- Galveston, TX Weather :: 34F Fair January 18, 201834F Fair
- Galveston, TX Weather :: 34F Fair January 18, 2018
- Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville will no longer serve as USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center January 18, 2018The Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville will no longer serve as the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center, according to Kerry Perry, the president and CEO of USA Gymnastics."USA Gymnastics has terminated its agreement with the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas. It will no longer serve as the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center," Kerry said. […]
- Rockets' Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green suspended 2 games each for entering Clippers locker room January 18, 2018Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and guard Gerald Green have each been suspended two games without pay following an incident that occurred after the Rockets 113-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.The suspensions were announced by the league and follow its investigation that determined Ariza and Green entered the Clippers locker room […]
- Larry Nassar's abuse victims, in their own words January 17, 2018One by one the women stepped forward to the podium, some fighting back tears, to face their abuser.They were among dozens of victims testifying this week at the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar, a former doctor at Michigan State University who has been convicted of sexually abusing gymnasts and other female athletes -- many of […]
- Katie Couric returning for Winter Olympics opening ceremony January 17, 2018NBC is bringing back Katie Couric to co-host the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics next month.Couric will be co-host with Mike Tirico, who is replacing Bob Costas as prime-time host of the games. The ceremony takes place in South Korea on Feb. 9.She's hosted three Olympic opening ceremonies with Costas, the most recent in […]
- Katie Couric returning for Winter Olympics opening ceremony next month January 17, 2018NBC is bringing back Katie Couric to co-host the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics next month.Couric will be co-host with Mike Tirico, who is replacing Bob Costas as prime-time host of the games. The ceremony takes place in South Korea on Feb. 9.She's hosted three Olympic opening ceremonies with Costas, the most recent in […]
- Astros introduce starting pitcher Gerrit Cole January 17, 2018The Houston Astros officially introduced starting pitcher Gerrit Cole Wednesday afternoon.The 'Stros traded pitchers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, along with third baseman Colin Moran and outfielder Jason Martin to the Pirates in exchange for Cole. The deal was announced Saturday."It was a really good phone call. How do you ask for anything more to […]
- JJ Watt suits up for Houston snow, ice; Texans star shares struggles of cold conditions January 17, 2018Where there was once wonder, there now appears to be some annoyance for Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt when it comes to the Houston snow and ice storm. Watt posted two videos and a photo in his Instagram stories about the extreme freeze and snow since he recently returned from his romantic trip to […]
- Simone Biles says she was a sex abuse victim of ex-USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar January 15, 2018Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles says she is among the athletes sexually abused by a now-imprisoned former USA Gymnastics team doctor.Biles, who won four gold medals and five overall at the 2016 Olympics, released a statement via Twitter on Monday saying she is one of the "many survivors" that were abused by Larry Nassar.PHOTOS: Simone […]
- US Olympic bobsled team includes Houston man January 15, 2018Former Cy-Fair high school and Rice football and track standout Sam McGuffie is one of 12 athletes selected to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men's Bobsled Team to compete in PyeongChang, South Korea in the 13th Winter Olympic Games.The team was announced Monday by USA Bobsled and Skeleton. McGuffie will represent the United States in both […]
- Stunner: Keenum-Diggs TD on last play; Vikes win 29-24 January 15, 2018Case Keenum completed a last-ditch heave near the sideline Sunday on the game's final play, and Stefon Diggs slithered away for a 61-yard touchdown to give Minnesota a 29-24 victory over New Orleans and send the Vikings to the NFC championship game, with one more win needed to become a first-time Super Bowl host.Houstonians react […]
- Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville will no longer serve as USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center January 18, 2018
- After murder-suicide, friends and neighbors ask 'why?' January 18, 2018Flor De Maria Pineda de Cañas shot and killed her husband and two small children before turning the gun on herself in a Galveston resort Jan. 7 according to Galveston police. From left are Pineda and Leonila Olivares of the Iglesia Cristo Viene, a Baytown church. /*. */. Posted: Thursday, January 18, ...
- Energy Sector Update for 01/17/2018: FGP, TAT, TNP.TO, SD, AMGP, STO, BP January 17, 2018Marathon Petroleum ( MPC ) was fractionally higher today following reports the company is eliminating 64 salaried positions at its refinery in Galveston Bay, Texas, refinery as part of efforts to improve efficiency. Marathon began combining operations at Galveston Bay with an adjoining refinery in Texas ...
- Family fun: Pizza, skating and a surfside festival January 17, 2018Information: facebook.com/events/1803529392993192. GALVESTON. Yaga's Chili Quest & Beer Fest. Galveston's annual festival features chili and beer tasting, live music, washers tournament, Jackpot Margarita Contest and merchant walk-about on the Historic Strand. When: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday.
- Marathon cuts employees at Galveston Bay refinery, citing efficiency moves January 17, 2018Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) lays off 64 salaried employees at its Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas, a move the company says is the result of five years of improving efficiency at the refinery. MPC is said to have formally combined operations at the adjoining 86K bbl/day former Texas City refinery ...
- Winter Weather Advisory January 17, 2018The National Weather Service in Houston/Galveston has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for icy roads and bridges, which is in effect until 5 AM CST Wednesday. The Winter Storm Warning has been cancelled. * IMPACTS...Residual moisture on roadways and bridges will freeze and produce icy spots.
- After murder-suicide, friends and neighbors ask 'why?' January 18, 2018
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- League City sets 2018 solid waste collection rates January 17, 2018League City announces that residents and businesses will have an increase in solid waste rates beginning February 1, 2018.
- Hitchcock High School Senior Shares MLK, Jr. Speech January 17, 2018Joseph Collins, a senior at Hitchcock High School Class of 2018, has submitted the text of the speech he wrote for and delivered at the MLK Jr. event at GSMBC.
- Texas A&M Galveston to host American/French Conference on Sargassum January 17, 2018Texas A&M at Galveston will host American/French Conference on Sargassum (Seaweed) and its effects on the Gulf Coast and Caribbean Islands on Thursday and Friday.
- City of La Marque January 17, 2018The City of La Marque has advised that its offices will re-open at 1 p.m. and resume normal operations.
- Village of Tiki Island Board of Aldermen January 17, 2018The Village of Tiki Island Board of Aldermen on Tuesday voted unanimously to adopt a resolution calling for election on May 5 to elect three aldermen.
- City of League City January 17, 2018The City of League City has provided an update regarding the impact of winter weather conditions on city services.
- City of Galveston January 17, 2018The City of Galveston has issued an advisory regarding weather conditions in the city, and has announced that it is re-opening city facilities at 10 a.m. today.
- City of Galveston January 16, 2018The City of Galveston has provided an update regarding winter weather conditions impacting the region.
- City of Friendswood January 16, 2018The City of Friendswood has issued a news release regarding closures in the city related to winter weather conditions.
- League City sets 2018 solid waste collection rates January 17, 2018
- Politics: Lawmakers who previously camped out for hours to shake the president's hand at the State of the Union don't want to be seen with Trump this year 18 Jan 2018 20:48 Pulse Lawmakers usually camp out in the same seat for hours every year in order to shake hands with the president when he enters the House chamber for the annual State of the Union address. But many lawmakers who have held the same seats for years will be …
- Governors ask Trump, Congress to do more on opioid crisis 18 Jan 2018 20:48 AP News / Indystar CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) -- Less than three months after President Donald Trump declared the U.S. opioid crisis a public health emergency, the nation's governors are calling on his administration and Congress to provide more money and coordination for …
- Global Poll Shows U.S. Prestige Plummeting Under Trump 18 Jan 2018 20:47 New York Magazine Throughout his 2016 campaign and the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump made it clear again and again than unlike his globalist predecessors he’d be an “America First” president who didn’t care all that much what non-Americans thought of him and …
- President Trump slams GOP efforts to avert government shutdown 18 Jan 2018 20:47 New York Daily News Online President Trump fired shots across the bow of his own party’s efforts to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, blasting Republican leadership’s decision to include funding for a popular children’s health insurance program. The GOP-drafted bill would …
- The Latest: Trump campaigns, sort of, for PA lawmaker 18 Jan 2018 20:47 Odessa American WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Pennsylvania (all times local): 3:07 p.m. President Donald Trump is promising to return to Pennsylvania to campaign for a state lawmaker who's vying to keep a U.S. House seat in the …
- WATCH LIVE: Donald Trump expected to talk taxes, economy at manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh 18 Jan 2018 20:46 Global News WASHINGTON — A new global survey suggests the world’s impression of the United States is plummeting under President Donald Trump, with Canada registering the largest such decline of any country within the Western Hemisphere. The Gallup polling company …
- Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review: Back to Armageddon 18 Jan 2018 20:45 The Nation The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee returns to the Naval Submarine Base at Kings Bay, Georgia, February 6, 2013. (James Kimber/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters) Thank you for signing up. For more from The Nation, check out our …
- Trump campaigns, sort of, for PA lawmaker 18 Jan 2018 20:44 Brownsville Herald WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Pennsylvania (all times local): 3:07 p.m. President Donald Trump is promising to return to Pennsylvania to campaign for a state lawmaker who's vying to keep a U.S. House seat in the …
- President Trump set to address March for Life live via satellite 18 Jan 2018 20:43 Dialog WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced at her daily press briefing Jan. 17 that President Donald Trump will become the first president to address the March for Life live from the White House Rose Garden via satellite. …
- Analysis: Why the porn-star scandal hasn’t touched Trump 18 Jan 2018 20:41 The Seattle Times The fact that President Donald Trump is so immersed in scandal helps inoculate him against the porn-star story. An aura of scandal and controversy that has hovered around him since early in his campaign has simply absorbed new revelations as they came out …
- Arrests along border dipped sharply under Trump, according to federal data
- Woman with criminal history accused of setting Galveston man on fire turns herself in
- Man’s body found near Seabrook highway
- Officer kills burglary suspect in shootout in La Marque
- Deputy shoots teenage driver after driver attempts to run deputies over
- Gorilla escapes barrier into hog exhibit at Houston Zoo, officials say
- Meet the man who took his daughter out of school early for deer season
- Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Texas churches need to know they can have guns
- In Texas, you probably won’t get welfare benefits; even if you qualify
- Texas reform advocates want to close all state-run youth lockups
- Man exposes himself at tanning salon, League City police search for his identity
- Free Press Summer Festival is changing its name to this
- Assault charge against Johnny Manziel dismissed
- How Texas curtailed traditional welfare without ending poverty
- Texas parents wait in limbo as policymakers struggle to save Children’s Health Insurance Program
- Harris County man wanted for 2006 murder arrested in Mexico
- Members of street gang linked to series of burglaries of Apple products, police say
- Arrest expected soon after Galveston man set on fire, police say
- How Breitbart, Trump and Texas Politicians Spun a Tale out of a Border Patrol Agent’s Death
- Man accused of killing teen with whom he had inappropriate relationship appears in court
- Here’s what’s happening in Harris County now that the sheriff issues bail bonds
- Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halts state’s last execution of 2017
- Houston church threatened by gunman at Sunday’s service
- As Bayer and Monsanto push for merger, Texas farmers fear rising prices
- Civil Offenses: Those Calling for Political Civility Often Have the Least to Lose
- Without recovery funds, more than 50 Texas day cares close after Harvey
- 13-year-old robbery suspect shot in the head by apartment tenant, police say
- Man Mistaken for Burglar, Shot by Police then Shackled to Hospital Bed and Barred from Seeing Family
- Coyote attacks increasing: What you should know
- Postal worker accused of kidnapping, choking and fatally shooting co-worker girlfriend
- Medical marijuana in Texas: What you need to know
- Harris County deputy suspended after striking handcuffed man after chase
- Woman with F-Trump sticker adds Sheriff Troy Nehls to display on truck
- Abbott calls White House’s latest disaster aid request “completely inadequate”
- Former United Airlines pilot pleads guilty to running prostitution ring
- Abbott, Patrick push back on TxDOT’s plans for financing new toll projects
- Trial dates set for ex-deputy, husband charged in John Hernandez’s death
- Cities race to annex land before new Texas law goes into effect Dec. 1
- A “glitch” on U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s website asked for visitors’ Social Security numbers
- Greg Abbott Declares War on Moderate Republicans
- He thought he had a free court-appointed lawyer. Then he got a bill for $10,000
- Man fights to prove he’s alive after bank reports him as deceased
- Scam costs Friendswood man thousands of dollars
- At the Texas Capitol, victims of sexual harassment must fend for themselves
- Human Rights Lawyer on How Government is Complicit in Mexico’s Drug War
- ‘Sean Hannity Show’ fans smash Keurig brewers over pulled ads
- Another woman accuses former President George H.W. Bush of groping
- Student sent home from school bruised, claims PE teacher slammed him onto concrete
- Gov. Greg Abbott endorses primary challenger to state Rep. Sarah Davis
- Analysis: A media exec in Texas politics, not quite ready for prime time
- Police dogs trained to ignore marijuana
- Former HPD officer accused of tampering with evidence makes first court appearance
- Rent-to-own complaints spur investigation by federal agency
- HPD officer accused of tampering with evidence
- Joel Osteen impersonator breaches security at Los Angeles event
- Former ‘All My Children’ star arrested in Galveston
- Cornyn and Cruz under pressure over allegations in Alabama Senate race
- Family’s beloved pony shot to death in Liberty County
- Coastal officials say feds failing Harvey victims on short-term housing
- 22 Houston gang members indicted for multiple violent crimes, officials say
- The Faith-Tinged Fatalism of Greg Abbott’s Response to Texas’ Deadliest Mass Shooting
- Execution date set for Sugar Land man on death row
- Trump in Japan…
- Free of criminal charges, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes says she was victimized
- With no state-approved textbooks, Texas ethnic studies teachers make do
- Texas back in federal court over anti-“sanctuary cities” law
- Clara Harris granted parole for husband’s murder
- Coast Guard searching area near Freeport after boat catches fire, sinks
- Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez emerges as potential challenger to Gov. Greg Abbott
- With Trump Cuts, Obamacare Enrollment is a Volunteer Affair in Rural Texas
- Explosion at vodka distillery burns 3 in north Harris County
- Documents: Texas National Guard Installed Cellphone Spying Devices on Surveillance Planes
- Police increase reward for information in case of child’s body found on Galveston beach
- Meet Nueces County’s New DA, a Self-Professed ‘Mexican Biker Lawyer Covered in Tattoos’
- Leon Jacob, man accused in murder-for-hire plot, faces new charge
- The Brief: The deadliest mass shooting in Texas history
- Counterprotesters say white supremacists, not Russian Facebook ads, drew them to rally
- What we know about Texas church shooter
- Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constable shot several times, officials say
- $500 million in Ike relief is still unspent. Will Texas do better after Harvey?
