troops at the border until more Border Patrol officers can be brought in. The announcement follows last month’s deployment of Texas DPS resources to the Rio Grande.

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Border & Immigration
9:32 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Perry Will Activate Up To 1,000 Guard Troops

Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry will announce Monday that he is activating up to 1,000 National Guard troops to help beef up security along the Texas-Mexico border, two people with knowledge of the decision have confirmed.

Perry’s office announced Sunday that he would hold a news conference at 2 p.m. to “make an announcement regarding border security.” Perry will be joined at the briefing by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Texas Adjutant General John Nichols and Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to one of the people familiar with the plans. The Texas Tribune will livestream the announcement. 

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Abortion and Women's Health
9:05 am
Fri July 18, 2014

The Texas Abortion Debate Continues a Year After HB 2 Was Signed Into Law

Wendy Davis' HB 2 filibuster, catapulting her into the national limelight and serving as a springboard for her gubernatorial campaign.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT

Last legislative session, House Bill 2 proved to be a landmark moment for the abortion debate in Texas. It further politicized the issue both sides of the aisle, garnered national media attention, boosted political profiles and launched campaigns.

When the debate was over and it finally passed, HB 2 established a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, required clinics to be certified as ambulatory surgical centers, and forced abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. 

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Gov. Rick Perry signing the bill into law.

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Elections 2014
4:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Can Democrats Really Keep Up With Republicans in the Fundraising Race?

Texas Democrats may be raising more money from individual donors, but Republican campaigns have proven adept at consistently garnering campaign-sustaining contributions.
Photo by KUT News

Both candidates in the race for governor have raised $11 million since late February. In the race for lieutenant governor, the Democratic candidate beat out the heavily-favored Republican nominee in fundraising over the last campaign finance reporting period. To some that could appear to be a watershed moment in Texas politics for red state Democrats, but The Austin American-Statesman's chief political writer Jonathan Tilove says the moment is a bit misleading, if not one-sided.  

Tilove spoke with The Texas Standard's David Brown about whether the Democrats' historic fundraising efforts will be enough to defeat their Republican opponents in November. 

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Border & Immigration
1:27 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Undocumented Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas Released After Being Detained

Jose Antonio Vargas in handcuffs at McAllen/Miller International Airport.
@ryangrim Twitter

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:40 am

UPDATE, July 16, 6:17 a.m.: The Associated Press reports Jose Antonio Vargas has been released by U.S. Border Patrol agents after being detained at McAllen/Miller International Airport Tuesday morning.

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Immigration
8:45 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Death on the Border: Trying to Identify the Youth Who Never Made It

Members of the Reuniting Families Project excavating bodies along the border.
Baylor University

With thousands of children being detained by the Border Patrol along the Texas border, most of the spotlight seems to be focused on government policy and economic response. The Obama administration believes the ongoing immigration crisis is one that will likely to continue, with estimates of up to 90,000 unaccompanied youth being detained by the end of this fiscal year, three times the amount of last year.

While thousands of undocumented migrants successfully make it across the border, many do not. This has led to an overwhelming amount of deceased, many whom are children, that local authorities are unable to properly identify or even bury. The Texas Standard’s David Brown speaks forensic anthropologist Dr. Lori Baker, who has been working along in South Texas in an attempt to locate and identify the scores of remains along the border.

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Immigration Reform
8:48 am
Fri July 11, 2014

How a Bush-Era Law Against Trafficking Impacts the Immigration Surge

Because of a 2008 law, thousands of children crossing into Texas illegally are not turned back right away.
flickr.com/cbpphotos

Because of a 2008 law, thousands of children crossing into Texas illegally are not turned back right away. That’s because they must get an immigration hearing first – due to a federal law that passed with bipartisan support.

The legislation in wound through Congress in late 2007. A year later, President George W. Bush signed it into law. So why is it coming up now?

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Obama In Austin
4:38 am
Fri July 11, 2014

In Texas, Obama Sets Stage To Answer 'Do-Nothing' Congress

Speaking about the need for congressional action on immigration, President Obama told a crowd at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas, on Thursday that he would "love it if the Republicans did stuff too."
Jack Plunkett AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:06 am

Six years into his administration, President Obama has apparently not given up on the "hope" that was a major theme of his first run for president.

What else but undying optimism could explain the president's hope for the Texas congressional delegation expressed in his visit to their state this week?

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Texas
10:35 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Attorney Impersonators 'Sell Hope' & Steal Money From Immigrants Looking for Help

Veronica Avila Zavala was the victim of an attorney impersonator that promised her husband's release, but took $14,000 from her.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT

One of the biggest traps undocumented immigrants fall into is the advice of "faux" attorneys. They pretend to know the ins-and-outs of immigration law and often scam victims of thousands of dollars. 

For Veronica Avila Zavala, it seemed like an easy way out of a bad situation.

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Immigration
2:06 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Austin Doctor Helps Central American Families Along the Border

Adam Rosenbloom cares for a patient at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas.
Credit Courtesy of Jose Delgado

  Adam Rosenbloom wasn't able to view fireworks from Auditorium Shores this past Independence Day. His Fourth of July weekend was less conventional.

Rosenbloom, a pediatrician at Dell Children’s Medical Center, spent the weekend volunteering at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas. Rosenbloom joined other volunteering with the group Circle of Health International, caring for over 50 patients and delivering over $5,000 worth of supplies to Central American children and families who crossed the Texas-Mexico border. 

