Tag Archives: Texas

In ‘Massive Escalation’, Texas Sues to Shut Down Faith-Based Shelter for Helping Migrants

“If the work that Annunciation House conducts is illegal—so too is the work of our local hospitals, schools, and food banks,” said the nonprofit organization.

By Julia Conley. Published 2-21-2024 by Common Dreams

Annunciation House volunteers calling upon local and national leaders to welcome asylum-seekers with dignity. Photo: Annunciation House/Facebook

A faith-based migrant aid organization that’s operated in El Paso, Texas for nearly five decades said Wednesday that Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton ordered it to turn over documents about its work earlier this month—but that a lawsuit filed by Paxton has now made clear that his true goal is to shut down the group’s network of shelters.

Annunciation House, which provides food and housing for refugees and undocumented immigrants, received an order from the Consumer Protection Division of Paxton’s office on February 7, demanding that it turn over documents including legal service referrals, identifying information about asylum-seekers and migrants the group helped, and applications for federal funding. The organization was given one day to turn over the documents, and Paxton provided no explanation for the demand.

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‘Alarming’: FERC Ignores Climate Impacts and Rubber-Stamps Texas Pipeline

“The world does not need more LNG, and FERC is out of step with the reality of the climate crisis and communities impacted by these projects,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 2-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Culberson County Hospital (left) and Van Horn Rural Health Clinic (right) are shown in Van Horn, Texas, where residents are concerned about the local health system’s ability to cope with a major pipeline explosion. (Photo: Texas.pics/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a controversial pipeline on Thursday despite opposition from local and Indigenous communities and without considering its climate impacts.

The commission limited its review of the Saguaro Connector Pipeline to a 1,000-foot stretch of the project on the Texas and Mexican border. If built, the pipeline could transport as many as 2.8 billion cubic feet of fracked gas per day to an export facility in Mexico, where it would be shipped to Asia and Latin America. The decision comes weeks after the Biden administration paused Department of Energy (DOE) approvals of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports while it updates its assessment criteria.

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Under Pressure From Angry Students, GOP Gov Reverses on Federal Summer Meals Funding

“It only took literally everyone in the entire state telling him that he was being a monster,” said one political scientist, “for him to do the absolute easiest thing and feed hungry kids.”

By Julia Conley. Published 2-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: USDA/Public domain

As the deadline rapidly approached for state governments to accept federal funds for summer food assistance for children, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen announced Monday that conversations with students from around the state had convinced him to take the funding—leaving just 14 Republican-led states still refusing the aid.

At a news conference, the GOP governor—who previously said he didn’t “believe in welfare” and would be forgoing $18 million for the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) program—said he had changed his mind after “an evolution of information” about how young people across Nebraska would be affected by his decision.

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FCC Announces New Rule to Confront Deepfake Robocalls

While welcoming the rule, one advocate said it is “not enough to safeguard citizens and our elections.”

By Julia Conley. Published 2-8-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ivan Radic/flickr/CC

Just over two weeks after New Hampshire voters were inundated with artificial intelligence-generation robocalls featuring U.S. President Joe Biden’s fake voice telling them not to vote in their state’s primary, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday announced what one adocate called a “desperately needed” rule declaring such calls are illegal under federal law.

The FCC unanimously voted to adopt the declaratory ruling, saying calls like those made in New Hampshire are “artificial” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

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Yes, Republican states are now starting to emulate the Civil War-era south

The Texas governor rejecting federal immigration laws has echoes of the Confederate states

By Chrissy Stroop. Published 2-1-2024 by openDemocracy

A “border security” rally in Eagle Pass, Texas on February 3, 2024. Screenshot: KENS5

We’re not even a full month into a crucial election year in the United States, and it already feels like the country is coming apart at the seams.