- Prosecutor asks for current medical standards in death penalty evaluations
- How to earn quick cash by flipping items
- Rick Perry ties fossil fuel use to sexual assault prevention
- Abbott Supports Removing Inaccurate Capitol Displays. Do Slavery-Denying Plaques Count?
- A Russian Facebook page organized a protest in Texas. A different Russian page launched the counter-protest.
- 24 Texas Dairy Queens closing after franchise company files for bankruptcy
- USDA Rolls Back ‘Fair Practice’ Rule That Would’ve Protected Texas Chicken Farmers
- Trump nominating Ryan Patrick, son of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to be U.S. attorney
- Fired in 2009, football coach Mike Leach still rages at Texas Tech and Texas law
- Texas Toxicologist Who Rejects Basic Science Appointed to EPA Science Board
- Abbott presses Congress for an extra $61 billion to rebuild after Harvey
- The ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Ban Has Already Reshaped Some Police Department Policies
- Hurricane Harvey flood looters exposed
- U.S. Supreme Court examines investigatory funding in Texas death penalty case
- Who’s Defending Texas’ Confederate Monuments?
- Kicking in doors and crushing credit: How a Texas-based retailer torments customers
- Harris County jailer accused of letting prisoner attack fellow inmate
- House Democrat: Abbott supports removing Confederate plaque from Texas Capitol
- Legislators mull changing Texas law allowing criminal charges against rent-to-own customers
- Houston woman’s daughter stranded at sea with another woman for 5 months
- ‘Fail State’ Delves into the Shadowy World of For-Profit Colleges
- Grambling State student charged in double homicide
- How renting furniture in Texas can land you in jail
- ‘Wedding crasher’ says she never attacked guest, apologizes to bride and groom
- Something Yuuuge was Missing From Franklin Graham’s Waco Revival
- Family: Florida deputy caught on camera breaking into dying man’s home
- Federal government rolls out eight border wall prototypes
- In ‘The Second Coming of the KKK,’ a Timely Lesson in the History of American Hate
- US launches ‘most advanced’ stealth sub amid undersea rivalry
- Houston man identified as victim of barge explosion near Port Aransas, officials say
- Controversial Halloween decoration in Katy leads to threats against homeowner
- What does boycotting Israel have to do with Hurricane Harvey relief?
- Rep. Dawnna Dukes cleared of criminal charges, attorneys say
- $5,000 reward being offered in shooting that caused man to lose his legs
- Tornado leaves trail of damage in two Dickinson neighborhoods, NWS says
- Former HPD officer indicted in 2016 shooting of unarmed neighbor
- State Rep. Victoria Neave pleads no contest to June DWI charge
- Texas attorney general opens investigation Into Harvey debris removal companies
- Police: 3 Texas men arrested after shot fired at Richard Spencer protesters
- Perry pursuing policy on coal, nuclear power at odds with Texas record
- Cornyn: Trump assured me more Harvey aid for Texas coming in November
- Dallas Fed CEO: Technology, not trade or immigration, is main reason for job loss
- Immigrant Workers in Texas Could Fill Farm Vacancies, but They’re Trapped in the Valley
- Texas Cities Embrace a Softer Approach to Pot Possession as State Reforms Stall
- This man robbed woman who was 9 months pregnant, shot her husband, authorities say
- Ex-KIPP Explore Academy staffer arrested after accusations of child indecency
- U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson walks back comments on sexual assault
- Who is this mystery man? Galveston woman begins search to find apparent veteran’s identity
- U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders face off in tax code debate
- A look back at Colt Stadium, the home of the Colt 45s
- After Failing to Prop Up Coal in Texas, Rick Perry is Trying Again Nationwide
- Potential new murder confession delays Texas serial killer’s execution
- Texas court halts execution to review claims that co-defendant lied at trial
- How much are property taxes in Houston going down next year?
- Cruz presses Sessions on Trump administration’s “catch-and-release” policy
- Federal Prisons Don’t Even Try to Rehabilitate the Undocumented
- Three teens charged with murder after missing teen’s body found
- Houston serial killer faces execution this week
- Insurance company accused of delayed response to storm claims
- Some Texas Republicans in Congress again outraised by challengers
- To fund bid against Ted Cruz, former mayor puts up building as prize in “essay and rib contest”
- U.S. House passes hurricane relief bill after tense day for Texas delegation, Abbott
- It’s Time to End Austin’s Failed Experiment in Police Oversight, Activists Say
- Prosecutors drop 1 of 13 felony charges against Rep. Dawwna Dukes
- League City mayor hospitalized after heart attack
- ICE Detained a Pregnant Rape Survivor for Six Months, Records Show
- Husband, wife each lose leg after hit-and-run crash in Waller County
- Temporary bans placed on fishing near site of busted cap
- Texas man travels to Orlando to sexually assault 9-year-old girl, police say
- Mom, older brother charged after 11-year-old found smoking meth
- Days from execution, man convicted in prison guard’s murder insists on innocence
- Truck involved in multiple accidents leaves 1 dead, 1 injured in Texas City, police say
- $1M worth of iPads mostly unused after being purchased for local elections
- Woman caught on camera stomping small dog inside elevator
- How much has been raised for Harvey relief — and how’s it being spent?
- The Case to End Assembly Line Justice for Poor People in Harris County
- Mother, son charged in murder-for-hire plot
- How scammers are using homeowners to defraud FEMA
- Police find man’s body stuffed in closet after victim ‘tortured’ to death
- In historic win, charters getting state funding for facilities for the first time
- Dreamers greet DACA renewal deadline with anxiety and unanswered questions
- Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial is delayed for a third time
- Judge blocks Texas secretary of state from giving voter information to Trump commission
- East Texas county sues drug companies, alleges role in opioid crisis
- North Korean workers prepare seafood for U.S. stores, restaurants
- 3 Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees indicted in assault cases
- Reward raised for man on Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list
- Texas business mogul Mark Cuban offers details for hypothetical 2020 presidential run
- Woman accused of killing taxi driver appears in court
- Texas death row inmate Duane Buck has sentence reduced to life after Supreme Court orders retrial
- Hearing in Paxton case to consider delaying trial for third time
- Appellate judges show concern over Harris County bail practices, court ruling
- 28 organizations that got money from the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
- Pasadena drops appeal, will remain under federal oversight of election laws
- Almost 400,000 Texans’ insurance at risk after Congress fails to renew CHIP
- How Harris County’s federal bail lawsuit spreads beyond Houston
- HHS Secretary Tom Price resigns amid criticism of his travel on private planes
- Houston mayor calls off property tax hike after Abbott delivers $50 million
- ‘I’m just gonna shoot him if things go sideways,’ cop tells college student during traffic stop
- Hearing set for Friday in wrongful death suit in John Hernandez case
- Aide found half-naked after sexual contact with student, deputies say
- Thousands of Poor Texans Could Lose Health Care With Congress Distracted by ACA Repeal
- Slideshow: For southeast Texas, recovery after Harvey is slow
- Even Hurricane Harvey Can’t Temper GOP Hostility Toward Texas’ Big Cities
- Murder suspect arrested in 27-year-old ‘killer clown’ shooting married to victim’s husband
- Texas attorney general now accepting complaints on “sanctuary” jurisdictions
- Abbott: Houston has enough funding for Harvey recovery
- U.S. House passes tax breaks for victims of Harvey, Irma and Maria
- New state law seeks to reduce the number of child brides in Texas
- Texas can enforce more of ‘sanctuary cities’ law
- Florida trooper accused of showing porn to child
- Town mayor facing assault charges
- 13-year-old accused in kidnapping and rape plot
- Hensarling to flood victims: ‘God’s telling you to move’
- Body Cam Policies in Texas Exacerbate a System Designed to Protect Police, Critics Say
- Army vet shown walking after claiming he couldn’t owes government $434K
- Analysis: X-factor in 2018’s Texas elections might be Harvey, not Donald
- Federal appeals court to hear arguments on Texas “sanctuary cities” law Friday
- Texas teens to be trained next year on police interactions
- Newlyweds say DJ robbed wedding cash
- How Galveston is offering a free beach weekend
- Lyft ride leads to hate crime charge for Houston man
- Florida woman makes ‘sexy’ plea to get power back after Hurricane Irma
- Report: Indicted state Rep. Dawnna Dukes spent $51k on online psychic
- Report: Trump’s judicial nominee from Texas called transgender kids part of “Satan’s plan”
- Hospital workers in hot water over Snapchat video, picture calling newborns ‘mini Satans’
- How some see Texas as the “gold standard” against wrongful convictions
- New leak discovered on Battleship Texas
- Texas House Speaker Joe Straus calls for removal of “inaccurate” Confederate plaque
- Hey, Texplainer: How is FEMA distributing money to areas hit by Harvey?
