POLITICS: Special Interests

Shipping container cranes in the Port of Houston
Shipping container cranes in the Port of Houston

Despite Early Optimism, Trade With Cuba Dipping

When the U.S. announced it would lift its embargo last winter, experts were excited about the prospect of increased trade with Cuba. But Texas' trade with the island nation has dropped, and when things might pick up isn't easy to predict.

Scott Keller, the Texas Solicitor General, speaks to reporters after delivering oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.
Scott Keller, the Texas Solicitor General, speaks to reporters after delivering oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

Texas Expects Another Win Against Obama's Immigration Plan

Attorneys for the Obama administration will try again on Friday to persuade a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to let a controversial immigration policy take effect.

 

Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico José Antonio Meade Kuribreña and Gov. Greg Abbott at the Governor's Mansion on July 9, 2015
Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico José Antonio Meade Kuribreña and Gov. Greg Abbott at the Governor's Mansion on July 9, 2015

Mexican Official: Border Security a "Shared Responsibility"

José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs, talks about the relationship between Mexico and Texas, border security, and whether Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's security plan is working. 

Texas Expects Another Win Against Obama's Immigration Plan

Scott Keller, the Texas Solicitor General, speaks to reporters after delivering oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.
Scott Keller, the Texas Solicitor General, speaks to reporters after delivering oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

Attorneys for the Obama administration will try again on Friday to persuade a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to let a controversial immigration policy take effect.

 

Mexican Official: Border Security a "Shared Responsibility"

Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico José Antonio Meade Kuribreña and Gov. Greg Abbott at the Governor's Mansion on July 9, 2015
Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico José Antonio Meade Kuribreña and Gov. Greg Abbott at the Governor's Mansion on July 9, 2015

José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs, talks about the relationship between Mexico and Texas, border security, and whether Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's security plan is working. 

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El Paso Democrat Márquez Bows Out

State Rep. Marisa Márquez, D-El Paso, who announced she will not seek reelection.
State Rep. Marisa Márquez, D-El Paso, who announced she will not seek reelection.

El Paso Democratic state Rep. Marisa Márquez will not seek reelection after four terms in the Texas House. She announced her retirement in a statement on her official website, saying she would remain an active figure in the state politics.

Advocates Call for Release of Some LGBT Asylum-Seekers

Supporters of LGBT asylum-seekers rally at a church in Austin.
Supporters of LGBT asylum-seekers rally at a church in Austin.

A growing number of asylum-seekers are asking for safe haven based on a factor that isn't usually associated with a need to flee one's homeland: gender identity. In the days before the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark gay marriage case, immigrant rights groups were drawing attention to the plight of LGBT immigrants.

Despite Early Momentum, Immigration Bills Fall Flat

Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond, speaks in favor of HB 1403 which was passed in 2001 and grants all Texans in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status on April 13th, 2015
Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond, speaks in favor of HB 1403 which was passed in 2001 and grants all Texans in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status on April 13th, 2015

Though campaign promises to enact immigration-enforcement measures and repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students didn't see the light of day, Republicans who championed the measures said they'll be back next session to try again. 

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At Shooting Range, Abbott Signs "Open Carry" Bill

Gov. Greg Abbott signs an open-carry bill passed by the state Legislature at Red’s Indoor Range, a gun store and shooting range in Pflugerville, Texas, on June 13, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott signs an open-carry bill passed by the state Legislature at Red’s Indoor Range, a gun store and shooting range in Pflugerville, Texas, on June 13, 2015.

In a bill-signing ceremony at a popular Central Texas gun store, Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday praised pro-gun groups and lawmakers for helping Texas ensure that the Second Amendment is alive and well in the Lone Star State. 

Church Offers Haven to Lesbian Facing Deportation

Sulma Franco, 31, talks to reporters at her make-shift shelter at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Austin, Texas.
Sulma Franco, 31, talks to reporters at her make-shift shelter at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Austin, Texas.

An Austin church has offered sanctuary to an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant who said returning to her homeland means violence, abuse or even death. As a lesbian, Sulma Franco said she is fighting for herself and others at risk because of their sexual orientation.