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Texas
10:19 am
Wed July 9, 2014

As Inmates Age, Prison Health Care Spending in Texas Could Grow

Researchers at The Pew Charitable Trusts have a new report out that suggests Texas will continue to spend more on inmate health care as prison population ages.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

Researchers at The Pew Charitable Trusts have a new report out on how much states are spending on inmate health care. Between 2001 and 2008, Texas had a decrease in this spending, but since then, it’s gone up again. 

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Affordable Care Act
5:36 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Many Texans Say Health Insurance Costs Too Much, Despite Obamacare Subsidies

A new report from Rice University's Baker Institute and the Episcopal Health Foundation suggests nearly half of Texans eligible for tax credits under Obamacare say health insurance is still too expensive.
healthcare.gov

Under the Affordable Care Act, tax subsidies for consumers who qualify are meant to make health insurance more affordable, but a new report suggests about half of eligible Texans say it still costs too much.

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Texas
2:02 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Secure Communities Could Be Detaining Legal Asian Americans in Travis County

Travis County has the third highest rate of deportations in the U.S.
KUT News

Last month, the Austin City Council signed a resolution to opt out of Secure Communities, a partnership between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and law enforcement to detain, fingerprint and cross-reference the immigration status of people picked up for suspicion of certain crimes, with the goal of deporting "criminal aliens."

At the time of the council vote, many might have assumed most of the people detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement are Hispanic, especially in Texas. But, former Municipal Judge Ramey Ko says the county may also be detaining a large number of Asian Americans. 

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Immigration
11:44 am
Tue July 8, 2014

After Immigration Meeting Rebuff, Perry Accepts Obama's Invite to Dallas Roundtable

President Obama asked Perry to a roundtable discussion with faith leaders and elected officials in Dallas on Wednesday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT and Ben Philpott/KUT

Update: Gov. Perry will meet with President Obama, according to KUT's reporting partner the Texas Tribune. 

“Gov. Perry is pleased that President Obama has accepted his invitation to discuss the humanitarian and national security crises along our southern border, and he looks forward to meeting with the president tomorrow,” Perry spokesman Travis Considine told the Tribune in an email.

Original Post: President Barack Obama has offered to meet Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing influx and detainment of unaccompanied Central American child immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

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Immigration
5:08 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Texas Militias Plan to Patrol the Border Near Laredo

Operation Secure Our Border could head down to the Texas-Mexico border as soon as next week.
Facebook

Militia groups are planning their own response to the recent flood of Central American immigrants across the Texas-Mexico border, according to a San Antonio Express-News report. The initiative called Operation Secure Our Border says it is recruiting armed volunteers to bolster law enforcement and border patrols near Laredo as soon as next week, but that they will not directly engage any so-called "illegals."

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Texas
12:47 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Will You Ride The World's Tallest Water Slide?

A view from the top of the Verrückt water slide's launch point, in a video that showed a recent test of the slide.
Schlitterbahn Development Group

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 11:36 am

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Texas
10:49 am
Fri July 4, 2014

New Braunfels Marine Killed in Afghanistan Will Be Laid to Rest Monday

Sergeant Thomas Spitzer from New Braunfels, Texas.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=833105386715921&set=a.157228300970303.36082.100000494026975&type=1&theater

The body of Marine Sergeant Thomas Spitzer returns home to New Braunfels on Friday.

He was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 25.
The New Braunfels community is taking his loss to heart, not just because he is a local son, but also because his is not the only loss the community has experienced in recent years.

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Immigration
4:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Deportation Threat Doesn't Diminish Young Migrants' U.S. Hopes

Ezequiel Vazquez and his 15-year-old son, Ilbaro, leave a government-run shelter in Guatemala City. Ilbaro was deported from the U.S. after spending six months in a Texas detention facility. He returned with a U.S.- issued duffel bag full of clothes, shoes, books and toys.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 10:23 pm

The Obama administration says it will try to speed up deportations of tens of thousands of children who have illegally entered the U.S. from Central America in recent months. It's part of a stronger message the administration is hoping gets back to would-be migrants contemplating coming to the U.S.

But the message isn't getting through, and even those who have recently been deported say they will try again.

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Border & Immigration
2:35 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Perry Calls for Security & Federal Funds in a Congressional Hearing on Border Crisis

The Texas-Mexico border has become the focal point of a national debate on immigration after a surge in Central American immigrations.
Lorne Matalon Marfa Public Radio

The ongoing surge of Central American immigration into Texas was the focus of a field hearing Thursday of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R - Austin) invited Governor Rick Perry to testify at the hearing in the Rio Grande Valley.

The governor laid out a four-point plan for handling the situation, including increasing National Guard operations, screening immigrants for medical conditions and federal reimbursement of the money Texas has spent on border security.

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Food
1:21 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

H-E-B Cites the Presence of 'Foreign Materials' in Voluntary Beef Recall

H-E-B has issued a voluntary recall for some of its beef products.
Credit Photo courtesy of H-E-B

H-E-B has issued a voluntarily recall of 13 items due to the "possible presence of a foreign material." 

The San Antonio-based grocer said no customers have reported illnesses, but they recalled certain skirt steaks, beef fajitas and stew meats with packaging dates as early as June 9 as a precautionary measure. 

Below is a full list of  affected items.

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