- Friendswood man accused of raking in nearly $2 million in decadelong pay-phone scheme
- Mayor Sylvester Turner has strong words for Red Cross after problems surface
- Trump Nominee to FEC Tried to Shred Texas’ Already-Weak Ethics Laws
- Dad in clown mask shot at while chasing daughter through neighborhood
- As a result of Hurricane Harvey, 600 more Texas prisoners getting AC
- Trooper fired for Sandra Bland stop: “My safety was in jeopardy.”
- Mysterious sea creature that washed up on Texas beach after Harvey identified
- Within days, this Austin company hopes to start legally growing marijuana
- Former officer accused of stealing $2,400 from dead man indicted on theft charges
- 135,000 gallons of sludge released into Galveston Bay after equipment failure, officials say
- Post-Harvey, Houston officials hope Congress is up for funding Ike Dike
- Ex-husband strangled Baytown realtor while children in next room, prosecutors say
- Pizza Hut manager threatened workers evacuating for Irma
- The Road to Huntsville
- Now you can carry any knife (almost) anywhere in Texas
- In beleaguered La Marque schools, Harvey stirs up old anxieties
- Flooded cars already being put up for sale
- Trump Nominates Lawyers from Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Group to be Texas Federal Judges
- Man survives being shot 16 times outside southwest Houston home
- Floridians jam highways to flee wrath of Hurricane Irma
- U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul again top contender to be Trump’s homeland security chief
- Experts: Much of Harvey-Related Air Pollution was Preventable
- Texans in Congress aim for united front ahead of long fight for Harvey aid
- Texas churches damaged during Harvey sue FEMA for federal funding
- Amazon wants to open $5 billion second HQ in North America
- New law allows hunting hogs from hot air balloons, but few balloonists will offer it
- New texting while driving ban full of loopholes
- Woman urinates herself, yells racial slurs during DUI arrest, police say
- Police shoot, kill tiger running loose in neighborhood
- What to do if your vehicle flooded during Hurricane Harvey
- House overwhelmingly passes $7.9 billion Harvey aid bill
- Selena’s family mourning the death of Houston relatives killed in Harvey flooding
- Trump ending immigration program that has impacted more than 120,000 in Texas
- Cinco Ranch flood victims demand buyout from federal government
- The Impossible City
- Our Lady of the Underground
- Texas officials see long road from Harvey for state transportation network
- Officials are starting to grapple with the costs of Harvey. Here’s what you should know today.
- Thanks to their State Rep, Friendswood Family Rushes to File Insurance Claim for their Flooded Home
- President Trump to visit Houston today to survey Harvey destruction
- As floodwaters continue to rise in Lake Jackson, crews come in to help with evacuees
- Residents being warned of people impersonating city of Houston, FEMA inspectors
- Renters find issues with flood-damaged units, property
- Crosby plant explosion highlights state efforts to block access to chemical information
- Where the government spends to keep people in flood-prone Houston neighborhoods
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: No special session needed for Harvey aid
- Five days after Harvey, here’s where things stand in Texas
- Harvey brings catastrophic flooding to Houston; 5 reported dead
- Trump pardons former Sheriff Joe Arpaio
- Why Houston isn’t ready for Hurricane Harvey
- Judge Emmett, Mayor Turner say ignore ‘rumors’ about Hurricane Harvey
- Galveston Island prepares for Harvey’s impact
- Former Galveston ISD teacher accused of having sex with high school student
- Galveston deputy accused of assaulting girlfriend, investigators say
- In San Antonio, Cops Punch Down
- The Brief: Battle lines are (curiously) drawn in Texas’ redistricting fight
- Analysis: Firing the opening shots in the 2018 GOP primaries
- As Houston plots a sustainable path forward, it’s leaving this neighborhood behind
- Harris County emergency officials preparing for tropical system Harvey
- Federal court puts hold on Houston ordinance aimed at homeless camps
- Puppy attacked by pet store owner’s dog
- Mother left kids in hot car while she drank at bar, police say
- Angela Paxton, Texas attorney general’s wife, eyes Texas Senate run
- US imposes sanctions on Russian, Chinese firms over North Korea
- Parents’ plea for help in finding teenage couple missing for 48 hours
- 2 women claim they were groped by local massage therapist
- Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller criticizes Six Flags’ removal of Confederate flag
- El Paso City Council votes down city ID program
- League City Man Sentenced to 6 Years for Online Solicitation of a non-existent Minor
- UT-Austin removing Confederate statues in the middle of the night
- Galveston County Deputies Prevent Jumper on Bridge at 646 & I-45
- Dickinson Cops use Facebook to Catch a Burglar Named Jesus
- Evading Theft Suspects Taken Into Custody After Causing Accident in League City
- Father faces charges after he and missing boy found at hotel, authorities say
- Confederate Monument Protest Draws Hundreds in Houston
- Former HPD officer among those arrested in prostitution sting
- Mother charged with murder after child ejected during drunken driving crash
- Over 250 sex buyers, traffickers arrested on prostitution charges during sting
- Remember the Alamo (Differently)
- Your phone’s Bluetooth can locate illegal skimmer devices
- With Supreme Court appeal, Texas wants to keep congressional map intact
- Dallas, Houston Protests Planned as Confederate Monuments Under Fire in Texas
- With Trump’s Infrastructure Plan, Rural Texas Could be Left in Disrepair
- Body found in Bayou Vista while searching for woman who disappeared under ‘suspicious circumstances’
- South Florida woman accused of DUI with 3-year-old unbuckled in back seat
- Deputies: Mother tells son to buy her drugs
- HPD officer relieved of duty after DWI charge, officials say
- Abbott: Removing Confederate monuments “won’t erase our nation’s past”
- Prosecution rests at trial of woman accused in 2012 death of husband
- Confederate statue controversy hits Houston
- Selena’s brother taken into custody after landing on most wanted list
- In special session rubble, spotlight shines bright on Straus
- President Trump disbands White House business councils as CEOs leave
- Video shows deadly jailbreak; Man who pleaded guilty in deputy’s death sentenced to life
- Fisherman hooks gator in Buffalo Bayou
- Squatters or scam victims? Homeowner finds another family living in home
- Charges sought against those who toppled Confederate statue
- Houston group asks mayor to remove Confederate statue from downtown park
- Federal court invalidates part of Texas congressional map
- Texas to receive millions in federal funding for wildlife conservation projects
- How a total solar eclipse created France, Italy and Germany
- Deputies Go Unpunished for Invasive Cavity Search on Houston Roadside
- Florida man gets 6 years for firing gun during strip club selfie
- Map details where Texas hate groups are in 2017
- Man blames ‘hookah-smoking caterpillar’ for wrecking liquor store, police say
- ‘I feel like I was raped,’ woman says of invasive roadside strip search
- New Mexico Bandidos members held in Texas in firearms case
- Man, 57, commits suicide after shooting juveniles during road-rage incident, police say
- Mother charged with child abandonment after newborn found in flower bed
- President Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis as ‘thugs’
- Woman hit, killed by Houston garbage truck while crossing street
- Legislature advances annexation bill to Gov. Abbott
- 2 Teens Who Attacked Man Shot After Auto Accident in Galveston
- White nationalist rally, counter protest planned at Texas A&M on Sept. 11
- Hundreds Clash over Confederate Monument in San Antonio
- Greenspoint Mall to close in 60 days, sources say
- Texas House approves “compromise” city annexation bill
- Asps — poisonous, stinging caterpillars — back in season
- Texas bathroom bill appears to be all but dead in special session
- Gator spotted on Galveston County road
- After 2015 legalization, Texans may be able to buy medical cannabis oil by January
- Conroe Chief of Police asked to leave doctor’s office
- Law Enforcement Increasingly Opposed to Abbott’s Agenda
- Meet the Expert Who Helps Texas Cops Justify Extreme Behavior
- Baytown woman charged in two La Porte road-rage incidents
- FBI agents searched former Trump campaign chair’s home
- Special Session a ‘Battle Royal’ for Dominionists Who Seek Christian Rule
- Zoo employee accused of sex with 14-year-old boy
- New requirement for Texas driver’s license begins soon
- With 8 days left in special session, Texas House and Senate remain far apart
- What you need to know if your vehicle is flooded
- City of Houston applies for FEMA grant to help elevate homes in flood-prone areas
- Commissioners vote to ban swimming, fishing in San Luis Pass
- Texas backs Wisconsin in battle to protect partisan gerrymandering
- SE Houston gas pump appears to charge customers after they are done filling up
- Carjacking suspect accused of shooting father multiple times sentenced to 171 months in prison
- 4 arrested in connection with 2 deadly shootings in Montgomery County
- 1 drowns, 2 injured in incident at San Luis Pass
- 1 arrested, 1 on the run in linked cases of Spring nurse found dead, missing UH student
- Near Drowning at Bacliff Chase Park Pool
- Drunk Wrong Way Driver Arrested in Dickinson
- Lasker Park Community Swimming Pool to Open on August 15th
- Man accused of touching girls’ buttocks in back-to-school aisle at Walmart
- Rare pink dolphin spotted in Louisiana waterway
- Woman found hiding in bed of pickup truck says she ‘was just looking at the stars’
- Amazon sells out of toilet paper with Trump’s tweets
- Teen home invasion suspect killed, man on the run in Baytown
- Houston man last seen throwing life jacket to daughter before going underwater at Canyon Lake
- Deadly dare: 8-year-old girl dies after drinking boiling water
- 2nd Man In Robbery Spree Gets 20 Years Prison
- Oklahoma to seek death penalty against William Reese
- 4 officers taken to hospital after 2 patrol units run into each other, police say
- STATE LEGISLATURE PUTTING THE BRAKES ON TEXAS CITY ANNEXING SAN LEON WITHOUT SAN LEON RESIDENTS APPROVAL:
- 2 men charged in teen girl’s shooting death in Bacliff
- Weed company buys town in hopes of creating pot-friendly tourist destination
- Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick calls city governments the source of “all our problems in America”
- Man, 25, arrested for DWI after crashing into patrol car, deputies say
- Texas man snags “bucket list” 12-foot tiger shark off Padre Island
- Chauna Thompson, deputy terminated in wake of Denny’s choking death, appeals firing
- Humble ISD police officer accused of child pornography
- Angry woman robs cellphone store with large gun
- Dalia Dippolito discusses prison break in recorded jail call after recent conviction
- Tiny mermaid-painted shed drifted 200 miles in Gulf of Mexico
- Uber ride turns into nightmare for recent Texas A&M graduate
- ‘Sugar daddy’ banned from beaches after handing out provocative cards
- Business owners fight against crime in Chinatown
- 14-year-old girl clocked driving 107 mph during chase in Montgomery County
- Fight outside Spire Nightclub ends in crash, shooting
- When school’s out, rural Texas towns struggle to feed their hungry kids
- Guided bus tour of Houston’s strip clubs, massage parlors sheds light on human-trafficking business
- NASA looking to hire officer to protect earth from alien harm
- In Texas House, property tax proposals range from minor tweaks to abolishment
- Man exposes himself to woman outside fitness center, police say
- Man accused of robbing people who post items on buy, sell sites
- What it means for Texas colleges if Trump targets affirmative action
- ‘Cash Me Outside’ girl sentenced for stealing mother’s car, using her credit cards
- President Trump signs bill imposing sanctions on Russia
- Wife shoots, kills husband after finding him with another woman, police say
- Humble restaurant employees accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls
- Family reunited with dog 3+ years after it went missing
- Angleton animal sanctuary facing fines after filing lawsuit
- Woman finds evidence bag full of marijuana at neighborhood park
- State Rep. Dawnna Dukes declines deal from Travis County District Attorney
- Report: Texas could lose billions if new immigration enforcement law stands
- Texas’ War on Local Control is Part of National Trend
- Wife of accused gunman dies after double shooting that led to innocent woman’s death
- ‘Ghost forests’ appearing from Canada to Texas
- Man charged after leaving crash that left motorcycle rider in critical condition, police say
- Flight in Vegas delayed by naked passenger, officials say
- Galveston’s Pleasure Pier ride Revolution shut down temporarily
- How often do shark attacks happen in Texas waters?
