PEOPLE

Against the Odds, Finding Refuge in El Paso

A woman, who asked not to be identified because she fears for her safety, stands near the pulpit at the end of service at First Baptist Church on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in El Paso. The woman fled Boko Haram in Nigeria and is now seeking asylum.
A woman, who asked not to be identified because she fears for her safety, stands near the pulpit at the end of service at First Baptist Church on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in El Paso. The woman fled Boko Haram in Nigeria and is now seeking asylum.

Four years after fleeing Somalia, Dekha Hassan-Mohamed is living in El Paso after winning an asylum claim and bucking a national trend. Her lawyer is seeking the same protection for another client who fled Nigeria. Both women are grateful for the new chapters of their lives in El Paso. 

Series: Bypassed by the Miracle

Keller ISD Superintendent Randy Reid spoke during an Aug. 11, 2014, town hall meeting, where attendees debated whether to put a $175 million bond up to Keller ISD voters in the general election.
Keller ISD Superintendent Randy Reid spoke during an Aug. 11, 2014, town hall meeting, where attendees debated whether to put a $175 million bond up to Keller ISD voters in the general election.

Check out Bypassed by the Miracle, our seven-part series on the people and communities that have missed out on Texas' economic success or are finding that it comes at a price. 

Hospitals Say They've Lost Insured Patients to Urgent Care

Eighth-grader Montanique DeShay waits as Ashlyn Brooks, medical assistant at MedSpring Urgent Care in Austin, comes to check on her on Wednesday. Like many patients visiting urgent care facilities at this time of year, Montanique is having a physical evaluation performed to allow her to participate in sports this school year.
Eighth-grader Montanique DeShay waits as Ashlyn Brooks, medical assistant at MedSpring Urgent Care in Austin, comes to check on her on Wednesday. Like many patients visiting urgent care facilities at this time of year, Montanique is having a physical evaluation performed to allow her to participate in sports this school year.

The increasing number of urgent care centers in Texas is proving problematic for hospitals, which say they are competing with the clinics for the same pool of insured Texans at a time when they are also getting less money to cover the cost of treating uninsured patients.

Attorneys Struggling to Help Migrants Navigate Legal System

A Catholic Charities shelter at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen helps hundreds of displaced immigrants who have crossed the Texas-Mexico border. Texas immigration lawyers are scrambling to coordinate representation for many of the migrants.
A Catholic Charities shelter at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen helps hundreds of displaced immigrants who have crossed the Texas-Mexico border. Texas immigration lawyers are scrambling to coordinate representation for many of the migrants.

Texas immigration lawyers are scrambling to coordinate representation for the thousands of Central American migrants who have crossed into Texas illegally. 

 

Letters Highlight Local Tension Over Increased Border Security

A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols on the Texas border near the Rio Grande, Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.
A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols on the Texas border near the Rio Grande, Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.

A coalition of ranchers and business owners from South Texas is pushing back against border officials who have criticized the build-up of law enforcement on the Rio Grande.

At Booking, Perry Reiterates Defense of Veto

Governor Rick Perry is led into the booking area of the Travis County Courthouse for fingerprints and photographs on August 19, 2014.
Governor Rick Perry is led into the booking area of the Travis County Courthouse for fingerprints and photographs on August 19, 2014.

After being booked on two felony counts — a process that took less than 10 minutes — Gov. Rick Perry again stood by his veto of public integrity unit funding and called his indictment "a chilling restraint on the right of free speech."

 

Timeline: The Perry Indictment

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.

Take a look back at the events that led up to a grand jury's decision to indict Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry Fires Back, Calls Indictment a Political Ploy

Gov. Rick Perry speaks at an Aug. 16, 2014, news conference, the day after a grand jury indicted him on charges related to his veto of public integrity unit funding. "This indictment amounts to nothing more than abuse of power," Perry said.
Gov. Rick Perry speaks at an Aug. 16, 2014, news conference, the day after a grand jury indicted him on charges related to his veto of public integrity unit funding. "This indictment amounts to nothing more than abuse of power," Perry said.

Gov. Rick Perry on Saturday decried a Travis County grand jury's indictment of him on two felony counts, saying allegations that he abused his power were politically motivated.

 

El Paso Homeless Shelter to Focus on Female Veterans

Hope Jackson, who retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army, is shown on the future site of her HOPE (Healing, Optimizing, Perfecting, Empowering) Institute shelter for female veterans, on July 29, 2014, in El Paso. The shelter will start providing services to women in the area this fall, Jackson says.
Hope Jackson, who retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army, is shown on the future site of her HOPE (Healing, Optimizing, Perfecting, Empowering) Institute shelter for female veterans, on July 29, 2014, in El Paso. The shelter will start providing services to women in the area this fall, Jackson says.

“God spoke to me," Hope Jackson said about her plan to start a shelter for homeless female veterans in El Paso. Jackson, who is relying on her money and community support to convert a house for the facility, said it would be ready this fall.

Will They or Won't They? Time Running Out to Address Border Crisis

A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.
A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.

UPDATED: After the U.S. House called off a vote Tuesday afternoon on a $659 million supplemental bill for border security operations, Gov. Rick Perry said Congress is "abandoning its post."

 

Ruling Goes Against Death Row Inmate Skinner

Hank Skinner was sentenced to death for the 1993 triple slaying of his girlfriend and her two sons.
Hank Skinner was sentenced to death for the 1993 triple slaying of his girlfriend and her two sons.

A district court judge ruled against death row inmate Hank Skinner on Tuesday in the wake of new DNA testing, saying it was “reasonably probable” he would still have been convicted had the evidence been available at trial.

Immigrant Surge Fueled by Rumors, Misinformation

Julio Cesar Garcia Duarte, holds a photograph of his common law wife and son at a bus station in McAllen. He was told a "coyote" would deliver them to the Rio Grande but doesn't know their whereabouts.
Julio Cesar Garcia Duarte, holds a photograph of his common law wife and son at a bus station in McAllen. He was told a "coyote" would deliver them to the Rio Grande but doesn't know their whereabouts.

Many undocumented immigrants flooding into Texas from Central America are basing their decisions to leave their home countries on a rumor that they'll be allowed to live here legally. 

Volunteers Provide Care, Shelter to Incoming Immigrants

On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.
On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.

Politics are left at the door at McAllen’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church, a border parish where hundreds of the thousands of recently detained migrants have been taken for temporary food and shelter.

White House Under Fire for Proposed Solution to Immigrant Surge

U.S. Border Patrol agents say that illegal traffic on public and private land in the Rio Grande Valley has triggered the need for additional resources in the region this year.
U.S. Border Patrol agents say that illegal traffic on public and private land in the Rio Grande Valley has triggered the need for additional resources in the region this year.

Both immigrants' rights groups and conservative lawmakers are criticizing the White House's plan, announced Friday, to deal with the influx of migrants illegally crossing Texas’ southern border.