News Roundup: Federal Authorities Will Open New Temporary Tent Shelter For Immigrant Children

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 15, 2018 7:01 am

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

Federal authorities say they will open a temporary tent shelter for immigrant children in far west Texas.

Carlos Morales with Marfa Public Radio reports.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that authorities would open a shelter at the Tornillo port of entry, about 40 miles southeast of El Paso.

The numbers of children in existing facilities have surged as the Trump administration institutes a “zero tolerance” policy against families that try to enter the U.S. without legal permission. Hundreds of families have been separated, with parents detained and their children placed in government shelters.

Texas Republicans will debate parts of the party platform today at their 2018 convention, which got underway this week in the Alamo City.

This platform lays out the party’s principles and the ideals they want to see in their elected leaders. KUT’s Ben Philpott reports from San Antonio on some of the most contentious parts of that document.

Republicans kicked off their annual convention talking about all the things the party has done, and all the work that still needs to get done, but that won’t happen if the party doesn’t stick together and grow its base. Cindy Asche is a candidate for state party chair and spoke to the nearly 8,000 delegates Thursday morning.

“Today, more than ever, it is critical to bring in Hispanic, Asian and African-Americans who share our same conservative values,” Asche said.

But during the public comment period on the party platform, divisions were visible – from the pros and cons of school vouchers, to attempts to decriminalize marijuana, to efforts to remove a platform plank on “homosexual behavior.” Several delegates argued it should be taken out, while Platform committee member MerryLynn Gerstenschlager said it wasn’t the GOP’s fault it was in there to begin with.

“Had the homosexual community not come and pushed it down our throats, instead of just living their quiet lives, we wouldn’t have this pushback and we wouldn’t have to have the language,” Gerstenschlager said.

A final platform report will hit the convention floor today. Final passage will happen Saturday.

Starting in the 2019 school year, Houston public school students will have a new holiday – one that honors two Latino leaders who won greater rights for farm workers.

Houston Public Media reports that the Houston school board voted unanimously Thursday night to enact the holiday in honor of the late Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, who continues to advocate in her 80s. Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca brought the idea to the board.

“I think it’s past due time that we do recognize some Latino icons here and I think there are going to be plenty of opportunities to develop service projects, project based learning around Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta,” she says.

Just over 60 percent of students in the Houston school district are Hispanic. It’s not the first Texas district to enact this kind of holiday. Earlier this year, the Fort Worth school board also decided to recognize the same two Latino civil rights leaders.