- Naked bank robbery suspect tosses stolen money
- Harris County officials continue crackdown on unlicensed after-hour bars
- Wife: Disagreement over Trump contributed to divorce from state attorney
- Kingwood native torches 8 cars after wedding called off, police say
- HPD officer hit by car, plunges 16 feet off Southwest Freeway
- Texas executes man who claimed his lawyers committed fraud
- Woman arrested on suspicion of posting ‘revenge porn’ online
- Statue honoring Alvin’s hometown hero, Nolan Ryan, topples
- Man arrested after showing porn to child at supermarket, authorities say
- Underage woman claims she was raped after being served at Houston-area restaurant
- The Woodlands teens accused of Florida crime spree after posting Snapchat videos
- La Marque residents asked to boil water after order issued
- Man who fled to Mexico after murder charge 21 years ago arrested trying to re-enter US
- Texas Senate passes bill to allow people to vote on whether a city can annex them
- Spring man caught filming up skirts arrested on child porn, invasive photography charges
- One-armed, machete-wielding clown arrested, police say
- Despite Knowledge of Climate Change in 1970s, Texas Utility Companies Funded Climate Denial
- Venus Williams accuses 78-year-old man killed in crash of not wearing seat belt
- Scammers target college students eager for scholarship money
- Woman accused of kidnapping baby while hitchhiking
- Every Texan in the U.S. House just voted for sanctions against Russia
- Man accused of producing child pornography
- Persistence pays off for rural Texans besieged by sky-high power prices
- Man accused of beating dog with crow bar
- 2 charged with prostitution after offering sex acts to undercover constables, authorities say
- Senate votes to start debate on health care bill
- Harris County pastor charged with sexual abuse of a child
- Trump’s New Immigration Lockup Draws Local Opposition in Conroe
- Set for execution, death row inmate alleges legal fraud in hopes of a stay
- Concerns raised over new Harris County bail system
- Crooks return to rob dentist office after police leave
- 2 throw drugs out window during high-speed chase, police say
- 5 arrested after drugs, gun, money seized from Magnolia home
- 15 years later, Clara Harris remains in state prison for husband’s murder
- Woman, 91, kicked out of Sunnyside home
- Congressman: If female GOP senators were South Texas men, I’d challenge them to a duel
- Turning Tail
- Death toll in San Antonio immigrant-smuggling case rises to 10
- Ex-Mexican drug cartel leader gets 30 years in US prison
- Kushner’s statement on Russia: What to know
- Analysis: In special session, Texas Senate’s the hare, House is the tortoise
- Texas Senate panel targets mail-in ballot fraud after high-profile case
- Drunk Driver Sentenced to 50 Years for Fatal Crash
- Tanker Crew Rescues 5 In Capsized Boat
- Man Sentenced to 45 Years on Drug Charges
- After Texas “human trafficking crime,” Lt. Gov. Patrick lauds sanctuary city law
- Charges possible in disturbing Florida drowning case
- Texas Senate committee OKs bill to outlaw city cellphone restrictions
- Texas Senate panel approves teacher bonuses, retirement benefits
- Carjacking suspect opens fire on officer during chase in SW Houston
- Man, 2 children killed in crash in NE Houston
- Katy woman arrested for DWI after man follows, records her erratic driving
- Mickey Mouse mask-wearing burglar caught on camera breaking into 2 stores
- Houston pastor Victoria Osteen says she does not endorse skin care product
- Senate committee passes bills on private school choice and school finance study
- Bill limiting city, county spending fuels war over local control
- Woman, 93, dragged during carjacking at church, police say
- Trans Texans, Advocates Swarm Texas Capitol to Oppose ‘Bathroom Bills’ (Again)
- Man admits to killing 14-year-old half-brother, authorities say
- Monkey on the loose in south Houston after attacking girl, police say
- ‘Million Dollar Ho’ arrested in Florida prostitution sting
- Turner reopens bids for recycling contract to 4 companies
- District attorney to pursue death penalty against 4 suspects
- Houston woman charged in connection with ransom scheme
- Pastor in The Woodlands accused of prostitution
- Academy Sports + Outdoors laying off 100 employees
- 1 dead after shooting at NW Harris County apartments
- Kay Bailey Hutchison vows toughness on Russia as NATO ambassador
- Conroe horse-riding trainer accused of sexually assaulting child
- Environmental groups sue EPA over lax Texas air pollution permits
- Abbott adds school finance, retired teacher benefits to special session
- Bodycam allegedly shows Baltimore cop planting drugs
- Key events in OJ Simpson’s fall from sports hero, movie star
- Heat is part of life at Texas prisons, but federal judge orders one to cool it
- Growing health trend bypasses doctors’ offices for diagnosis, treatment
- HPD chief answers questions about Josue Flores murder case
- Sarah Davis wants more information about “misconduct” at TABC
- Texas Bill Would Revoke Medical License of Doctors Who Perform Abortions
- Senate gives early OK to must-pass “sunset” legislation
- Lead singer of The Suffers featured in national campaign
- Man wanted in 2016 fraud case
- Couple arrested for second time for impersonating Adele’s manager, police say
- Mexico says electronic device checks on US flights begin
- Dancing with Denial
- Teen shot at high school party at AirBNB house in southwest Houston
- Toll road drivers getting fed up with erroneous charges
- Trump administration: Trust Texas on voter education spending
- Baby dies after being infected with cold sore virus through kiss, parents say
- 24 firearms stolen after Texian Firearms robbed twice in one day
- Texas Republicans in Congress process health care bill’s collapse
- Florida man arrested after reporting cocaine stolen, deputies say
- Teens arrested after Facebook Live video of 23-year-old woman’s assault
- Girl, 17, fires shot at intruder while chasing him out of her house
- Police: Aunt charged after leaving young neice, nephew in hot car outside grocery store
- Texas Senate moves to fast-track special session agenda
- President Trump: ‘Let Obamacare fail’
- Why the murder charge against the Texas police officer who killed Jordan Edwards is rare
- What happens if Congress fails to repeal Obamacare?
- Four Texas Republicans in Congress were just outraised by Democratic challengers
- After killing the manufacturing industry, US govt has now killed the Tourism Industry. Nobody wants to come to the land of CIA false flags, ripoff healthcare, violence, prisons and police shootings. January 18, 2018submitted by /u/md392838 [link] [comments]/u/md392838
- Carol Rosin, who worked with Wernher von Braun claims he told her false flags would progress from Communists, to terrorists, to asteroids, to aliens. He told her "Carol, the last card is the alien card. We are going to have to build space-based weapons against aliens and all of it is a lie." January 18, 2018submitted by /u/Question_History [link] [comments]/u/Question_History
- "It should be noted that along with the U.S. establishment press, the Trump administration is a frequent source of false information." WikiLeaks on Twitter. Thoughts? January 18, 2018submitted by /u/paulie_purr [link] [comments]/u/paulie_purr
- Anon predicts Michigan Meteor January 18, 2018submitted by /u/jakebreak [link] [comments]/u/jakebreak
- Assange Keeps Warning Of AI Censorship, And It’s Time We Started Listening January 18, 2018submitted by /u/austintexasusa [link] [comments]/u/austintexasusa
- If you see a post that is blatantly (and I mean blatantly) racist, sexist, and filled with jew-hate, odds are it's a shill post to make the community look bad to lurkers and newbies. January 18, 2018They will often use abrasive language in their posts, with a sprinkling of obscenities and racist rhetoric. These posts are spammed here on purpose by shills, to discredit the community at large. They want to try and make our culture look as unappealing to the average normie as possible, so as to inhibit any new […]/u/PaintThinnerss
- The average lifespan for ALS is 4 years. Stephen Hawking has had it for over 50 years. Please explain. January 18, 2018The second longest person to ever live with ALS was 20 years. Stephen is pushing over 50? What the fuck submitted by /u/777dot [link] [comments]/u/777dot
- Trump supported marijuana legalization before being President. January 18, 2018submitted by /u/totallynotsnowden [link] [comments]/u/totallynotsnowden
- Point your cameras/telescopes skyward. Seems like its time to watch the skies more carefully January 18, 2018If there really is something to all the recent mysterious launches, meteors, booms, false missile alarms i think its time that people accelerate their efforts to not only watch the skies but capture and catalog anything of interest. If several people, miles apart can capture the same thing in high quality, that would help get […]/u/Amazonistrash
- We live inside a scripted reality. Literally. January 18, 2018(An “upvote”, tho silly sounding, can help these words reach the Others of Us, our Friends, the awake ones. A sign we are strong & many. If you downvote this, think about why. If you’re getting paid to, I guess that’s another issue altogether.) The public figures are actors. Politicians to mainstream documentary subjects to […]/u/CollectiveHoney
- Is anyone else in disbelief of the state of our world? January 18, 2018I am young but was brought up at least before technology became an insanely integrated part of life. I thought I was a nerd playing gameboy at age 8, but I see 4 year olds spending their whole day in front of the ipad. We have insane advancements in technology, computers are magnificent, yet there […]/u/asaddddddddeeeeeee2
- L.A. County sheriff's deputy is charged with selling drugs and offering to hire other cops to protect dealers January 18, 2018submitted by /u/salvia_d [link] [comments]/u/salvia_d
- NBC Crew in Hawaii Bunker Hours Before False Alert January 18, 2018submitted by /u/peyote_the_coyote [link] [comments]/u/peyote_the_coyote
- 100 Victims Testify in Court Over Massive Child Molestation Cover-Up in USA Gymnastics January 18, 2018submitted by /u/conspiracyseeker [link] [comments]/u/conspiracyseeker
- This is how bad ad tracking has gotten. they read your reddit posts. January 18, 2018submitted by /u/fight_for_anything [link] [comments]/u/fight_for_anything
- After killing the manufacturing industry, US govt has now killed the Tourism Industry. Nobody wants to come to the land of CIA false flags, ripoff healthcare, violence, prisons and police shootings. January 18, 2018
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Author Archives: Julián Aguilar
Federal border and immigration officials said Tuesday that the number of people caught trying to enter the country illegally reached near-historic lows during the government’s 2017 fiscal year, which ended on Sept 30.
