News Roundup: House Subcommittee Holds ‘Kids In Cages’ Hearing About Southern Border

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJuly 11, 2019 12:27 pm

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

Members of Congress are taking stock of the treatment of migrant children on the U.S.-Mexico border in a series of hearings.

Yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing called “Kids in Cages: Inhumane Treatment at the Border.” U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Austin is the top Republican on that subcommittee. Roy expressed frustration with the title Democrats gave the hearing, and described what he has seen along the border.

“I’ve seen the facilities, and I’ve not seen a single cage in the way that it is being depicted. I’m seeing ways to try to separate people and keep them safe, and we demean the process and our Border Patrol agents who are law enforcement officers for the government of the United States trying to do their job when we call them ‘cages,’” Roy said.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee has scheduled two more hearings on the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children on the southern border: one is on July 12, the other is July 18.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is facing a growing field of Democrats vying to claim his seat in 2020.

The latest Democrat mulling a run against the Republican incumbent is long-time State Sen. Royce West of Dallas. West has scheduled an announcement for later this month, on July 22.

Sen. Cornyn weighed in on his potential challengers during a call with reporters Wednesday.

“It looks to me like there’s going to be a spirited Democrat primary, and we’ll be ready no matter who gets nominated,” Cornyn said.

Other Democrats in the race include former Congressional candidate MJ Hegar of Round Rock, and former Houston Congressman Chris Bell.

Dallas County prosecutors have rejected a request to move the murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who shot local accountant Botham Jean in his apartment. Christopher Connelly with KERA News reports:

Prosecutors filed a two-page motion, rejecting Guyger’s request for her trial to be moved to another county.

The 30-year-old is scheduled for trial in September. Last year, Guyger was off duty, and coming home after a shift, when she fatally shot Botham Jean. Guyger maintains she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, and thought she’d encountered an intruder. He was unarmed. The 26-year-old accountant was a native of St. Lucia and active in his church. At the time, his death sparked protests in Dallas, and international outrage.

Her lawyers argued that “prejudicial” media coverage and public officials’ actions have made it impossible for the former officer to get a fair trial in Dallas County.

They said the media spread a “false narrative” that race motivated the shooting by stating she is white and Jean was black.

Gov. Greg Abbott has requested a presidential disaster declaration for three counties in the Rio Grande Valley. The area recently suffered widespread damage and flooding due to heavy rains.