El Paso City Council Rejects City ID Card Proposal

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By Becky FogelAugust 22, 2017 2:09 pm

he Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

On Monday, the El Paso City Council voted against creating a municipal identification card. The push for a city ID was several years in the making. Such IDs are available in places like New York and San Francisco.

Before councilmembers voted, Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights told them that there are 75,000 people in El Paso who do not have an official government ID

“And these are migrants, yes, with mixed legal status but also homeless, transgender, youth, poor, and elderly,” Garcia said. “This is a human rights problem indeed, but it’s more than that. Many of these members in our communities they don’t have the chance to be fully integrated into our community.”

Garcia explained that without an official ID, people can’t open a bank account or get a public library card. They can’t even pick up their own kids at school.

“Because today it’s required by the Independent School District that everybody who show up in the school to pick up a kid should have an ID,” Garcia said.

Garcia’s organization also presented the city council with 3,000 signatures in favor of creating a municipal ID program. Ultimately the council voted 5-to-4 against the measure, with Mayor Dee Margo casting the deciding vote.

Margo was concerned that offering municipal IDs would lead El Paso to be perceived as a so-called “sanctuary city.”

This is in spite of the fact that the city council voted in June to join a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new controversial immigration law – SB 4. That law seeks to ban “sanctuary cities” and is set to take effect September 1st.

A 25-year-old Houston man has been charged with attempting to blow up a Confederate statue. Andrew Schneck also has a previous conviction for storing explosives.

Houston Public Media’s Laurie Johnson reports.

A Houston park ranger noticed Andrew Schneck crouched by a statue of Confederate Officer Dick Dowling Saturday evening. Authorities say he was holding two small boxes, containing duct tape, wires, a timer, and some nitroglycerin in a plastic container. Schneck allegedly tried to drink the liquid before spitting it out. A subsequent FBI raid on Schneck’s residence revealed more explosives.  Schneck is charged with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property that receives federal financial assistance. The federal government provides grants to Hermann Park, where the statue is located. If convicted, Schneck faces five to 40 years in prison. I’m Laurie Johnson in Houston.

Texas is cutting funding to the anti-abortion Heidi Group, after the Associated Press found the organization had little to show for the state money it has received.

The group, which offers alternatives to abortion, received nearly $7 million in state funds for women’s health and family planning services after Texas cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.

A spokesperson for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission says the Heidi Group hasn’t met its goals and will now receive less than $1 million  for family planning.