Yet the number of unaccompanied minors and families who were apprehended or turned themselves in continues to plague border agents – even amid President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.
U.S. Border Patrol agents made 310,531 apprehensions while Customs and Border Protection officers recorded 216,370 inadmissible cases, according to year-end statistics. (The federal government defines an “inadmissible” person as a migrant who tries to enter the country legally at a port of entry but is rejected, or a person seeking humanitarian protection under current laws.)
That represents a 24 percent decline since the 2016 fiscal year. The federal government’s fiscal year runs from October to September, and the 2017 numbers include the last three full months of the Obama administration.
Of the 310,531 apprehensions nationwide, about 304,000 occurred on the nation’s southwestern border.
During a conference call with reporters, Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello said that “loopholes” in current law continue to lure unaccompanied minors and family units to the United States. Since at least 2013, the majority of the those immigrants have come from Central America, a trend that continued in 2017. Data show that the Texas-Mexico border continues to be the most popular choice for illegal entry by that group of crossers.
Current law mandates that unaccompanied minors from countries not contiguous with the United States be processed by the federal government and placed in custody or with a temporary guardian, as opposed to being immediately deported. Some lawmakers have said that acts as a magnet for illegal migration because some cases won’t be adjudicated for years due to a backlog in immigration court.
Though the number of unaccompanied minors apprehended in the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector dipped to 23,700 in 2017 – a 35 percent drop from 2016 – the sector was the most active compared to other border sectors. That area saw a steady stream of undocumented immigrant families. There were about 49,900 people apprehended as part of family units in that sector, compared to 52,000 in 2016.
Meanwhile the El Paso sector, which includes New Mexico, saw a 52 percent increase in family unit apprehensions, from 5,664 people to 8,609 people. But the Laredo sector saw about a 50 percent drop, from 1,640 to 865.
Despite the overall dip in apprehensions, Department of Homeland Security officials said the constant stream of illegal crossers shows why a barrier is still needed on the southwestern border. In October, the Trump administration announced that Customs and Border Protection had completed construction of eight border wall prototypes.
Attorneys for the state of Texas are set to head back before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Tuesday to defend the state’s new immigration enforcement law, Senate Bill 4, against charges that the measure is discriminatory and violates the U.S. Constitution.
But the Texas attorney general’s office enters the courtroom with some wind at its back after a three-judge panel of the court allowed parts of the controversial law to go into effect in late September.
Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 4 into law in May, but several local governments, including the cities of Houston, Austin, San Antonio and El Cenizo, as well as Maverick and El Paso counties, filed suit to block the measure from going into effect.
As passed, SB 4 allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and punishes local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration “detainers” — requests by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation — in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in late August halted several parts of the bill, including the provision that requires jail officials to honor all detainers. He also blocked other sections that prohibit local entities from pursuing “a pattern or practice that ‘materially limits’ the enforcement of immigration laws” and another that prohibits “assisting or cooperating” with federal immigration officers as reasonable or necessary. He did not block the part of the bill that says police chiefs, sheriffs and other department heads cannot forbid officers from questioning a person’s immigration status.
The state of Texas countered after Garcia’s ruling and asked a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit to lift Garcia’s ruling while the case played out. The panel ruled the detainer provision could stand but the part that requires local jails to “comply with, honor and fulfill” detainers does not require detention based on every detainer issued. The panel also determined that law enforcement officers, including campus police, with “authority that may impact immigration” cannot be prevented from assisting federal immigration officers.
Attorneys will argue on Tuesday on whether Garcia’s initial injunction should be in effect until he rules on the substance of SB 4 in its entirety.
Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which is representing several of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said among the issues is whether SB 4 violates the First Amendment.
Opponents say the law’s language prohibits law enforcement officers from speaking out against SB 4 or crafting policies that don’t focus on immigration enforcement. They also claim the law violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which states that immigration laws are a federal — not a state — responsibility.
Perales said issues related to the Fourth Amendment — prohibiting illegal search and seizure — could also arise because the previous panel allowed the bulk of the detainer provision to stand. At issue, she said, is “whether SB 4’s mandatory detainer provision could force counties — primarily [the government entities] with jails — to violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights.”
During a conference call with reporters last week, MALDEF president and general counsel Thomas Saenz said there’s no way to predict when a ruling will be made after Tuesday’s arguments.
“They can take as long as they would like. In the meantime, Judge Garcia’s injunction, as modified by the [three-judge panel’s ruling], will remain the law until this panel makes its decision,” he said.
But the 5th Circuit’s eventual ruling might not be the last word, Saenz added, because either side could petition the U.S. Supreme Court to make the final determination on whether Texas can craft its own immigration-enforcement provisions and how far-reaching they can be.
A spokesperson in Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment about Tuesday’s proceedings.
Tuesday’s debate will be the latest in what’s been a year-long battle over the legislation. Filed in November 2016 and deemed an “emergency item” by Abbott, the legislation was the subject of marathon public testimony in Senate and House committee hearings, where witnesses were overwhelmingly against the measure.
After the bill was signed, protesters took to the State Capitol on the last day of the regular legislative session and disrupted proceedings in the House to the extent that the lower chamber was forced to recess until the Department of Public Safety cleared the gallery.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday that it has completed a major step toward construction of the Trump administration’s planned wall on the southern border with Mexico.
In a statement, the federal agency said that it has completed construction of eight wall prototypes, which will undergo a series of tests over the next 30 to 60 days. The prototype construction was done in San Diego.
“Border security contributes to our overall national security and relies on a combination of border infrastructure, technology, personnel, and partnerships,” Ron Vitiello, CBP’s acting deputy commissioner said in a statement. “Border walls have proven to be an extremely effective part of our multi-pronged security strategy to prevent the illegal migration of people and drugs over the years.”
In all, six companies, including Houston-based Texas Sterling Construction, built eight prototypes. The company has existed for more than 60 years, according to its website. A call seeking additional details about the border wall project was not immediately returned.
Construction of the controversial barrier was a hallmark of Trump’s presidential campaign, and he moved forward with the process shortly after taking office. In a Jan. 25 executive order, he mandated that agencies “take all appropriate steps to immediately” plan and design the wall. His promise that Mexico would pay for it, however, hasn’t panned out. The Mexican government has repeatedly rejected that notion. The total price tag for the project isn’t clear, though some reports state the figure could exceed $20 billion.
This month, the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee passed the Border Security for America Act, introduced by Austin Republican and committee chairman Michael McCaul. The legislation would authorize $10 billion for wall construction and an additional $5 billion for upgrades to the country’s ports of entry.
But other lawmakers, including some Republicans, have rejected the notion of such a wall, and have argued instead for a “smart” or “virtual” wall that uses technology, including sensors, drones and other efforts, instead of a physical barrier.
According to Thursday’s news release, CBP will test the San Diego prototypes in several areas, including anti-digging, climbing or breaching strengths, whether they are safe for U.S. Border Patrol agents and whether they impede traffic.
SAN ANTONIO — If policymakers and elected officials keep buying into the misnomer that trade and immigration are the keys to job loss, the state’s and country’s leaders are going to craft policies that hinder growth and prosperity, the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas told business leaders in San Antonio.
“A lot of these job dislocations are being publicly blamed on trade and immigration. Our analysis at the Dallas Fed is 15 years ago, maybe. Today, no,” Robert Kaplan told members of the Texas Business Leadership Council. “More likely, if your job is being disrupted it’s because of technology.”
Kaplan said instead business and education leaders should look at the issues of unemployment and education through an apolitical lens if they don’t want to risk Texas and the rest of the country becoming less competitive.
“We have a big skills gap, not only in Texas but in the United States. This is a big problem because every one of these jobs that goes unfilled [means] lower GDP, lower productivity, lower prosperity,” he said. “If we get that diagnosis wrong, for obvious reasons, we’re going to make very poor policy decisions, which will cause us to grow less quickly than we would otherwise.”
Kaplan also touched on the North American Free Trade Agreement and how further discussions over how to modernize the 1992 trade deal will spill into next year. Mexico’s constitution allows a president to serve one six-year term, so negotiations could take on a new dynamic during Mexico’s 2018 election season if voters rally around a candidate who has different views on NAFTA than current President Enrique Peña Nieto.
It’s especially noteworthy for Texas because trade with Mexico is predominantly intermediary, Kaplan said. That means some goods and products pass back and forth between the two countries several times.
“That is different than the trade relationship with China. So it pays to segment the trade relationships and think about them in a very strategic way,” he said.
Texas would be the most-affected state if NAFTA is reworked in a way that decreases trade between the two countries. From January to August of this year, more than $366 billion in two-way trade has passed through ports in the United States and Mexico, according to WorldCity, a Florida-based economics think tank that uses U.S. Census data to track trade patterns. That figure represents a 5.85 percent increase compared to the same timeframe in 2016.
About $193.4 billion of 2017’s trade has passed through the Laredo customs district, with another $61.5 billion passing through the El Paso customs district. The ports of Houston and Port Arthur are also in included in Mexico’s top 10 trading partners, ranking fifth with $13 billion and eighth with $3.5 billion, respectively.
On Hurricane Harvey, Kaplan said the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas estimates the costs of damage to homes ranges from $45 billion to $55 billion and damage to businesses is between $15 billion and $20 billion. He said that means the affected areas, especially Harris County, will need an influx of workers to rebuild — causing concerns for leaders because of the current debate over unauthorized migration. He said the bank estimates that as many as 50 percent of the construction workers in Harris County are undocumented.
“Let me put it this way: It’s a concern among leaders in Houston. They are very aware of it,” he said. “One of the big issues in rate of rebuilding is you need a construction force. And you probably need some migration of construction workers to your state. So they’re concerned about it.”
Amid a heavy backlog in immigration courts in Texas and California, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday said the federal government was considering ways to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants who are granted hearings before immigration judges before being deported. While a legislative solution is preferred, he added, his agency was investigating what it could do absent Congressional action.
The comments were made during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pressed Sessions on whether the federal government was still operating under an Obama-era, “catch-and-release” policy where undocumented immigrants are not immediately deported.
“That is highly troubling. When I heard those reports in January and February, I told [U.S. Border Patrol agents] ‘Give the administration some time to get their team in place.’ You can’t turn a battle ship overnight,” Cruz said. “It’s now October.”
“We are looking at if there are any things we can do effectively, short of legislation,” Sessions responded. “But there is no doubt Mr. Chairman, we need legislation on this subject and several others.”
Sessions pushed back against Cruz’s description of the process as a “policy” and said it was instead the current reality because immigration courts are experiencing a record number of backlogged cases. He said that’s due to a “loophole” that allows undocumented immigrants who claim a credible fear of returning home the right to appear before an immigration judge in the United States.
“There are so many people claiming [credible fear] and being entitled to hearings that we don’t have the ability to provide those,” he said. “And they are being released into the community.”
The number of pending deportation cases in the country has more than doubled since 2011, according to data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. That year there were about 297,500 pending cases but as of August 2017, the number had grown to more than 632,000. More than 100,500 of those cases are pending in Texas, the second-highest number after California’s 118,750.
Advocates argue that the Trump administration’s efforts to make deportations more “efficient” are actually hindering efficiency and jeopardizing due process. In a report released Tuesday, Human Rights First said that an earlier policy of sending immigration judges to the border led to several postponed cases elsewhere and an eventual lack of representation for undocumented immigrants who have access to counsel.
