News Roundup: Catholic Bishops Head To The Border To Address Immigrant Family Separation
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The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
Catholic bishops from across the United States are visiting the Texas-Mexico border amid the ongoing migrant family separation crisis.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo – who also serves as archbishop of the Houston-Galveston archdiocese – is leading the delegation to Brownsville. The bishops arrived yesterday to meet with those affected by the immigration policy, and celebrated mass Sunday morning at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle, a prominent pilgrimage site for migrants.
Other plans include holding mass at a detention center housing children, and meeting with Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande valley. According to the conference’s website, the bishops will be holding a press conference this evening at the basilica to discuss their findings.
In the wake of the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School back in May, Texas lawmakers have considered a so-called “red flag law.”
That law would allow local officials to take away a person’s guns, if a judge decides the gun owner presents a danger.
And, as Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider reports, some mental health advocates say this could reduce the state’s rising teen suicide rate:
At a recent hearing on red flag laws, Greg Hansch with the National Alliance on Mental Illness said federal data show Texas teens are reporting suicide attempts at nearly double the national average. Hansch said easy access to guns means those attempts are more likely to succeed.
“What we know about access to firearms as it relates to suicides is that most people who attempt suicide do not die, unless they use a gun,” he said.
Family members are often the first to notice when someone shows the warning signs of a suicide attempt. Under Texas law they have limited power to restrict a loved one’s access to guns, but a red flag law could change that.
It’s been more than 10 months since Harvey and yet, about a hundred households in Texas are still without permanent housing. A crucial deadline ended yesterday for FEMA’s Hurricane Harvey transitional sheltering assistance, or TSA program.
Lauren Hersh of FEMA-Texas says households still in need of help have been assigned disaster case managers.
“The state, local and federal partners are helping the survivors by ensuring the TSA participants are getting the support they need as they leave the program, and that would include housing information, financial resources guidance as they transition from the program,” she said.
Hersh says Jefferson County alone has about 37 households still without a permanent housing plan. Harris County has 11 households. And in Orange – a city hit hard by Harvey – about 15 households are currently without a permanent home.
FEMA says TSA provided temporary lodging to more than 54 thousand households over the course of about seven program extensions.