Texas Standard For February 3, 2021

New executive orders on asylum-seekers and family separation policies at the border get a lukewarm reception from advocates for change. President Biden orders an official review of the remain in Mexico policies. Some are asking why not just change the policy? And: COVID-19 and the double squeeze on nonprofits: more demand for their services, but less money to provide those services – we’ll explore. Also: The governor’s call for legislation to further restrict abortion access in Texas: are Republican lawmakers hoping for a fight in the high court? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardFebruary 3, 2021 9:34 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Biden Latest Immigration Executive Orders 

President Biden is pushing for the location of some 500 children taken from their parents at the border under the previous administration. That’s just one part of his new immigration agenda unveiled this week. Julian Aguilar has been writing about this for The Texas Tribune, where he reports on immigration and border security.

COVID-19 And Rural Texas

Throughout the pandemic, rural communities in the panhandle have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus. In the spring, they faced limited testing supplies and personal protective equipment. Last fall, many hospitals ran out of hospital beds for patients. Now, they can’t seem to get vaccines into arms fast enough. Texas Tech Public Media’s Jayme Lozano follows one man’s journey to a vaccine. This is the first story in a year-long collaboration with “Frontline,” the PBS series, through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Storage Tanks In Houston

If you live in Houston, you’re probably familiar with the site of those massive storage tanks that dot the Ship Channel. Those tanks have been the source of several chemical disasters including a major gasoline spill during Hurricane Harvey. Yet, despite the obvious risk, environmental reporter Katie Watkins found a lack of effective regulation. Part of Fire Triangle, a project with Texas Public Radio looking at chemical disasters in the state.

COVID-19’s Strain On Nonprofits

As the pandemic wears on, there’s more of a strain on nonprofit organizations now stepping up to help those impacted. Texas A&M University’s Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy took a look at how nonprofits are faring. William Brown, the center’s director, talks to the Standard.

Abortion Battles

While not deemed an emergency item in his state of the state address earlier this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott still called on Republican lawmakers to further restrict abortion. To help us break down some of these measures is Andrea Zelinski. She’s reports on Texas politics for Texas Monthly.

Heel To Toe: Stories About Texans And Their Boots: Alvie Faulkenbery IV And Clay Sexton

Texas At Sundance 2021

Today is the final day of the Sundance Film Festival. It’s considered one of the most prestigious showcases in North America for new films. Although the festival was mostly online this year, the show went on and even included some satellite screenings in Dallas and Austin. Texas Standard’s Laura Rice scoured the lineup and found at least a half dozen films with Texas ties.


U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady said President Biden’s ban on new federal oil and gas leases will kill 120,000 Texas jobs by 2022. But is that a fact? Brandon Mulder with Politifact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman, vets the claim.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.

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