Texas Matters: Legacy Of Poverty & Border Families

Jun 18, 2018

On This episode of "Texas Matters":

  • 50 years after CBS's Hunger In America  exposed San Antonio's poverty
  • Senator John Cornyn on border family separations (10:13).
  • San Antonio rallys against border family separations (11:22).
  • How the Texas Border is the most over policed area in the nation (15:27).
  • A daughter remembers her father's office on the border (24:01).


In the last 50 years, great strides have been taken to battle hunger in the nation. While food insecurity remains, extreme poverty, malnutrition and infant mortality due to starvation is no longer at the crisis level.

That could be in part due in part to a documentary first broadcast 50 years ago that exposed extreme poverty in some San Antonio neighborhoods. Americans saw disturbing images of malnutrition and poor living conditions that was common in parts of the U.S.

And now, half a century later, the CBS program “Hunger in America” continues to resonate in San Antonio.

Sen. Cornyn's HUMANE Act

It’s been more than a month since officials from the Health and Human Services Department admitted to Congress that they had lost nearly 1,500 immigrant children, who were separated from their parents after surrendering at the southern border seeking asylum. Texas Senator John Cornyn says he has a solution called the HUMANE Act. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider reports.

San Antonio Rally Against Family Separations

Outrage continues over the U.S. policy of immigrant family separation at the border as a deterrent for unauthorized border crossers.

Recently, San Antonio held a rally opposing this policy and called on congress to take action to provide humanitarian solutions for the exiles forced to leave their homes in Central America.

Super Surveillance On The Border

There is more government funding on southern border protection than in any time in U.S. history. But there is another costfor so-called border security — the cost born by the Americans, who live on the border and deal with a loss of civil liberties.

Texas Observer reporter Melissa Del Bosque joins us to discuss her article, “The Surge: How Texas’ decade long border security operation has turned South Texas into one of the most heavily policed and surveilled places in the nation."  

Commentary: Dad, The Border Patrol Agent

The immigration debate continues and the latest developments about ambush detentions and immigrant children being separated from their parents continues to focus the spotlight on U.S. policy.  Columnist Larissa Hernandez brings us the point of view from a child of a Border Patrol agent and — his office.

Hernandez is a writer born in Eagle Pass, and raised in Arizona, and now living in San Antonio. She is a graduate student in literature, creative writing and social justice at Our Lady of the Lake University.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org or on Twitter @DavidMartinDavi