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Border & Immigration

FRONTERAS: Texas Dentention Centers And Immigrant Minors; Lowriders

Pu Ying Huang for KUT


This week on Fronteras: 


  • Texas sees a huge drop in the number of refugee families it resettles due to Trump Administration policies. 
  • State detention centers holding immigrant minors longer than federal law allows.
  • A California lifeline for human trafficking victims is in jeopardy as they search for safety.
  • A Houston art exhibit examines the mosaic of colors in the human race.
  • A car club association in North Texas is turning the negative stereotypes associated with drivers of lowriders into positive ones.



Number Of Refugee Families Resettled In Texas Drops

The past several months have been chaos for groups that help resettle families in the U.S.  That’s because of new policies by the Trump Administration.  Texas has resettled drastically fewer refugees this year than it has in previous years.  The Lone Star State had led the nation in the number of refugee families resettled in the U.S.  KUT’s Ashley Lopez reports it’s also translated into fewer resources for the resettlement program.

The Story


Credit ice.gov


Texas Detention Centers Holding Minors Longer Than Law Allows

Texas lawmakers ended the regular session of the state legislature without passing a number of bills.  One piece of legislation that didn’t make it to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk would have licensed immigrant detention centers in Texas as childcare providers.  This was a failed effort to avoid the federal rule designed to prevent the centers from holding immigrant minors for more than 20 days.  Yet some Texas detention centers are holding children far longer than the law allows.  The Texas Standard’s  Laura Rice talked with Associated Press reporter Meredith Hoffman about this issue.

The Story


An update to this story, Samira Hakimi, the Afghan mother Hoffman mentioned in her interview, was released on May 31st along with her two children.  The news was announced on Monday, June 5th.  Hakimi’s sister-in-law and her 10-month-old infant are still being detained.  Samira Hakimi has resettled in San Francisco.


Credit Photo by Kris Arciaga / KPBS
Carmen Kcomt, a legal advocate who leads the anti-human trafficking program at La Maestra Community Health Centers, points to the open cases in a filing cabinet the each represent a victim of human trafficking, April 27, 2017.


California Program That Helps Trafficking Victims In Jeopardy

Turning now to California, where a San Diego agency that provides a lifeline to immigrant and American human trafficking victims is running out of money.   La Maestra Community Health Centers provides wellness services to low income residents regardless of immigration status.  But a 25-percent cut in funding from the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants has put the program that helps trafficking victims in jeopardy. Tarryn Mento of KPBS explains.

The Story


Credit Houston Public Media


Houston Exhibit Showcases Mosaic Of Skin Colors

Houston is the most racially and ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the nation.  That’s according to Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.  Now, an art exhibit exploring the shades of race is on display at Houston’s Health Museum.  Houston Public Media’s Laura Lucas reports on how residents are reacting to the mosaic of colors entitled “Humanae” [human-eye].

The Story


Credit Credit Jessica Diaz-Hurtado / KERA News
Jimmy Lopez is president of the United Lowriders Association. For him, lowriders are all about family.


Lowrider Drivers Challenge Negative Stereotypes

Lowriders are popular in Latino communities, and north Texas is one place that has a thriving lowrider car culture.  Lowriders are large, decades old vehicles that ride low to the ground.  Their candy colored paint, hydraulic systems, old fashioned style and unique designs make them stand out.  And, as such, the cars and their drivers can attract attention and be associated with negative stereotypes. But, KERA’s Jessica Diaz-Hurtado (oor-TAH-doh) reports, some Dallas lowrider drivers aim to shift those bad vibes out of gear.

The Story