On Fronteras: Tens of thousands of Central American children are waiting to see how the country will respond to their immigration cases. We hear from an organization helping these minors in San Antonio navigate the complex immigration legal system. Summer time can mean fun in the great outdoors, but everything doesn’t always go as planned. On the show, a story of friendship and teamwork that began during a flash flood at a Texas river.
Legal Aid Group Helping Immigrant Minors in San Antonio
After a meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, President Obama addressed the influx of migrant children on the U.S.-Mexico border. He signaled his openness to Perry's solutions, saying he'd consider deploying the National Guard, but also called on Congress to offer solutions of its own.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas say they will be closely monitoring the area of the border occupied by an armed militia known online as Operation Secure Our Border.
Denise Freedman with Operation Secure Our Borders, a collection of armed militias who are planning to patrol an area of the border near Laredo, said they are searching for immigrants coming to the United States through Texas.
“At this particular point we are going to be working on private land, but that is subject to change as law enforcement become willing to work with us,” Freedman said.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is facing criticism for a plan to house children crossing the border from Mexico illegally. He says they could be housed at a local middle school, an alternative education building and a warehouse at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
Jenkins is a Democrat and Republicans are blasting him over the plan, saying the local school system and health care delivery system will be overtaxed by people who won’t be able to contribute to that cost.
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.