Government & Public Policy

News about politics and government.

From Fronteras Desk and Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump says he’ll renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada. That has a lot of businesses that participate in cross-border trade concerned. That includes some U.S. energy executives, even though energy was excluded from NAFTA.

 

Ryan Poppe

Law enforcement groups  don’t agree on how a bill banning sanctuary cities would affect public safety in Texas, they weighed in during a hearing in Austin that was interrupted by some protesters.

Emotions ran high in a Senate hearing as immigrant rights advocates interrupted testimony on Sen. Charles Perry’s bill that bans sanctuary cities, and security officers escorted the protesters out.

Ryan Poppe

Gov. Greg Abbott has given Texas lawmakers some marching orders.  In his State of the State address Tuesday Abbott designated four issues as “emergency” items.  That enables lawmakers to vote on that legislation more quickly.

Ryan Poppe / Texas Public Radio

In his second State-of-the-State speech today, Gov. Greg Abbott called for four emergency items, a move that will allow state lawmakers to vote on those measures without waiting until they are at least 60 days into the session.  

Abbott called for reforming Child Protective Services, banning sanctuary cities, implementing meaningful ethics reforms and passing a resolution calling for a Convention of States.

Child Protective Services

Aaron Schrank / Texas Public Radio

Hundreds attended ‘Muslim Capitol Day’ in Austin on Tuesday. The regular event encourages Muslim Texans to meet with their state representatives. Today’s Muslim Day event was scheduled months ago, but takes on new meaning following Friday’s executive order by President Donald Trump restricting U.S. immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.

More than a thousand people flooded the south steps of the Capitol for the event organized by The Council on Islamic Relations, or CAIR. CAIR San Antonio President Sarwat Husain says it’s been her duty to come here every other year and make her voice heard.

"Lately we have seen some demonstrations against us," Husain says. "That is not going to stop us at all. We are Americans."

Two years ago, the Muslim Day rally was interrupted by protesters. Today, hundreds of non-Muslims formed a human chain to keep any protesters away from participants. Rashad Sharaf was one of at least 30 Muslims who came to Tuesday’s event from San Antonio. He says the display made him feel proud to be an American.

"After the elections, I was slowly beginning to lose faith, but now, really, when I see--around the country--how people have spontaneously risen to protest. And what I see in San Antonio, what I see over here, it really is heartwarming," Sharaf says.

 

He and others visited the offices of several state lawmakers--including House Speaker Joe Strauss. The group brought up issues including immigrant rights, bullying and police body cameras. Muslim groups also came from Houston and Dallas.

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