News Roundup: ICE Has Ended Force-Feeding Of Nine Hunger-Striking Immigrants Detained In El Paso

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartFebruary 15, 2019 1:50 pm

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

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Thursday that they are no longer force-feeding a group of hunger striking detainees.

Nine immigrants from India being housed at the El Paso Processing Center had been force-fed through nasal tubes since the beginning of this year. They were on hunger strike to protest the length and conditions of their detention, with some of the men having been in custody for more than a year.

ICE’s decision to feed the protestors via nasogastric tubes sparked public outcry – and last week the United Nations weighed in, saying that the practice could be in violation of the U.N. Convention Against torture.

The American Medical Association has also condemned force-feeding as unethical.

On Wednesday, a U.S. district judge ordered the government to cease force feeding two of the detainees, but said that if their health began to decline, he would consider ordering forced feeding again.

According to ICE, there were 12 detainees on hunger strike at the facility as of Thursday morning  – nine men from India and three from Cuba.

During the last Texas legislative session, lawmakers cut $118 million in pre-Kindergarten funding. But one new lawmaker says money dedicated to pre-K is money well-spent.

State Rep. Brad Buckley of Killeen spoke with the Texas Tribune Thursday as part of a panel featuring new Republican lawmakers. Buckley says pre-K is an investment in the future.

“And you know if we’re ever going to get to the other end — ready to earn, ready to learn, if we miss that crucial step … if we don’t do that we’ll never eventually have kids who will build the workforce and keep this country strong state’s economy moving.  Workforce is the key,” Buckley said.

Buckley says a lack of pre-K means students are entering elementary school already behind.

If Houstonians end up getting a new amusement park in their city, they may have Travis Scott to thank. Thursday, the Houston-born rapper was joined on stage in concert at the Toyota center by Mayor Sylvester Turner. The mayor took the mic to thank Scott .

“Look, we owe so much to this guy for keeping Houston on the map,” Turner said.

And then he teased the idea of a new amusement park for the city, inspired by Scott’s album “Astroworld,” named after the former Houston theme park

“As the mayor of the city of Houston, I am so proud of you man… Travis for “Astroworld” .. for those of us who remember Astroword. And because of him we want to bring another amusement park back to the city,” Turner said.

Astroworld the amusement park closed in 2005. “Astroworld” the album was released last year.