News Roundup: Julián Castro Accuses Donald Trump Of Trying To Establish ‘A Whiter Nation’

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Kristen CabreraAugust 14, 2019 4:09 pm

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

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro criticized new Trump administration rules announced this week restricting legal immigration. The former San Antonio mayor says President Donald Trump is “trying to establish a whiter nation.”

On “CNN Tonight” Tuesday, Castro responded to comments from the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli.

“I don’t understand what in the world this administration thinks they’re doing believing that we should only let in people who are already well off, that’s not how we built the America we have today,” he said.

The new rule change denies green cards and visas to immigrants if they use federal, state and local government benefits. That includes food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid.

Advocates argue the change would impact hundreds of thousands of immigrants who come to the United States legally every year.

Experts say immigrants in detention with a life-threatening disease or chronic pain have trouble accessing adequate medical care.

Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall spoke with Emily Oshea, a licensed clinical social worker who works with immigrants. Oshea says the lack of treatment for some migrants’ medical conditions is inhumane. 

“If I had a parent who had a child in that situation and they weren’t actually working to get their child (treatment). Yeah, that would be considered medical neglect,” Oshea said. 

Doctors and advocates worry lack of health care can be fatal. 

Dr. Kate Sugarman writes medical opinions to help immigrants get released from detention, or get better care when they face health issues. She spoke with Trovall on the dangers immigrants face when clustered together in holding facilities.

“We have a bunch of people with HIV and it’s complex to have immune suppression and be in a large detention center that don’t always have adequate hygienic facilities,” she said.

Sugarman says she’s worked on some extreme cases, including one detainee who would go into anaphylactic shock. Another had a dental emergency, but she says Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t often follow medical advice. 

When Houston Public Media asked ICE about these concerns, the agency sent a statement saying it is committed to ensuring the welfare of all those in the agency’s custody.

Triple-digit temperatures across the state forced the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, to issue an Energy Emergency Alert Tuesday. The alert allows ERCOT to access additional resources when reserve power is low. The last time such an alert was issued was in January 2014. The alert was canceled in the evening but electric providers are asking customers to try to limit their usage, especially in the late afternoon.