“Recent policies of the Trump Administration have decreased access to counsel in immigration courts and added to systemic inefficiencies,” the report states. “The waves of postponements triggered by the attorney general’s decision to send judges to detention centers ‘along the border’ on detail assignments…have caused lawyers (many of which provide pro bono legal services) to waste their limited resources preparing for hearings that are often cancelled.”
Immigrant rights groups and attorneys are also quick to point out that not everyone who claims credible fear is released while they await a hearing. A recent case out of Texas involved a Mexican journalist, Martin Mendez Pineda, who fled the resort city of Acapulco after he was attacked by Mexican federal officers and later threatened at gunpoint by six armed men, according to case documents provided by his attorney. But after trying – and failing – to be released from immigration detention while awaiting his hearing, he eventually gave up and voluntarily returned to Mexico.
Sessions remarks on Wednesday come a week after the attorney general suggested that immigration judges should have quotas in an effort to reduce the current case backlog. The suggestion didn’t go over well with immigration judges.
“Tying numerical case completions to the evaluation of the individual judge’s performance evaluation specifically interferes with judicial independence and clearly will put immigration judges in a position where they could feel forced to violate their legal duty to fairly and impartially decide cases in a way that complies with due process in order to keep their jobs,” the National Association of Immigration Judges said in a written statement prepared for Wednesday’s hearing.
On Monday, at a forum at the University of Texas, Austin-based immigration attorney Virginia Raymond said the judges’ opposition to the proposal speaks volumes.
“Most of them are former [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] attorneys. It’s not like they are bleeding heart humanists who care about refugees and immigrants,” she said. “And if they are saying this doesn’t work, maybe that’s saying something.”
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.
Texans who suspect their elected or appointed officials of enforcing policies that protect undocumented immigrants can now file an official complaint with the office of the state’s top prosecutor.
Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday announced his office is accepting sworn complaints against “sanctuary” jurisdictions that prohibit local police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. The announcement comes after Monday’s decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that parts of the state’s immigration enforcement legislation, Senate Bill 4, can go into effect while the case plays out on appeal.
As passed, the law calls for civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day on local jurisdictions that violate its provisions. The officials are also eligible for removal from office.
The panel ruled that jail employees must honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold a person for possible deportation, provided the jail follows current ICE policies. But attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case, including the cities of El Paso, El Cenizo, San Antonio and others, argued after the ruling that local jurisdictions can still consider detainers individually.
“SB4 mandated compliance by local jurisdictions with every single detainer no matter what, and the penalty for not honoring every single detainer was up to a year in jail,” said Nina Perales, the vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The 5th Circuit has let this provision go into effect but given localities the discretion to evaluate detainers on a case-by-case basis.”
But Paxton said Tuesday the 5th Circuit’s mixed ruling was a victory for the state and rule of law.
“The 5th Circuit quickly confirmed what my office and I long maintained: Senate Bill 4 is a common sense measure that prevents governments in Texas from standing in the way of federal enforcement of immigration law,” Paxton said in a statement. “By enforcing the key provisions of SB 4, we will prevent dangerous criminals from being released back into our Texas communities.”
Paxton said complaints could also be lodged against officials who adopt policies that prevent officers from assisting, cooperating or exchanging information with federal immigration officials.
The court ruled that officers cannot be prohibited from assisting or cooperating with the federal officials but that the language in the bill that prohibits “materially limiting” cooperation was too vague. That decision also drew mixed reviews.
“Local jurisdictions cannot flatly prohibit their employees from immigration enforcement or questioning,” Perales said. “But local jurisdictions are still allowed to set priorities.”
The back and forth between the plaintiffs and the state of Texas is likely to continue for at least six more weeks. The appeals court’s decision to allow parts of the bill to go into effect could be valid only until a separate panel hears arguments on the overall case itself. That is scheduled for the first week of November. The future of the bill and its various provisions will be decided after that hearing.
The immediate future of Texas’ immigration-enforcement law hinges on how well the state’s attorneys argue on Friday that the legislation is both essential to public safety and should not have been partially blocked by a federal judge days before it was scheduled to go into effect.
The state’s attorneys will again face off with opponents of the law, Senate Bill 4, but this time it will be before a three-judge panel of of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. It follows last month’s decision by a Bexar County federal judge that halted key provisions of the sweeping measure.
As passed, SB 4 prevents police chiefs, sheriffs and other local leaders from preventing peace officers from questioning the immigration status of people they detain or arrest. It also seeks to punish local government department heads and elected officials that limit cooperation with federal immigration officials, including those who don’t cooperate with “detainers” — requests by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation. Punishment could come in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia halted the part of the bill that required jail officials to honor all detainers. He also blocked other sections that prohibit local entities from pursuing “a pattern or practice that ‘materially limits’ the enforcement of immigration laws” and another that prohibits “assisting or cooperating” with federal immigration officers as reasonable or necessary.
The Texas Attorney General’s office is asking the Fifth Circuit court to lift those blocks while the case winds through the appeals process. It argues, in part, that SB 4 is essential to keeping the public safe.
“SB 4 is wholly valid, and the State has every right to prohibit its own localities from having sanctuary-city policies,” Scott Keller, the Texas solicitor general, argues in the state’s motion to lift the injunction. “Moreover, the Order even threatens existing and legitimate local voluntary cooperation with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration law.”
But opponents of the law, which include the cities of El Cenizo, Austin, Houston, San Antonio and El Paso, say that claim is flawed because SB 4 was never enacted in the first place.
“The legal landscape today is the same as the landscape on August 29, 2017, the day before the District Court issued its order,” plaintiffs’ attorneys, which include the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the South Texas Civil Rights Project and the American Civil Liberties Union, argue in their response. “Neither the State’s misreading of the terms of the injunction nor its sky-is-falling rhetoric can manufacture harms.”
A key issue in the legal debate is whether a local entity choosing to detain a person based solely on suspected immigration status – and not because another crime was allegedly committed – violates the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizure by the government. Garcia cited the amendment in calling for a halt to SB 4’s detainer provision but Texas’ attorneys willargue that the Fourth Amendment, doesn’t extend to immigrants living in the country illegally.
“Neither this court nor the Supreme Court has held that the Fourth Amendment extends to a native and citizen of another nation who entered and remained in the United States illegally,” Keller argues. “So it is doubtful that the Fourth Amendment even applies to many aliens subject to ICE detainers under SB 4.”
Even if it did apply, the state adds, Garcia was wrong to limit state or local compliance with detainer requests because those entities are aiding a federal agency, which is legally able to ask for such assistance.
“It makes no difference whether state officials carry out the first 48 hours of that detention at the express request of the federal government,” Keller states. “That is especially so since a federal ICE-detainer request to state officials is backed by a federal immigration warrant.”
But the opponents’ attorneys argue that other district courts that also fall under the Fifth Circuit’s jurisdiction have found that detention based solely on suspected immigration status violates the Fourth Amendment.
“The State cites no decision holding that local officials may constitutionally detain an individual on probable cause of removability – much less that local officials must cede to third parties their duty to make a probable cause determination,” they argue.
Friday’s arguments will be preceded with a rally outside the court building organized by civil and immigrants’ rights groups who oppose the legislation, including the ACLU, the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund and the Congress of Day Laborers.
A timeline for a ruling on the state’s request to allow the full law to go into effect after Friday’s arguments isn’t certain. But the court has already scheduled a separate hearing for November for the appellate court to hear arguments on the injunction itself, and whether the case should proceed on its merits.
The Trump Administration made it official Tuesday: It will end an Obama-era program that has granted relief from deportation to hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement that the administration will phase out the initiative — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — or DACA — program — over six months.
Started in 2012, the program has awarded more than 800,000 recipients — including more than 120,000 Texans — a renewable, two-year work permit and a reprieve from deportation proceedings. It applies to undocumented immigrants who came to the country before they were 16 years old and were 30 or younger as of June 2012.
In a statement released before Sessions’ announcement, Acting Department of Homeland Secretary Elaine Duke said the agency would no longer accept new applications and added the administration’s action was intended to prompt Congress to pass an immigration solution.
“With the measures the Department is putting in place today, no current beneficiaries will be impacted before March 5, 2018, nearly six months from now, so Congress can have time to deliver on appropriate legislative solutions,” she said. “However, I want to be clear that no new initial requests or associated applications filed after today will be acted on.”
Rumors had swirled since last month that President Donald Trump was leaning toward eliminating the program after he promised to do so while campaigning for president. His decision sparked immediate outrage from immigrants rights groups and their supporters.
“This spiteful executive action runs counter to what has made America and Texas great,” said Ann Beeson, the executive director of the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities. “While the Trump Administration will use the six month delay to point the finger at Congress, make no mistake that it is the President who is dashing the hopes and dreams of young people protected by the DACA program. Ending the DACA program is contrary to Texas values and bad for the Texas economy.”
This summer, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urged the U.S. Department of Justice to end the program, claiming it was an unlawful overreach by former President Barack Obama. Paxton and nine other state attorneys general wrote in a June 29 letter to Sessions that should the program stay intact, they would amend a 2014 lawsuit filed in Brownsville to include a challenge to DACA.
The 2014 lawsuit was filed in response to a separate Obama administration initiative, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, that would have expanded the eligible population of the DACA program and lengthened work permits to three years. That program was never implemented after the state of Texas sued the Obama Administration and successfully convinced a district judge and an appellate court that Obama overstepped his executive authority. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court split on the matter, upholding the appellate court’s decision.
The issue has prompted lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to file legislation to maintain the program in some form, including the bipartisan BRIDGE Act in the U.S. Senate that would extend protections for certain undocumented immigrants for three years. Economists have also cited DACA’s benefits to the economy as a reason it should remain intact. Even Trump has stated before that deciding to end the program would be “very, very hard.”
But immigration hardliners argue that despite the “deferred action” title, the program is nothing more than amnesty for people who have violated the country’s laws – no matter how old they were when they first entered the U.S.
Jackie Watson, an Austin-based immigration attorney who represented some of DACA’s earliest Texas-based applicants, said last month that attorneys are already discussing what, if any, legal action they could take should the program be axed — and whether rescinding it might “light a fire under Congress to make DACA a permanent statute.”
But she also said all of those options would be uphill battles. “It will be a total Hail Mary,” she said.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Disclosure: The Center for Public Policy Priorities has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.
The El Paso City Council narrowly voted against creating a municipal identification card program amid concerns that the measure would lead to the border city being perceived as the kind of “sanctuary” jurisdiction that has been the target of President Donald Trump and Texas’ Republican leaders.
In a 5-4 vote, the council voted down funding the program, which immigrant rights groups and advocates for the poor have called for since 2014 as a way for those unable to obtain a driver’s license or other state-issued identification sign up for bank accounts and access city services such as libraries. Applicants would have had to prove they reside in the city to obtain the card.
Mayor Dee Margo cast the deciding vote against the measure, explaining that he didn’t want El Paso to be perceived as “sanctuary” city – the common term for a jurisdiction that doesn’t enforce state or federal immigration laws.
In May, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4, which punishes elected and appointed officials for enacting policies that ignore federal immigration laws. The punishment for doing so could be jail time and the denial of grant funds from the entity in violation. Opponents of the measure have filed a lawsuit to halt the law, which takes effect Sept. 1. A federal judge has yet to rule on that case.
