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The Brief: Nov. 2, 2015

Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to turn up the heat on Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez over her changed approach on federal immigration detainers makes her just the latest local official to be on the hot seat.

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The Big Conversation

Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to turn up the heat on Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez over her changed approach on federal immigration detainers makes her just the latest local official to be on the hot seat over immigration-related issues.

As the Tribune's Morgan Smith writes this morning, "The federal government’s overarching approach to illegal immigration remains at a boiling point in presidential politics, and efforts to address the issue nationwide have resulted in Congressional gridlock. ... But it’s local officials who find themselves at ground zero of the debate. Battles over 'sanctuary cities,' a loose term used to describe municipalities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, are currently brewing in a handful of Texas counties."

The debate over the best approach to asking immigration status has drawn in sheriff's offices in Bexar, Harris and Travis counties, Smith writes. In Travis County, for instance, Sheriff Greg Hamilton's policy to continue honoring detainer requests could factor into the upcoming election.

"All Democrats in the race to replace Hamilton, who has until early December to decide whether he will run again, have said they would end enforcement of the program," Smith writes.

The debate, as Smith relates, boils down to a straightforward disagreement on what the detainers' ultimate effects are. She quoted one critic of local officials' unlimited cooperation with federal authorities as saying, “I think they shouldn’t condemn thousands of undocumented immigrants for one crime that has been committed.”

That quote is countered by the chief administrator for Travis County jails who said, “We have to concern ourselves with enforcing the law — not that we are not compassionate, but we have to stay focused on the public safety aspect. ... We are concerned with maintaining public safety and enforcing the laws that we are charged to enforce.”

Trib Must Reads

Analysis: Words Say One Thing, Actions Another, by Ross Ramsey – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has taken to starting interviews by saying he won't run for governor against Greg Abbott. But it is a question, in part, because of the two men, Patrick often acts more like the governor than the governor does.

In a First, Pro-Bush Super PAC Books Airtime in Texas, by Patrick Svitek – A super PAC supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush this week reserved airtime for Texas' Republican presidential primary.

Texas Delegation Spends Campaign Cash on Presidential Candidates, by Abby Livingston – Members of Texas' congressional delegation are making their support for presidential candidates known — in thousand-dollar increments from their own campaign accounts.

In Red River Dispute, "A Cloud Over This Land", by Jim Malewitz – Along a disputed stretch of the Red River, one Clay County farmer got his land back from the federal government. Can his neighbors follow suit?

Media Beef Still Sizzling, Cruz Takes Reporters Hunting, by Patrick Svitek – After a week in which his disdain for the so-called “mainstream media” reached new heights, Ted Cruz did what any White House hopeful would do: He went hunting with a bunch of unarmed journalists.

In Iowa, Cruz Hunting for Key Endorsement, by Patrick Svitek — If Iowa Congressman Steve King's friendship with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz yields an endorsement, it could boost Cruz's hopes in early voting Iowa and help Cruz illustrate that conservatives are lining up behind his campaign.


AP: Hundreds of officers lose licenses over sex misconduct, The Associated Press

A troubled state contract gets renewed scrutiny, but who is to blame?Austin American-Statesman

Could wagering on Texas horses soon be off the table again?Fort Worth Star-Telegram

UT System regent to Wallace Hall: Stop this nonsense, The Dallas Morning News

Abbott pushing sanctuary cities ban to 2017San Antonio Express-News

In do over, Hillary Clinton to campaign in Dallas next month — in publicThe Dallas Morning News

After ballot mix-up, Martindale voting for mayor again Austin American-Statesman

Actors, politicians speak up for HERO as vote nearsHouston Chronicle

Only four miles separates those who vote from those who don'tHouston Chronicle

Cruz control: Senator's body man a perpetual presence in presidential bidThe Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

"This is how I like reporters. It would make gaggles very different if you just had a double-barrel shotgun — ‘I’m sorry. Repeat that question again?’”

–U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joking with reporters during a hunting trip in Iowa on Saturday.

Today in TribTalk

Why Texas needs Planned Parenthood, by Lauren Embrey – Women and girls need medically accurate, age-appropriate education to know and understand their bodies, and above all, they need access to high-quality health care to ensure they have an opportunity to live a full life. The recent attempts by the State of Texas to exclude Planned Parenthood affiliates from the state’s Medicaid program puts women and girls at risk.

Cancer report on beef creates unnecessary fear, by Neva Cochran – The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization, recently released a report regarding red and processed meats and cancer that has left many health professionals and scientists alike wondering how the group came to the published conclusions. Bottom line: It’s impossible to assess the impact of red meat consumption in isolation, and it’s unrealistic to single out one food that can cause or cure cancer. 

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A conversation about the future of healthcare in Texas on Nov. 10 at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

•    A discussion about Public Education: The Next Five Years on Nov. 13 at the University of Texas at El Paso. 

•    A daylong higher education symposium on Nov. 16 at Baylor University in Waco

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