News Roundup: New Report Details Economic Hardships Faced By Texas Domestic Workers

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 20, 2018 2:14 pm

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

A new report finds that many domestic workers in Texas face economic hardship and are vulnerable to abuse. It’s called “Living in the Shadows: Latina Domestic Workers in the Texas-Mexico Border Region.” (You can read the report in Spanish here.)

There are more than 200,000 domestic workers in Texas. They work as nannies, house cleaners and home care workers.

Linda Burnham is research director at National Domestic Workers Alliance, one of the groups that collaborated on the report. On a press call Tuesday, Burnham said domestic workers across the country contend with low wages and pressure to work long hours, but these conditions are even worse in Texas.

“This is because Texas is a low-wage state, it is a state in which wage theft is common, it’s a state with a heavy concentration of undocumented workers even more so in the border region,” Burnham says.

Rosa Sanluis is with Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center, one of three Texas groups that contributed to the report by helping to survey over 500 women. She explained one their findings through conducting these interviews.

“Almost a fourth of the domestic workers, 24 percent, report that they received less pay than they had agreed to receive or that they did not receive any pay at all,” Sanluis says in Spanish.

Other findings include that 37 percent of domestic workers surveyed said someone in their household went hungry at some time during the previous 12 months. Another 44 percent reported being unable to pay their rent at some point during that period as well.

Protests were held in west Texas Tuesday over the Trump administration’s policy separating migrant children from their parents. Mallory Falk has more.

The protestors marched to an immigration detention facility near the El Paso airport. Among them was Amy Perry. She says she’s a military wife whose husband is stationed at nearby Fort Bliss. That’s one of the sites where the Trump administration is considering housing children.

“We’re horrified by the thought of immigrant children being held on our military post,” Perry said.

On Thursday, a delegation of U.S. mayors is planning a protest at the temporary facility in Tornillo, Texas where many boys are currently being housed.

Members of the Texas House of Representatives are meeting Wednesday to examine how health care is delivered to the state’s most vulnerable.

The hearing arrives in the wake of a yearlong Dallas Morning News investigation, called “Pain and Profit”, which examined the state’s managed care system. That’s where Texas hires private companies to coordinate health care for people on Medicaid. The investigation revealed a number of abuses within the system. For example, companies paid to care for foster children and elderly Texans claimed their networks included doctors that aren’t taking new patients or aren’t even practicing in the state.

Mark Sanders, is the CEO of Superior Healthplan, one of the companies covered in the investigative series. He categorically denied many of the series findings before the House Human Services Committee.

“Superior has already conducted an internal review of all of the assertions related to Superior Healthplan in these articles, and we have concluded that almost all of those assertions are unsubstantiated,” Sanders said.

A joint House Committee is taking up the managed care issue next Wednesday too.