The Trump administration has also spoken in recent months about cutting off some federal funds from “sanctuary” jurisdictions.
“I do not want to give the inference that we are a sanctuary city, as we are not,” Margo, a former Republican state representative, said in a statement. “Redevelopment grants are critical to the economic development of our community, and we cannot afford to put those funding opportunities in jeopardy.”
Margo added that the cost of the program was too high when he considered the city’s other pressing needs like public safety. The city was debating a potential match of $320,000 with the county for the identification program, according to the city council agenda.
In a statement, the Border Network for Human Rights, which launched the petition in support of creating the program in 2014, said the city gave in to political pressure.
“Fear mongering ran deep in today’s discussion. SB 4 was invoked — even though it does nothing to prohibit a Community ID program,” BNHR spokesperson Gabriela Castaneda said. “The Council was threatened, intimidated, and bullied by racists, and, ultimately, it worked. This bodes ill for our city.”
The vote shouldn’t be a complete surprise after the council expressed concerns as early as April 2016 over how the ID card would be viewed by state leaders, according to a city report issued then.
“In the past year, there has been legislation filed at both the state and federal level regarding ‘sanctuary cities.’ These bills seek to prohibit local government entities from having policies, ordinances, and rules that prohibit or interfere with the enforcement of immigration laws,” the city’s report states.
Proponents of the measure cited similar projects in Oakland and San Francisco as examples of where the municipal ID program has worked. They also made clear that the card wouldn’t have the same benefits as a Texas driver’s license and couldn’t be used for travel or to get through a TSA checkpoint.
El Paso County is still considering an ID card for its residents.
Disclosure: Dee Margo has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors is available here.
Representatives from Texas’ business, local government and higher education sectors argued Tuesday that the state’s new immigration-enforcement law, which is slated to take effect Sept. 1, could do billions of dollars in damage to the Texas economy.
Using data from the 2015 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance — a group made up of 40 state-based immigrant and civil rights groups — estimated during a Tuesday press conference that the state stands to lose roughly $223 million in state and local taxes and more than $5 billion in Gross Domestic Product under Senate Bill 4.
The law, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in May and seeks to outlaw “sanctuary” jurisdictions that don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials, would also allow local police officers to ask about a person’s immigration status when they are detained — not just when they are charged with a crime.
“We estimate those costs as they relate to jobs, earnings, taxes and GDP if 10 percent of undocumented immigrants were to leave Texas,” the group said, calling that 10 percent figure a conservative estimate. The group analyzed the top 10 industries that benefit from undocumented labor and used Harvard University economist George Borjas‘ undocumented population analysis in its research, according to the methodology outlined in the study.
Supporters of the legislation argue it’s needed to prevent local law enforcement officials from providing a safety net to deportable and violent undocumented immigrants who have already been charged with crimes. But opponents — who are keeping their fingers crossed that a judge will halt the measure before it takes effect — say it’s a racial-profiling bill that’s similar to Arizona’s “show-me-your-papers” law.
The economic argument isn’t a new one for opponents of the law; several Democratic state lawmakers tried and failed to convince their colleagues of its merit during this spring’s regular legislative session. State Democrats also called for an update to a study released in 2006 by former Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. That analysis showed that undocumented immigrants who lived in Texas in 2005 added $17.7 billion to the state’s economy.
In a statement Tuesday, representatives from local chambers of commerce at the news conference went after the lawmakers who championed the legislation, calling them dishonorable.
“Each of you standing with us have a big job to do,” said Ramiro Cavazos, the CEO of San Antonio’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “And that it is to protect this economy for our children and our grandchildren.”
The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Bilateral African American Chamber, the United Chamber of Commerce Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce were among those represented at the news conference.
They also tied SB 4 to the state Legislature’s current debate over whether transgender Texans should be able to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. The legislation back backed by ultra conservative lawmakers would restrict bathroom use in schools and local government buildings to what’s on a person’s birth certificate.
The National Football League has expressed concerns that passing such a bill could affect the league’s decision to host next year’s draft in Dallas, the chamber groups said. “Similarly, professional sports players’ associations may oppose SB 4, given the diversity of their memberships, and may withhold events from Texas.”
The constitutionality of SB 4 is still being weighed in two federal courts in Texas.
The death toll from the weekend’s immigrant-smuggling tragedy in San Antonio has risen to 10, and the driver in the alleged crime is scheduled to appear in a federal courtroom Monday morning.
James Mathew Bradley, Jr., 60, is being held for his alleged role in the incident, in which San Antonio police found dozens of people in the back of a sweltering trailer early Sunday morning.
Police initially said that 38 people were in the truck, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said the actual count is 39; officers found one additional person hiding in a wooded area near the scene. Eight people were found dead and two more died later at local hospitals. All of the deceased were adult males.
A criminal complaint is likely to be filed sometime before Bradley’s appearance, an ICE official said. But it’s unclear what charges Bradley could face.
Though Sunday’s news made worldwide headlines, ICE officials said in their statement that Sunday’s human smuggling attempt was one of thousands made since 2016. During that fiscal year, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit investigated 2,110 such attempts that resulted in 1,522 criminal convictions. That same year, the unit made 2,734 criminal arrests and 3,007 administrative arrests related to human smuggling.
In May, Border Patrol agents found 14 undocumented immigrants hiding in a grain hauler at the agency’s checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas. And in the news release, acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said Sunday’s incident reminded him of another Texas tragedy he saw with his own eyes.
“I personally worked on a tragic tractor trailer case in Victoria, Texas, in 2003, in which 19 people were killed as a result of the smugglers’ total indifference to the safety of those smuggled and to the law,” he said.
It’s unclear where the immigrants in Sunday’s attempt were from or where their ultimate destination was. The ICE official said they are being treated at local hospitals and “officials will not release the identities or alienage of victims until relatives can be notified.”
The state military patrol that’s been on the Texas-Mexico border since 2014 just got a $2.3 million boost from the federal government to help keep it in place.
The Texas Military Department said on Monday it’s been allotted that money from the federal government to continue its border security efforts through the end of the current fiscal year.
The confirmation from Lt. Col. Travis Walters came after Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news release that the federal government is finally stepping up to help pay for more border security.
“The taxpayers of Texas have funded border security, a federal responsibility, for far too long,” he said.
Abbott added that the Texas National Guard serving in support of Operation Secure Texas, that state’s border-security mission, would “transition to federal orders” beginning in late July.
But Walters said the change would not affect what the Texas National Guard is currently doing.
“The transition from a state to federal status, in terms of funding, will not impact the mission of the Texas National Guard or its role in protecting and serving the citizens of Texas,” he said.
The money comes weeks after the state Legislature again appropriated $800 million for border security efforts over the next two years after allotting the same amount, then a record, in 2015. The majority of that funding goes to the Texas Department of Public Safety, however, and none of the funding for the upcoming biennium was slated to go to the Texas Military Department.
The state’s military presence has been concentrated in the Rio Grande Valley since 2014 when a surge of undocumented migration from Central America created a crisis situation. Proponents of the move said it was needed to help an overwhelmed U.S. Border Patrol, whose agents were ill-prepared to handle the influx and concentrate on border security efforts.
But critics of the deployment saw the effort as little more than political theater because the state’s soldiers weren’t tasked with enforcing immigration laws and instead only served to tarnish the region’s image.
Former Gov. Rick Perry, who ordered the 2014 deployment, was also blasted by critics for the estimated $12 million monthly price tag that came with the order.
Abbott’s office did not respond to a request for additional comment on Monday’s announcement. The Texas Military Department didn’t indicate for how long after the fiscal year ended the guard would remain on the border.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials from nine other states on Thursday urged the Trump administration to end an Obama-era program that’s allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to live and work in the country without fear of being deported.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Paxton urged the White House to rescind the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. DACA applies to undocumented immigrants that came to the country before they were 16 years old and were 30 or younger as of June 2012. It awards recipients a renewable, two-year work permit and a reprieve from deportation proceedings.
As of August 2016, more than 220,000 undocumented immigrants in Texas had applied for a permit or a renewal of one under the program, and nearly 200,000 of those have been approved, according to government statistics. It’s the second-highest total behind California’s estimated 387,000 applications and 359,000 approvals during the same time frame.
“We respectfully request that the Secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program,” Paxton wrote. He was joined by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, as well as Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter.
“Specifically, we request that the Secretary of Homeland Security rescind the June 15, 2012 DACA memorandum and order that the Executive Branch will not renew or issue any new DACA or Expanded DACA permits in the future,” Paxton wrote.
The state officials added in the letter that rescinding the program won’t “require the federal government to remove any alien.”
The DACA initiative preceded a broader but ill-fated 2014 program, known as DAPA, which would have expanded the eligible population of the program and lengthened the work permits to three years. That program was never implemented after the state of Texas sued the Obama administration and successfully convinced a district judge and an appellate court that Obama overstepped his executive authority. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court split on the matter and upheld the appellate court’s decision.
The Trump administration officially rescinded that policy earlier this month but said that DACA and some expanded DACA permits would remain in effect. Paxton argued in Thursday’s letter that that’s not good enough and warned that if the 2012 program isn’t rescinded, he and the other plaintiffs from the 2014 lawsuit would go back to court to settle the issue.
“If, by September 5, 2017, the Executive Branch agrees to rescind the June 15, 2012 DACA memorandum and not to renew or issue any new DACA or Expanded DACA permits in the future, then the plaintiffs that successfully challenged DAPA and Expanded DACA will voluntarily dismiss their lawsuit currently pending in the Southern District of Texas,” they write. “Otherwise, the complaint in that case will be amended to challenge both the DACA program and the remaining Expanded DACA permits.”
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, blasted the move and warned the signatories they’ll be remembered for being on the wrong side of history.
“Their evident xenophobia is not remotely consistent with the trajectory of our nation’s history and future progress,” MALDEF president and general counsel Thomas Saenz said in a statement. “Their political careers and each of their states will suffer from their mean-spirited stupidity.”
Opponents of Texas’ state-based immigration law told a federal judge Monday that allowing the controversial measure to stand would pave the way for a nationwide police state where local officers could subvert the established immigration-enforcement powers of the federal government.
But the state’s attorneys argued in tandem with their colleagues from the U.S. Department of Justice that the issue was settled in 2012 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a state-based immigration-enforcement provision passed in Arizona.
The day marked the first skirmish in what could be a lengthy battle over Texas’ law, Senate Bill 4, which has been billed as the toughest state-based immigration bill in the country. Known as the “sanctuary cities” law, SB4 allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and seeks to punish local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration “detainers” — requests by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation. Punishment could come in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.
Opponents of the measure, including the cities of Houston, Austin, San Antonio and El Cenizo, as well as Maverick and El Paso counties, have argued the law violates several provisions of the U.S. Constitution, including guarantees of equal protection and freedom of speech. They are seeking a temporary injunction of the rule, which is scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1.
Lee Gelernt, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union representing the city of El Cenizo, a small municipality in Webb County, argued that the law, as written is vague and provides such little guidance to officers that they will be forced to use a heavy hand when detaining or arresting someone. That, he said, will lead to a broad assumption that they need to ask nearly every minority their immigration status for fear of violating the provision of the law — the aftereffect of which would be an across-the-board erosion of Texans’ rights.
“The overriding point is that the penalties are so harsh that it’s simply unrealistic for any police officer to take a chance” of violating the law, Gelernt told U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia. “[The lawmakers] knew what they were doing when they crafted the legislation.”
