RACE & IMMIGRATION

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. 

Cuellar: Debate on Immigration Surge Set to Re-emerge

US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.
US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.

The congressional debate about how to address the influx of unaccompanied Central American minors crossing illegally into Texas is likely to re-emerge later this year when lawmakers debate an omnibus budget bill, according to a Texas lawmaker.

In Health Care, Organizers Find Issue to Spur Hispanics

Chris Ornelas, a Texas Organizing Project employee, speaking with Armando Rodriguez while canvassing in San Antonio's west side on Sept. 4, 2014.
Chris Ornelas, a Texas Organizing Project employee, speaking with Armando Rodriguez while canvassing in San Antonio's west side on Sept. 4, 2014.

In three of Texas' most populous counties, organizers are working to use Hispanic support of affordable health care to spur a movement they think could change the state’s electoral tide. Republicans suggest the issue ranks far behind unemployment and the economy — areas where they say their policies have the market cornered.   

 

On Border, Questions Over National Guard Troops' Needs

Governor Rick Perry gives a pep talk to National Guard troops training for deployment to the Texas border at Camp Swift on August 13, 2014.
Governor Rick Perry gives a pep talk to National Guard troops training for deployment to the Texas border at Camp Swift on August 13, 2014.

Democrats say media reports that some National Guard troops on the border haven't been paid and can't afford basic necessities are infuriating. Republican Gov. Rick Perry's office says the National Guard is fully equipped to help them. 

Guard's Arrival on Border Brings Reassurance, Concerns

Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.
Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.

The arrival of the Texas National Guard to the border has been met with praise by some who say the state is taking the lead in securing the border. Others say the deployment is overkill that only serves to hamper the local economy.

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. 

 

Glitches Threaten ACA Coverage for Some Immigrants

Iraqi refugee Mohammed al Mamoori used a Foundation Communities program, Insure Central Texas, for help signing he and his family up for health insurance earlier this year.
Iraqi refugee Mohammed al Mamoori used a Foundation Communities program, Insure Central Texas, for help signing he and his family up for health insurance earlier this year.

Immigrants who purchased health insurance through the federal marketplace could lose their coverage next month if they cannot verify their citizenship records.

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.

Perry Visits National Guard Training for the Border

Gov. Rick Perry views Humvee-mounted high-tech optical equipment as he tours Camp Swift National Guard training on Aug. 13, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry views Humvee-mounted high-tech optical equipment as he tours Camp Swift National Guard training on Aug. 13, 2014.

Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday portrayed the deployment of the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border as a critical security measure, saying troops “now are the tip of the spear protecting Americans from these cartels and gangs.”

Senators Discuss Funding of National Guard Deployment

Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.
Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.

At a state Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, senators debated the merits and tactical strategies of Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to send Texas National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.