News Roundup: Texas Latino Lawmakers Sue To Block Census Citizenship Question

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 1, 2018 3:50 pm

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

Latino lawmakers in Texas are suing the Trump administration to try to block the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The Texas House of Representatives’ Mexican American Legislative Caucus and Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus filed the lawsuit Thursday.

State Rep. Cesar Blanco, who is an El Paso Democrat and a member of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, says asking about citizenship status is unconstitutional for two reasons.

One, it violates the Constitution’s Enumeration Clause that mandates every person in the United States be counted through the Census every 10 years. “The second part is that it violates the 5th amendment because the addition of the question is motivated by racial animus, hostility toward Latinos, animus toward non-U.S. citizen and foreign-born persons.”

Blanco adds that asking this controversial question could lead to an undercount of the state’s immigrant communities. And if that happens it could jeopardize billions of dollars in federal funding and the state’s number of representatives in Congress, which are both tied to population size.

“From our perspective the administration is trying to sabotage the 2020 Census with the addition of a citizenship question, that it knows will suppress participation by communities that the administration seeks to marginalize,” he says.

Several Texas counties have previously sued the Trump administration to block the addition of a citizenship question.

In contrast, the Texas attorney general actually asked the administration to include the question on the Census.

Last night, a crowd of protestors gathered in El Paso, where the Trump administration launched a pilot program separating immigrant parents and children at the border.

As Mallory Falk reports, the protesters were getting a head start on today’s ‘National Day of Action’ against the administration’s new family separation policy.

Several women shared their stories outside of the El Paso County Courthouse. Mariana Ibarra came to the U.S. from Mexico seeking political asylum, she was detained and separated from her son, who was then just six months old.

Ibarra says its hard for parents to miss milestones like their child’s first steps and words. She and her son were eventually reunited after months apart.

Linda Rivas is a local immigration lawyer. She says one big concern now is parents getting deported without their children.

“That’s one of the scariest parts and I feel like that’s one of the pieces people aren’t talking about yet.”

Rivas says there’s no formal policy to reunite families more parents are deported.

The state’s annual Free Fishing Day is this Saturday, June 2.

Texans can fish on any public body of water in the state without a fishing license on that day. 

Karen Marks is the aquatic education manager with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

She says the goal is to make the sport of fishing more accessible. One way the agency is doing that is through its Tackle Loaner Program, which lets people borrow equipment. 

“And it’s just like going to the library and checking out a book,” Marks says. “You can check out a fishing rod and reel, and the only thing you have to do is bring your own bait, whether it’s hot dogs, corn, or worms.”

That’s right, hot dogs as bait, which are an especially good way to catch catfish. Saturday aside, you can fish without a license year-round within the boundaries of Texas state parks.