As they have since the bill was passed by the Legislature in April, supporters of the measure said it doesn’t require an officer to question a person’s status, — instead, it merely lets them if they feel they need to do so. And it prevents police chiefs and sheriffs from preventing them from doing so, they added, which provides the state of Texas a uniform immigration policy instead of a piecemeal approach.
“There is an ongoing debate in the country about federal immigration law,” said First Assistant Attorney General Darren McCarty. “That is a healthy and appropriate debate, and it should be decided in [state] Legislatures and Congress. Where it is not appropriate to decide it — respectfully, your honor — is in litigation.”
But Gelernt said that the state glossed over the differences between SB 4 and the Arizona measure in an effort to simplify the matter before the court.
“We think there are critical differences,” he said. “One is that the penalties in Arizona, if they came about at all, would only go against the agency, and not against individuals. [And] the inquiries during traffic stops could be made only if there was reasonable suspicion, so you couldn’t just ask. That reasonable suspicion is not in SB 4.”
Gelernt added that in Arizona’s bill, an officer had to alert federal immigration officials if they came across someone in the country illegally. In Texas’ bill however, there is no direction, which is a main reason opponents of the measure have argued the bill’s intent is vague.
There was also a heavy focus on whether the bill would subject all state employees to penalties for speaking out against the measure. The focus, to date, has been on elected and appointed law enforcement officials, who would be barred from “endorsing” policies that prohibit officers from questioning a person’s status, according to the language of the bill. But Nina Perales, the vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Funs, said the penalties could extend all the way down to employees of local entities that have nothing to do with law enforcement, like a community college district. She used an example San Antonio’s Alamo Community Colleges, which adopted a resolution in support of DREAMers — young undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children.
But deputy attorney general Brantley Starr said the endorsement language is “contextual” and that a professor expressing his or her opinion isn’t the same as a board of trustees adopting a policy that restricts campus police from acting.
The state also took issue with the plaintiffs’ argument that local police officers would choose enforcement of immigration law instead of adhering to their primary responsibilities. He said the bill says officers will only cooperate with federal immigration officers “as reasonably necessary.”
“That’s not Officer Smith in Midland deciding he wants to conduct an immigration raid in a parking lot,” he said.
But Perales said there’s nothing in the law that explains that in detail, adding to the argument that its vagueness opens the door to racial profiling.
“SB 4 is silent on that,” she said. “It doesn’t say at the federal government’s request or under federal supervision.”
There was also a focus on the special circumstances surrounding El Paso County and a settlement it agreed to in 2006. A local resident sued the county that year and accused sheriffs’ deputies of conducting immigration checks at roadside checkpoints. The parties reached an agreement: The sheriff’s office had to “memorialize in writing its policies that prohibits Sheriffs Department Deputies from enforcing civil immigration law.”
El Paso County attorney JoAnn Bernal said SB 4 would place the county in jeopardy because of the dueling mandates.
Toward the end of the day, the plaintiffs tried to show the bill was rushed through the Legislative process and had an obvious racist intent. State Rep. Ana Hernandez, D-Houston, was called to testify on the process and told the court that SB 4 was deemed an “emergency item” that created a toxic environment on the House floor. She recalled how her colleague Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, warned their Republican colleagues that Hispanic members shouldn’t be heckled that day because they were fed up with what she deemed anti-Latino sentiment.
Hernandez also became emotional on the stand after explaining that as a former undocumented immigrant, the debate over SB4 had a very personal effect on her.
And at least one elected official seems hellbent on holding out against enforcing the law for as long as he can: Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. The Democrat testified that he hasn’t researched provisions in the bill that allow local entities to apply for grants to help them pay for housing inmates subject to a detainer. He said that was because he was hoping the law wouldn’t go into effect. He also said he’s heard anecdotally from that the bill has already affected tourism and, in turn, the local economy. He also scoffed at the language in the bill that would try to silence his personal opinions.
“Endorsement means I have a right to say what I want to say,” he told the court. Later, when asked by an attorney for the state of Texas how he would like to be addressed, Wolff quipped: “I don’t know — you may have to address me as a former public official soon.”
The Trump administration has officially entered the courtroom battle over Senate Bill 4, Texas’ immigration-enforcement bill.
On Friday, attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the federal court case. The state was sued over the measure last month, the day after Gov. Greg Abbott signed the controversial bill into law.
Known as the “sanctuary cities” bill, the legislation allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they legally detain or arrest. It also punishes local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration “detainers” — request by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation.
Opponents of the measure, including the cities of Houston, Austin and San Antonio, as well as Webb County’s El Cenizo and Maverick and El Paso counties, argue in court filings that the law violates several provisions of the U.S. Constitution, including guarantees of equal protection and freedom of speech. The opponents also argue that the law violates the Constitution’s supremacy clause, which states that federal law — including statutes dealing with immigration enforcement — is “wholly dedicated to the federal government and may not be usurped by the states.”
In its filing, the Justice Department argues the bill is constitutional and that Texas’ new law is not preempted by federal immigration law. The administration claims that the 10th Amendment guarantees states the right to craft their own legislation to a certain degree, and that SB 4 is valid.
“It’s reassuring to know that the Trump administration believes in upholding the Constitution and defending the rule of law, and I’m grateful for the DOJ’s assistance in helping my office defend the lawful Senate Bill 4,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a news release.
In its filing, the Justice Department also addressed some SB 4 opponents’ claims that federal detainers aren’t enforceable because they are merely requests and not actual court orders.
Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement “only issues detainers when there is probable cause on the face of the detainer to arrest an individual on the basis that he is a removable alien, and the detainer is accompanied by an administrative warrant,” the filing states.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia has scheduled a Monday hearing to consider plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction to stop SB 4 from taking effect as the court case plays out. The bill’s effective date is Sept. 1.
Despite uncertainty on how the Trump administration will renegotiate the United States’ role in the North American Free Trade Agreement, two-way trade between Texas and Mexico has continued to flourish since the president was sworn in in January.
Now, a number of Texas-based business groups have teamed up to prevent a reversal in that trend by making sure the state has a seat at the table now that Trump has told Congress his administration would begin renegotiating the 23-year-old trade deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
Representatives from the Texas Association of Business, the El Paso-based Borderplex Alliance and the Texas Business Leadership Council announced on Thursday the creation of the Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition, a binational group of business interests that seeks to keep Mexico Texas’ No. 1 trade partner.
Coalition members said time isn’t necessarily on their side if they want to preserve the benefits and job growth NAFTA has brought to Texas and beyond.
“The failure to act swiftly will push us into not only the midterm elections in the United States but also the presidential election in Mexico,” said Eddie Aldrete, senior vice president of the International Bank of Commerce and chairman of the coalition. “So we need to pass NAFTA on its own merits, on its own timeframe.”
Aldrete said that will include working to amend the current agreement instead of overhauling it completely.
Texas has more to lose than any other state on the country’s southern border if NAFTA is reworked in a way that decreases trade between the two countries. From January to April of this year, more than $178 billion in two-way trade has passed through ports in the United States and Mexico, according to WorldCity, a Florida-based economics think tank that uses U.S. Census data to track trade patterns. That figure represents a 4.5 percent increase compared to the same timeframe in 2016.
About $94 billion of 2017’s trade has passed through the Laredo customs district, with another $29.5 billion passing through the El Paso customs district. The ports of Houston and Port Arthur are also in included in Mexico’s top 10 trading partners, ranking fifth with $6 billion and eighth with $1.95 billion, respectively.
Jeff Moseley, the CEO of the Texas Association of Business, said revamping NAFTA only makes sense because of how much industry and commerce has changed since pact went into effect in 1994.
“The document, as it was pulled together 23 years ago, did not contemplate that we would have so much development in technology,” he said. “It didn’t contemplate that the Mexican Constitution would have been amended to allow for energy exploration. So there are new opportunities to bring forward.”
Moseley added he was reassured the federal government would listen to stakeholders on the ground after he met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who said he’d take a “do-no-harm” approach.
But business leaders are also careful not to assume the United States has complete control over the negotiations. Just last month, Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo said the country could look to expand trade with China if the United States insisted on trade policies that were not mutually beneficial, CNBC reported. The Mexican government could also explore expanding trade with South American countries as another option.
“It’s always a concern. It’s always out there as a potential threat to our economic interest in the United States,” Alderete said of Guajardo’s comments. Asked if he thought if the Mexican secretary spoke more out of a sense of national pride, Aldrerte said it didn’t matter.
“Whatever his motivation was, it certainly got the attention of a lot of people in the business community to then turn around and push our own administration to focus on the timeline and move quickly,” he said. “From a logistical standpoint, Mexico and the United States would prefer to do business with each other.”
Disclosure: The Texas Association of Business and Texas Business Leadership Council have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors is available here.
A 15,000-member association of attorneys and law professors said on Wednesday that it is relocating its 2018 convention out of Texas in response to the state legislature passing Senate bill 4, a sweeping and controversial immigration enforcement measure.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association was scheduled to hold its 3-day event in Grapevine next year, but said the bill’s “dangerous, destructive and counter productive proposals” go against the group’s mission. About 3,000 people were expected to attend the convention.
“One of the issues that drove the board’s decision was concern on behalf of quite a number of our members that they might not be willing to bring themselves or their families to Texas,” AILA president Bill Stock told reporters during a conference call. “Our members are US citizens and green card holders but many of them come from ethnic communities where they felt that they [would] being unfairly targeted.”
SB 4 allows law enforcement to question the immigration status of people they legally detain or arrest and punishes department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration agents by turning over immigrants subject to possible deportation. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the legislation last month and it is scheduled to go into effect on September 1.
Abbott and other supporters of the measure say its needed to make Texas safer and crack down on illegal immigration but opponents argue the bill’s vague language will lead to racial profiling and other discriminatory practices.
The AILA Grapevine conference was booked years ago. The organization could face financial penalties for relocating, Stock said, but the group chose to cancel the event anyway due to the new law.
The association’s announcement comes the same day that U.S. Sens. Bob Menedez, D-New Jersey, and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, asked the organizers of Austin’s popular South by Southwest conference to move out of Austin after decades of calling the capital city home.
The mega-event is one of the state’s signature attractions and includes weeks-long activities that include conferences on education and interactive developments, as well as film and music showcases.
“In its 31 years, SXSW has been a beacon of consistency, standing with artists and participants regarding equality, tolerance, and safety during events,” the senators wrote. “SB4, however, would not allow SXSW to be a safe place for immigrants and Americans alike to visit, participate, and enjoy; the culture and safety of the event would be greatly diminished if your attendants are faced with the humiliation and harassment that this new law would inflict.”
But SXSW co-founder and CEO Roland Swenson said the conference is staying put, but he and his supporters will continue to speak out against the law from home base
“We stand by the City of Austin in their challenge against SB4 and will continue to speak out against it, and all discriminatory legislation,” he said in an email. “We agree with the Senators that the law stands diametrically opposed to the spirit of SXSW and respect their call to action. We understand why, in today’s political climate, people are asking us to leave Texas. For us this is not a solution. Austin is our home and an integral part of who we are. We will stay here and continue to make our event inclusive while fighting for the rights of all.”
Several local governments, including the cities of San Antonio, Austin and El Cenizo and both El Paso and Maverick counties, have filed lawsuits to stop the bill from taking effect. The state of Texas has also filed its own preemptive action and has asked a judge to declare the bill legal and constitutional.