POLITICS: Special Interests

Travis County sheriff announces new "sanctuary" policy

Travis County Constable Sally Hernandez is running for Travis County sheriff as a Democrat vowing to "get ICE out of Austin," meaning the local jail will no longer cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, making Austin the first true "sanctuary city" in the state.
Travis County Constable Sally Hernandez is running for Travis County sheriff as a Democrat vowing to "get ICE out of Austin," meaning the local jail will no longer cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, making Austin the first true "sanctuary city" in the state.

A Friday announcement by newly-elected Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez that her office would reduce cooperation with federal immigration authorities will set up a showdown with Texas Republican leaders, especially Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Lawmakers likely to wage in-state tuition policy fight again this year

Former and current lawmakers gather at the Texas Capitol showing their support for HB 1403 which passed in 2001 ensuring that all Texas would have access to in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status.
Former and current lawmakers gather at the Texas Capitol showing their support for HB 1403 which passed in 2001 ensuring that all Texas would have access to in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status.

Will Texas legislators repeal in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants? One Republican lawmaker is determined to make it happen.

Six years later, fight over anti-sanctuary cities bill has changed

Protesters hold signs reading "No Arizona Hate in Texas" — a reference to a recently passed law in that state — during a 2011 demonstration against "sanctuary city" legislation in Austin.
Protesters hold signs reading "No Arizona Hate in Texas" — a reference to a recently passed law in that state — during a 2011 demonstration against "sanctuary city" legislation in Austin.

Bills targeting "sanctuary cities" failed to pass the Texas Legislature in 2011 and 2015, but similar efforts this session have better chances of making it to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

Is Ciudad Juárez on the brink of a new gang war?

A municipal police officer at a crime scene in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The municipal police force was recently "purged" under the new chief of police Julien Leyzaola.
A municipal police officer at a crime scene in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The municipal police force was recently "purged" under the new chief of police Julien Leyzaola.

October was the deadliest month in Ciudad Juárez in nearly three years. Locals are anxious — and hopeful they're not witnessing a resurgence of the brutal drug war that plagued this Mexican border city from 2008 to 2011.

Texas lawmakers hope rhetoric doesn't swamp beneficial trade deals

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, operating a crane at the Port of Houston Authority on November 1, 2016. The port is ranked first in the country for imports and exports, and second for overall tonnage.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, operating a crane at the Port of Houston Authority on November 1, 2016. The port is ranked first in the country for imports and exports, and second for overall tonnage.

Trade has become an emotional hot-button issue this presidential election year, and some Texas lawmakers are worried about what that means for the future of the state's trade climate. 

After a lull in 2015, border apprehensions surge

Unaccompanied child migrants from Honduras voluntarily turned themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents near Roma, Texas, on Mar. 8, 2016.
Unaccompanied child migrants from Honduras voluntarily turned themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents near Roma, Texas, on Mar. 8, 2016.

Apprehension of families and unaccompanied children surged again along the Texas-Mexico border in 2016, reflecting the new prevalence of illegal immigration from Central America. 

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