News Roundup: ACLU Wants Answers After Migrants Detained Under El Paso Bridge

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelApril 5, 2019 1:18 pm

The ACLU is calling for an investigation into the Department of Homeland Security for alleged human rights violations against asylum seekers. The organization says they documented accounts of asylum seekers detained under the Paso del Norte Port of Entry bridge in El Paso.

Those accounts include sleeping on gravel, being detained overnight in 30 degree weather and being systematically awakened and forced to stand throughout the night.

“DHS must account for how such conditions were ever authorized and must immediately inform congress on where those families are now and under what conditions,” said the ACLU’s Cynthia Pompa. “We need to make sure that such horrible and humane conditions are never allowed again or never authorized in the future.”

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is wrapping up a three-day visit to the southern border meeting with frontline federal officials. She started off Wednesday in El Paso and joins President Trump in California today.

Child welfare advocates say the budget proposal in the Texas Senate falls short on funding a program that provides therapies to babies and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays.

KUT’s Ashley Lopez reports that over the last decade, the state’s Early Childhood Intervention program has been dealing with budget cutbacks – and as a result, about 18 providers have closed their doors.

Texans Care for Children’s Stephanie Rubin says the program has been in trouble for years, which is why she says lawmakers need to increase funding for the program by $72 million. She says the House budget has hit that funding mark. But the Senate has only earmarked $17 million.

“It’s a good step,” Runin says, “but we hope certainly by the end of session that we get the full $72 million, which is going to be critical for kids.”

The funding mostly goes to nonprofits that provide therapies to small children from birth to 3-years-old. Through the program they learn to eat, speak and sit up on their own, among other basic things.

Some Texas police officers went viral this week as part of social media’s bluebonnet challenge.

Taking pictures in blooming fields of the state flower is a Texan tradition. But officers from around the state have decided to make it their own. Photos have been shared on social media of uniformed officers playfully posing in fields of bluebonnets.

One department, the Mineral Wells Police, tweeted a picture of two officers surrounded by bluebonnets with the caption, “Felt cute might arrest someone later, IDK!”