News Roundup: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Supports Trump Tariffs On Mexico, Breaking With Other Texas Republicans

Our daily look at headlines from around the state.

By Becky FogelJune 5, 2019 1:19 pm

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is backing President Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on imports from Mexico, to compel that country to help reduce the number of migrants entering the United States.

“I understand why he did it,” Lt. Gov. Patrick told Odessa CBS affiliate KOSA, “and I think they’ll come to the table quite frankly, long before the tariffs last very long.”

His stance puts him at odds with other Texas Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott.

In a statement released last week, Gov. Abbott said “I’ve previously stated my opposition to tariffs due to the harm it would inflict on the Texas economy, and I remain opposed today.”

President Trump says the tariffs are set to begin June 10.

A bill that would create a pathway to citizenship for two major groups of immigrants passed the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday night. It’s called the American Dream and Promise Act, or H.R. 6.

Texas Public Radio’s Lauren Terrazas reports the fate of the bill now lies in the hands of the Republican-controlled Senate where it is unlikely to gain traction.

House Democrats passed H.R. 6 with overwhelming support. The legal status of “dreamers” who were brought to the country illegally as children has been in limbo after President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program in 2017.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He praised the House and immigrant advocacy groups for their efforts, but acknowledged this is only the beginning.

“We will do everything we can to push Mitch McConnell and the Senate to take action, to have the President take action,” Rep. Castro said. “We’re going to need your help for that, but this is an important step along the way.”

The bill, which also includes a path to citizenship for immigrants with Temporary Protected Status, was backed with the support of seven Republicans. The measure faces an uphill battle as it seeks Senate approval.

A fundraiser is underway to help cover costs for damages a wildfire caused to an historic adobe structure in Big Bend National Park.

The Castolon fire burned through roughly 900 acres of the West Texas park. It destroyed a nearly 100-year-old adobe building which was home to a visitor center and general store.

Big Bend Conservancy Executive Director Courtney Lyons-Garcia, whose organization is leading the fundraiser, told Marfa Public Radio rebuilding the site will be expensive. She adds that, so far, many donations have been made in memory of a friend or family member.

“A lot of people’s memories in the Castolon area picnicking with family and friends and, you know, their kids having popsicles or ice cream under the shade,” Lyons-Garcia says. “It’s just one of those places in Big Bend that’s an emotional place for people.”

The Castolon fire is now 100 percent contained after burning for 11 days.