News Roundup: Ruth Hughs Named Texas Secretary Of State

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartAugust 20, 2019 2:41 pm

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

On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced his appointment of Ruth Hughs as Secretary of State. Hughs is moving to the chief election officer position after serving as the chair of the Texas Workforce Commission – a position she’s held since Aug. 2018.

She replaces David Whitley, who failed to get confirmation from the Texas Senate earlier this year over his botched attempt to purge voter rolls of alleged non-citizens. That inquiry swept up many recently-naturalized citizens who were eligible to vote, as well as other voters of color, and landed the state in court.

Hughs will oversee both the 2020 election and U.S. Census before she’s up for Senate conformation in the 2021 legislative session.

Charities in San Antonio are rolling out a new mobile shower and laundry unit to serve migrants and homeless populations in South Texas.

Texas Public Radio’s Bonnie Petrie has more on the initiative…

Saying everybody has the right to be clean and feel clean, the head of Catholic Charities San Antonio, J. Antonio Fernandez, says this new mobile shower unit will join the charity’s mobile food pantry as a resource for homeless people in San Antonio. He says migrants from Central America are often also desperate for a shower when they reach the border, so he’s ready to take the truck on the road.

“So if we have a need to take this to McAllen or Del Roi or Uvalde, wherever it is, we will take it, just to give an opportunity to immigrants who may be walking for weeks and they don’t have an opportunity to take a shower, they can now take a shower,” Fernandez says.

Fernandez says the unit cost around $150,000, which was financed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The project is part of an interfaith collaboration between the Latter Day Saints, the Archdiocese of San Antonio, and Catholic Charities.

Some survivors of the Aug. 3 mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso don’thave legal status in the U.S. But they now may be eligible for a special visa meant to protect victims of crime.

Christina Garcia is with Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, a legal nonprofit in El Paso. Her office is working to identify people who may be eligible for a U Visa – a visa designed to ensure crime victims feel safe coming forward and cooperating with law enforcement.

“In return they…would have the right to continue to be here in the United States throughout the investigation and prosecution of their cases in seeking justice,” Garcia says.

U visa holders can live and work legally in the US for several years, and eventually apply for a green card. Congress created the program in 2000.