Texas Standard For September 21, 2021

Hundreds more federal agents are sent to south Texas as the Biden administration steps up deportations of most Haitian migrants. After promises for sweeping changes in immigration policy, the Biden administration is facing heat from immigration advocates and even some Democrats over its handling of a humanitarian crisis at the border. We’ll hear more. And: The numbers are in, but how will the new political maps being drawn up by Texas lawmakers reflect the growing numbers of members of minority groups and people of color that have moved to Texas since the last census? Also: The unusual approach to saving the ocelot in South Texas. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardSeptember 21, 2021 7:14 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

Del Rio Migrant Camp

Residents of a growing migrant encampment of more than 14,000 people, mostly from Haiti, are waiting under the International Bridge in the small South Texas city of Del Rio. To some, the squalid conditions represent a broken immigration system. To others, it presents an opportunity for America to once again welcome people in need from around the world. Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios reports from Del Rio.

Another View from Del Rio

The encampment under the bridge in Del Rio is just one part of the story. There’s scrutiny over border patrol on horseback charging men, women and children refugees; debate over the Biden administration’s handling of immigration and the choice to fly the refugees back to Haiti; and discussion of the Department of Homeland Security’s visit on Monday as well. For more, we’re talking with Edgar Sandoval, a New York Times reporter based in south Texas.

Debt Collections Study

A new report from the Aspen Institute says debt collection lawsuits are undermining the financial stability of American families. As KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports, the number of debt claims filed in Texas has more than DOUBLED since 2014.

Redistricting and Census/Communities of Color in Texas

Texas state lawmakers have begun the process of redistricting: drawing new political boundaries for the state House, state Senate, the State Board of Education and the U.S. House of Representatives. Republicans are in full control of the once-in-a-decade process here in Texas. And as KUT Austin’s Ashley Lopez reports, groups are watching to make sure the new districts reflect the significant growth among racial minorities in Texas during the last 10 years.

Worker Heat Standards

The Biden administration is gearing up to propose new workplace standards aimed at preventing illness and death from heat exposure. Monday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced first steps to craft new federal rules to protect workers. A series of stories published by Columbia Journalism Investigations, NPR and the Texas Newsroom earlier this month found that under the current rules, workers are getting sick. Houston Public Media’s Sara Willa Ernst was part of that reporting project, and she joins us now.

The Sounds of Texas: David Johnson Kerrville Folk Festival Photos

Ocelot Insemination

The last remaining population of wild ocelots in the United States lives in South Texas. Researchers estimate there are only about 80 cats in the group, and that small number leads to concerns about genetic diversity – an important element in the health and resilience of any animal group. Genetic diversity is also a concern for ocelots that live in zoos. Texas Public Radio’s Dominic Anthony Walsh brings us the story of a novel attempt to address the problem.

Redistricting Special Session, Day 1

Political map drawing is now under way in the Texas Legislature’s third special session. And we’re starting to get a glimpse of where Republican lawmakers’ minds are at when it comes to the process. For more on that we’re joined by Ross Ramsey, executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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