2020 Could Be An O’Rourke-Castro Face-Off, And Turmoil At Tornillo Tent City Over Employee Background Checks

This week in Texas politics. 

By Rhonda FanningNovember 30, 2018 12:41 pm,

Time for the week that was in Texas politics, with Sylvia Gonzalez-Gorman, assistant professor of political science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The tent city in Tornillo was intended to be a temporary shelter for minors during the family separation crisis, but the numbers have swelled to 2,300 children in November from 360 back in June, with young people coming in from the Central American migrant caravans. Gonzalez-Gorman says despite the influx, the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement has permitted the facility to skip fingerprinting or running child-neglect-and-abuse checks on its employees. 

“The ORR director has a right to waive those, but the stipulation is that one of the two must be met, and none of the two are being met,” she says.

In the wake of this month’s midterm elections, two Texans have indicated they may run for president in 2020: former Obama administration cabinet member and San Antonio native Julián Castro, and Beto O’Rourke. Gonzalez-Gorman says Castro said he will make a decision by the end of the year. As for O’Rourke, she says he would likely have a lot of support from political backers if he chooses to run, given how close he came to defeating Ted Cruz in the midterm election. 

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Written by Alexia Puente.