LAW & ORDER

In border meeting, Sid Miller suggests distance with Trump on border wall, immigration

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca, governor of the neighboring Mexican state of Tamaulipas, at the intersection of the Texas-Mexico border on the international bridge spanning the Rio Grande at Laredo on Feb. 23, 2017.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca, governor of the neighboring Mexican state of Tamaulipas, at the intersection of the Texas-Mexico border on the international bridge spanning the Rio Grande at Laredo on Feb. 23, 2017.

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on Thursday left the tough talk on immigration in Austin while he held a historic press conference on one of the country's busiest international bridges to Mexico.

Texas House's chief budget writer: State shouldn't cut border security funding

State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, answers questions regarding a lean Texas budget with an appearance at TTEvents on Feb. 23, 2017
State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, answers questions regarding a lean Texas budget with an appearance at TTEvents on Feb. 23, 2017

The Texas’ House’s chief budget writer said that President Trump’s emergence in Washington shouldn’t give state lawmakers license to slice hefty appropriations for border security — at least not yet. 

 

Texas Republicans pitch new voter ID law

A sign describing Texas' new voter ID law is displayed at Fiesta Mart in Austin on Election Day 2013.
A sign describing Texas' new voter ID law is displayed at Fiesta Mart in Austin on Election Day 2013.

Top Texas Republicans unveiled legislation Tuesday that would overhaul the state’s voter identification rules, an effort to comply with court rulings that have found the current law discriminates against minority groups.

Trump administration directs Border Patrol, ICE to expand deportations

GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump rallied supporters at Gilley's in Dallas on June 16, 2016.
GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump rallied supporters at Gilley's in Dallas on June 16, 2016.

The Trump administration on Tuesday moved one step closer to implementing the president’s plans to aggressively rid the country of undocumented immigrants and expand local police-based enforcement of border security operations.

Here’s how the “bathroom bills” in North Carolina and Texas measure up

An accessible unisex bathroom at The University of Texas at Austin.
An accessible unisex bathroom at The University of Texas at Austin.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst maintain the so-called "bathroom bill" is significantly different from a similar law passed in North Carolina. But how exactly does the original wording of Senate Bill 6 stack up against North Carolina’s House Bill 2? 

Despite state budget woes, Republican lawmaker wants funds for death penalty attorneys

State Rep. James White, R-Hillister, speaks on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives on April 29, 2015.
State Rep. James White, R-Hillister, speaks on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives on April 29, 2015.

Rep. James White's House Bill 1676 would create a state-funded office to represent death-sentenced inmates who can’t afford their own lawyer in their direct appeals to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

She was a sex-trafficking victim, but Texas law labeled her a pimp

Yvette, 24, was convicted of trafficking a 16-year-old girl in 2015. She is serving a 23-year sentence at a prison in Gatesville, Texas.
Yvette, 24, was convicted of trafficking a 16-year-old girl in 2015. She is serving a 23-year sentence at a prison in Gatesville, Texas.

Laws the state uses to put sex traffickers behind bars can sweep up their prey, too. A few years in age can mean the difference between a chance at rehabilitation and a lengthy prison sentence, as Yvette learned.

Texas couldn’t help this sex-trafficked teen, so authorities sent her to jail

17-year-old Lena waits to be released from the Harris County Jail, with a small bag of her possessions. Her mentor gave her a blue jumpsuit to wear over her skimpy clothes.
17-year-old Lena waits to be released from the Harris County Jail, with a small bag of her possessions. Her mentor gave her a blue jumpsuit to wear over her skimpy clothes.

No one wanted Lena behind bars. She was not a prostitute; she was a child who had been sexually exploited. But teenage sex-trafficking victims in Texas end up in jail for one simple reason: There's nowhere else for them to go.

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