In a standoff that has dragged on for weeks now, Texas governor Greg Abbott, a right-wing Catholic, has refused to allow federal Border Patrol agents to enter a public park along the Rio Grande where refugees and asylum seekers are known to cross. As summarised by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, reporting for CBS: “Federal law requires Border Patrol to process migrants who enter the US illegally to determine whether they should be deported, transferred to another federal agency, sent to a long-term immigration detention centre or released pending a review of their asylum claims.”

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GOP Congressman Suggests ‘Pinochet Air’ Death Flights for Migrants

“We wonder why the right-wingers aren’t freaking out about Trump’s dictator talk but we shouldn’t,” said one local Democratic leader in Georgia.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-2-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) is seen here in a December 6, 2023 photo. 
(Photo: Mike Collins/Facebook)

A Republican congressman from Georgia on Thursday suggested a novel way to stem the influx of migrants at the southern border: throw them from helicopters into the sea.

Responding to a photo showing a migrant flipping off the camera following his release without bail from a New York City court, Rep. Mike Collins took to social media to reply to a post by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.) advising the young man to “holla at the cartels and have them escort you back.”

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‘Death Sentence’: Reports Call for End to Big Oil’s US Sacrifice Zones

“People’s lives and the environment are being devastated at the hands of big business,” one human rights researcher said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1-25-2024 by Common Dreams

Cancer Alley. Photo: Gines A. Sanchez/flickr/CC

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both published reports on Thursday detailing how the fossil fuel industry has harmed the health and environment of communities in Texas and Louisiana, and how state and federal regulators have failed to protect them.

The Amnesty report, The Cost of Doing Business? The Petrochemical Industry’s Toxic Pollution in the USA, focused on the Houston Ship Channel, which has some of the worst air pollution measurements in the U.S. The HRW report, “We’re Dying Here”: The Fight for Life in a Louisiana Fossil Fuel Sacrifice Zone, looked at the state’s Cancer Alley, an 85-mile zone along the Mississippi that reportedly has the highest concentration of fossil fuel and petrochemical plants in the Western Hemisphere.

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Biden Urged to Take ‘Control of the Texas National Guard’ as State Defies Supreme Court

Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, accused Gov. Greg Abbott of “using the Texas National Guard to obstruct and create chaos at the border.”

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1-24-2024 by Common Dreams

Members of the Texas National Guard patrol the U.S. border with razor wire. (Photo: Greg Abbott/X)

Texas officials are defying a Monday Supreme Court ruling prohibiting them from blocking the federal government from removing razor wire installed by the state along the U.S. border with Mexico, prompting calls for the Biden administration to respond.

The Texas National Guard is barring the federal government from entering an area in Eagle Pass where it has installed the wire, as CBS’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez reported Tuesday.

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Drowning of Women, Two Children Intensify Disgust Over Illegal Border Operations by Texas National Guard

“Gov. Abbott’s inhumanity has no limit. Everyone who enables his cruelty has blood on their hands.”

By Jon Queally. Published 1-14-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. Border Patrol agents perform a water rescue and assist a migrant family in distress near Eagle Pass, Texas, August 20, 2019, CBP photo by Jaime Rodriguez Sr.

The drowning of a woman and two young children along the U.S.-Mexico border have sparked outrage and rebuke over the weekend after it was reported that U.S. Border Patrol agents attempting a rescue operation were denied access to the area by Texas security officials operating under the direction of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

According to Texas Public Radio:

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‘Chilling’: Supreme Court Says Idaho Can Jail Doctors for Providing Abortions

“Yet again, women’s lives are at the mercy of this extreme Court stacked by Donald Trump.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 1-6-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Adam Fagen/flickr/CC

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday opted to reinstate Idaho’s near-total abortion ban, a draconian law that carries up to five years in prison for doctors who perform the procedure outside of extremely narrow circumstances.

The high court, which overturned the constitutional right to abortion in the summer of 2022, agreed to hear a Justice Department challenge to Idaho’s abortion ban in April. In the meantime, it will be a crime in Idaho to perform or attempt to perform an abortion unless the procedure is deemed “necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman” or if the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.

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