Texas Standard For March 17, 2021

Large numbers of migrant children unaccompanied and undocumented being housed in shelters. So what happens next? Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar on how the Biden administration is facing pressure from both sides of the aisle over what to do about large numbers of minors crossing the border and being held in detention in overcrowded facilities. And: As violent crime rates go up in Texas’ biggest city, questions loom over the causes. Also: Who’s in charge? The governor demands and gets the resignation of the last remaining public utilities commissioner in the wake of the winter outages. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMarch 17, 2021 9:57 am

Cuellar On Border Crossings

Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar of Laredo talks to the Standard about the rise in the number of migrants coming into Texas from Mexico, whether the increase is seasonal and how this could shape the Biden administration’s immigration policy moving forward.

Juárez Migrant Shelter

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently criticized what he called President Biden’s “open-border policies,” claiming they’re leading to a crisis at Texas’ southern border. But the border is still closed to most migrants and asylum seekers. The federal government is even flying some migrants from South Texas to El Paso, then expeling them back into Mexico. KERA’s Mallory Falk recently visited a migrant shelter in Juarez, across the Texas-Mexico border from El Paso.

Houston Violent Crime

Violent crime in Houston has been on the rise since last year. It’s led some people to wonder whether the pandemic is driving up crime, or if there’s more to the story. Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin has this report.

Public Utilities Commission Chair On Controversy And Resignation

Arthur D’Andrea, the lone member of the Public Utilities Commission has resigned after Texas Monthly obtained a 48-minute recording in which he reassured investors that the money they made on sky-high electric trades made during February’s winter storm would likely not be repriced. The coziness between the state’s so-called utility regulator and investors involving the newly appointed PUC chair raises questions about the PUC’s role moving forward. Loren Steffy, who broke the story for Texas Monthly talks to the Standard.

Sounds Of Texas: Keith Maitland On ‘Dear Mr. Brody’

Texas Birds And Salmonella

This is the time of year when the skies above Texas get busy. The Lone Star State is a major flyway for migratory birds. This time of year they’re returning north from their winter homes in Central and South America. But this time, any stopover in Texas may be more hazardous than usual. Gary Clark, nature columnist for the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, talks to the Standard.

PolitiFact: Abbott, COVID-19 And Immigrants

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the Biden administration is “recklessly releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants who have COVID into Texas communities.” But is that a fact? Brandon Mulder is on the case for PolitiFact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman.

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

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