News Roundup: A Mexican Journalist Facing Death Threats At Home Has Asylum Hearing In El Paso

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelOctober 23, 2018 1:04 pm

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

A Mexican journalist will learn whether he will be granted asylum in the United States early next year. He’s been seeking it for a decade.

Emilio Gutiérrez-Soto appeared before an immigration judge in El Paso Monday. His case gained national attention after federal officers in west Texas detained him and his son for months after a routine immigration check-in. They were released this past July.

I caught up with Gutiérrez-Soto over the phone while he stood outside of an El Paso courthouse. He says he can never return to Mexico where he faces death threats for his reporting on government corruption.

“No se quien es más peligrosos,” Gutiérrez-Soto says.

Gutierrez-Soto says he wonders whose actions would put him in more danger: the people potentially surrendering him to Mexican authorities, or the actions of those people waiting for him in Mexico.

Gutiérrez-Soto is currently a recipient of the prestigious Knight-Wallace Fellowship in journalism at the University of Michigan. He traveled to El Paso from Ann Arbor for yesterday’s hearing. Another fellow, Luis Trelles, also made the trip in support of Gutiérrez-Soto. Trelles works for the NPR podcast Radio Ambulante.

“What can I say? We appreciate him, and we want him here and we want him to be safe,” Trelles says.

Kathy Kiely is with the National Press Club Journalism Institute, which has long advocated for Gutiérrez-Soto. She also traveled to El Paso and says she’s concerned about how long the legal process is taking.

“The fact that these strange things keep happening to delay justice for Emilio only makes it harder for me to get out of my mind the suspicion that he’s a victim of prejudice – prejudice against Mexicans and prejudice against journalists,” Kiely says.

The judge hearing the case previously denied Gutiérrez-Soto asylum, but has been forced to rehear his case by the Board of Immigration Appeals, part of the U.S. Justice Department.

Five students at Prairie View A&M University are suing Waller County, arguing officials are suppressing the voting rights of black residents. The Texas Tribune reports the students at the historically black university are accusing the county of violating federal law because it is not providing a polling site on campus or in the city of Prairie View during the first week of early voting. Early voting started Monday, Oct. 22, and runs through Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 6.

About 18,000 people gathered in the Toyota Center in Houston Monday night for President Donald Trump’s rally for Texas Republicans. Trump had high praise for his onetime political rival, GOP incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz.

“Nobody has helped me more with your tax cuts, with your regulation, with all of the things that we’re doing, including military and our vets, than Senator Ted Cruz; nobody,” Trump said.

Cruz is in the midst of a competitive race with Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke.