Texas Standard for Aug. 11, 2022: Biden ends ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

Following a long court battle, the Biden administration announced earlier this week that it’s ending the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols, which forces migrants seeking asylum to stay in Mexico while they wait for a decision on their application for U.S. protections. Also: Multiple sources tell The Texas Tribune that Gov. Greg Abbott is exerting unprecedented control over who will lead the state’s power grid. Locked in a potentially tight re-election race and facing criticism over the grid’s 2021 collapse, we hear how the governor has put a stranglehold on the search for the operator’s CEO search.

All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardAugust 11, 2022 9:42 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022:

Abbott’s control of ERCOT is more intense than previously known

Gov. Greg Abbott is wielding unprecedented power in deciding who will lead the state’s electric grid. The Texas Tribune’s Mitchell Ferman writes that Abbott’s office seems to have a stranglehold on the search for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ new CEO, the data ERCOT releases, and more. Ferman joins us with more today.  

After long court battle, Biden ends ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

The Biden administration announced earlier this week it’s ending an immigration policy implemented by the Trump administration, referred to as “Remain in Mexico.” The Migrant Protection Protocols forces migrants seeking asylum to stay in Mexico while they wait for a decision on their application for U.S. protections. Nick Miroff has been covering this story for the Washington Post, where he reports on immigration enforcement.   

Five years after Harvey, a solution to the flood threat from the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs remains a long way off

The Addicks and Barker Reservoirs protected Houston for more than 70 years – until Hurricane Harvey filled them and caused 25,000 homes and businesses to flood. In a story from Houston Public Media’s new podcast Below the Waterlines: Houston after Hurricane Harvey, Andrew Schneider looks at whether the government can protect people around the dams from future major storms.  

What’s next for the audio app Clubhouse?

Just like Animal Crossing and grocery delivery, Clubhouse was very popular during some of the darkest days of the pandemic. The social network, where members gather in rooms to listen to or participate in voice conversations, took off in 2020 and 2021 – but now, the platform’s explosive growth has slowed, and Clubhouse has announced big changes intended to help people navigate better and find the conversations they want to be a part of. Our tech expert Omar Gallaga recently spoke with the Standard’s Michael Marks about the platform.  

EPA investigates if cement plant placement violates civil rights  

For years, residents of some neighborhoods in and around Houston have complained about concrete batch plants — facilities that are often built in lower-income areas. But now, the Environmental Protection Agency has launched an investigation into the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to determine if changes to the permitting process for these plants violated civil rights protections. Emily Foxhall has been reporting on this for the Houston Chronicle, where she reports on the environment.   

Investigation delves into family separation policies at the border

Family separation was one of the most controversial immigration policies of the Trump presidency. As of January 2021, more than 5,000 children have been separated from their parents. Caitlin Dickerson, a reporter who covers immigration, has spent the past year and a half researching how this policy came to be for The Atlantic. She joins us to share more about her recently published lengthy investigation looking at the family separation policy’s origins, and how it played out. 

The burden of high housing prices on veterans

Housing prices continue to climb around the state, squeezing renters and buyers alike. Advocates say that puts a particular burden on veterans, who often come out of the military with little preparation or support for civilian life. And as KERA’s Miranda Suarez reports, these high housing costs are hurting veterans who were doing OK even just a few months ago.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.

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