On Fronteras: We continue our reporting on the tens of thousands of Central American children and teens who are now in the United States. A UTSA demographer, who researches immigration, tells us more about what's driving this surge to the north. Texas is known as an energy superpower, but solar is sluggish here. We also look at solar economics in Texas and lessons that can be learned from other southwest states. And, the Kitchen Sisters take us to the Mexican town of Tequila, it's in the heart of a region that produces the legendary spirit.
Among the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have come from Central America this year are children who speak little or no Spanish. Many are from Guatemala's indigenous communities, who speak more than 20 different Mayan languages.
Rafael Domingo, 16, grew up in Guatemala speaking Q'anjob'al, sometimes referred to as Kanjobal. The youngest son of a single mother, he rode a bus, walked for miles and crossed a river before he was stopped at the Texas border.
"It was so difficult to come to this country," Domingo says through an interpreter.
President Obama is requesting that Congress authorize $2 billion and special powers to deal with the surge of unaccompanied minor immigrants.
In record numbers the children are coming from Central America, crossing the Rio Grande and overwhelming the U.S. system after being apprehended at the Texas border. Most are coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, but Honduras is the leading source country.
Calling the situation a "humanitarian crisis," County Judge Clay Jenkins said Dallas County is prepared to house more than 1,000 immigrant children.
"I believe that every child is precious, and that regardless of your stance on immigration or the causes for this human tragedy, we cannot turn our back on the children that are already here," Jenkins said while speaking at the Texas Democratic Convention on Saturday.
Fronteras: There's a critical shortage of mental health care workers in Texas, and the problem is especially apparent in the borderlands. The Texas Democratic Party chair speaks about the party's top candidates, its platform and more as the convention arrives this weekend. For San Antonio artist Cruz Ortiz, culture is everything. He speaks about the inspiration for his Tex-Mex artwork and new exhibit at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.
Last week the Texas Department of State Health Services toured U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facilities where thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America are living.
While the department has no jurisdiction over the Fort Brown Detention Center in Brownsville and the McAllen Station Detention Center, DSHS Media Relations Director Carrie Williams said they have been able to provide technical assistance and vaccines.
Thousands of unaccompanied children are coming from Central America, crossing the Rio Grande and being apprehended at the Texas border. They are coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – but Honduras is the main source.
As night seizes Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the streets of one of the capital city’s toughest neighborhoods, Comayagüela, are virtually deserted. Most people here know that it’s not safe for anyone to be caught out alone at night. This is where the killer gangs are notorious.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Attorney General Greg Abbott toured Lackland Air Force Base today to see first hand the influx of minors who have crossed into the United States without their guardians. The two Republican figureheads are placing the blame on President Obama.
Fronteras: In what would be a historic move, Mexico may open up its energy industry to private domestic and foreign investors. How Texas is preparing to get ahead of a proposed overhaul of Mexico’s energy industry. U.S. and Mexico authorities released water into the Colorado River Delta this spring to try to jump-start habitat restoration. We check in to see how that experiment is going.
Gov. Rick Perry has signed a plan to spend an extra $1.3 million each week for the rest of the year to bolster efforts to patrol his state’s border with Mexico, as officials on the border report a spike in immigration, especially of unaccompanied children.
Republicans, such as state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, are cheering the idea. But Democratic state Sen. Jose Rodriguez is against what he calls further militarization of the border.