News Roundup: Texas Democrats Visit Detained Immigrant Children

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 19, 2018 2:10 pm

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

Democratic members of Congress visited two facilities in South Texas Monday that house immigrant children. Some of the children entered the United States as unaccompanied minors, while others were separated from their parents at the border. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio is one of the lawmakers who visited the sites.

Rep. Castro says the spotlight on the Trump administration’s so-called “zero tolerance” policy is highlighting how children are treated in the American immigration system.

“And so perhaps the silver lining here,” he says, “is that it’s raised the consciousness of Americans about what the government is doing in their name to young children, and the fact that we do have a broken immigration system, that it needs to be fixed, and that Congress needs to step up and take that on.”

Castro adds he’s encouraged to see some Republicans speaking out against the separation of immigrant parents and children. President Donald Trump is slated to meet with Republicans today about two GOP immigration bills up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives later this week.

State Senator Carlos Uresti announced Monday that he is resigning from the Texas legislature this week after more than two decades. The San Antonio Democrat’s decision comes several months after he was found guilty of 11 felonies. Ryan Poppe with Texas Public Radio has more.

Senate colleagues urged Uresti to resign immediately following his conviction, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, barred Uresti from serving on any Senate committees.

In April, Uresti surrendered his law license of 25 years. Then, this week, Uresti sent letters to both Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott announcing he was stepping down to focus on his personal life and ongoing criminal charges.

“After 22 years of service I think it’s time for me to step down and again close this chapter in my book and focus on my personal matters,” he said.

Uresti’s letter asked Gov. Abbott to hold a special election in November for his Senate seat.

Today is Juneteenth, which marks the date when the abolition of slavery was announced in Galveston in 1865, effectively ending slavery in the United States as a whole. That was over two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became law. Events and parades have been held throughout Texas for what some call America’s Second Independence Day.

DaLyah Jones with KUT News has a look at a Juneteenth celebration at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center in Austin today that will give residents a taste of history and storytelling over lunch.

Angela Shelf Medearis is prepping the menu for the second annual event.

“It has 54 pieces of jerk chicken in it,” she says. “Oh yeah girl and it smells really really really really fantastically good.”

Medearis will also be serving Zimbabwe Rice Salad, black-eyed peas with corn, apple cider coleslaw and more at this year’s event. The event also includes an oral history of Juneteenth, songs and a reenactment of Union Army General Gordon Granger announcing the emancipation proclamation in Texas in 1865. Medearis says the event is more than a glimpse into history.

“I like the fact that that the old East Austin and the new East Austin get a chance to kind of meet over a common table,” she says.