Skip to main content

The Brief: Nov. 21, 2014

Texas will feel more of the effects of Obama's action while a proposed overhaul of the Secure Communities programs draws bipartisan criticism.

President Barack Obama chastises Republicans in Congress for stonewalling his agenda in a speech July 10, 2014 at the Paramount Theater in Austin.

The Big Conversation

Action being taken by President Barack Obama to shield four million-plus undocumented immigrants from deportation will fall disproportionately on states like Texas.

The Tribune's Julián Aguilar wrote that Texas has the second highest population of undocumented immigrants, with 1.46 million. The state trails just California in that statistic.

"In all, about 1.15 million of Texas’ undocumented immigrants have lived in the country for at least five years, including about 218,000 immigrants who have lived here for more than 20 years," Aguilar wrote. "They will not qualify for citizenship, however, since that would require Congressional action, the president said. If Congress passes a comprehensive immigration bill, he added, the actions he is taking this week would no longer be policy."

Meanwhile, Obama's call to overhaul the Secure Communities program that had local law enforcement work with immigrations officials to identify undocumented immigrants received criticisms from both the right and left.

Republicans said that Obama was unwisely ending the program, wrote the Austin American-Statesman's Ciara O'Rourke. Critics on the left said the new proposed program, the Priority Enforcement Program, was too similar to what it was replacing.

“I think it’s Secure Communities by a different name,” Alejandro Caceres of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition told O'Rourke.

The Day Ahead

•    The State Board of Education meets at 9 a.m. at the William B. Travis Building in Austin. Among the expected actions at the meeting is a final vote to adopt new social studies textbooks. (agenda)

Trib Must-Reads

Drilling Brings Rise in Health Complaints, by Neena Satija

In San Antonio, Ambitions Rise for Hispanic Democrats, by Alexa Ura

Reaction to Train Plan Less Rosy in Rural Texas, by Aman Batheja

Analysis: In the Texas House, a Dose of Moderation, by Ross Ramsey

Former Senator, UT Counsel Ray Farabee Passes Away, by John Reynolds

Panetti Attorneys File Stay Request With CCA, by Terri Langford

West Ceremony: "We Were, and We Will Be", by Jim Malewitz

Top Perry Aide, Budget Expert To Join Patrick Staff, by Morgan Smith


Obama seeks to shelter 5 million from deportation, Houston Chronicle

Hispanic Voters Are Important for Republicans, but Not Indispensable, The New York Times

Ted Cruz's Brain Trust: The Advisers Who Want To Make Him President, Talking Points Memo

Garcia: Van de Putte’s greatest political challenge awaits, San Antonio Express-News

Falling oil prices cloud the forecast for Houston economy, Houston Chronicle

TxDOT’s D-FW high-speed train proposal off the rails, skeptics say, The Dallas Morning News

Number of women getting CHLs doubles, KXAN-TV

Quote to Note

“When, President Obama, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end to that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now?”

— U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, modifying Cicero's first oration against Catiline to criticize the president's use of executive order to act unilaterally on immigration

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Reps. Myra Crownover, Tan Parker and Ron Simmons on Dec. 1 at Texas Woman's University in Denton

•    A Conversation With Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Dec. 4 at The Austin Club

•    The Texas Tribune Festival presents a one-day symposium previewing the 84th Legislature on Dec. 5 at the Austin Community College Highland Campus in Austin

•    A Panel Discussion on the Transformation of Medical Education in Texas, on Dec. 9 at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.

•    Meet the New Guys: A Conversation With Incoming Members of the Texas Senate on Dec. 11 at The Austin Club

Texans need truth. Help us report it.

Support independent Texas news

Become a member. Join today.

Donate now

Explore related story topics

Energy Environment Politics Barack Obama Dan Patrick Rick Perry Trey Martinez Fischer