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Border & Immigration

Office of Representative Henry Cuellar

Andrés Manuel López Obrador is Mexico’s newest president. The 65-year-old populist painted himself as a champion for Mexico’s poor.

Jorge Valencia, KJZZ’s senior field correspondent, was in Mexico City for Saturday’s inauguration. He said López Obrador laid out a laundry list of issues he hopes to accomplish in the next six years, including fighting corruption in the Mexican government.

Photo courtesy of Paso del Sur

When we think of “urban renewal,” trendy coffee shops and shopping centers often come to mind. But what about the people living in the zones destined for demolition? Yolanda Chávez Leyva, a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, was on the front lines in the fight to save the people and the history of El Paso’s oldest neighborhood: Barrio Duranguito.

Visit El Paso /

Poor neighborhoods in many cities are experiencing urban renewal. As a result, many long-time residents of those neighborhoods can no longer afford to live in the homes they have known for generations.

Yolanda Chávez Leyva, an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso, specializes in the history of the border and said residents of El Segundo Barrio managed to save their neighborhood from developers in 2006. That’s when the Paso del Norte group announced a downtown revitalization plan.

William Henry Ellis was born a slave in Victoria, Texas, in 1864 — a year before slavery was abolished in the state.

Ellis was able to take advantage of his proximity to the border — and his light complexion — to reinvent himself as Mexican businessman, Guillermo Enrique Eliseo.

Public domain

He was born a slave in Texas and became a Mexican millionaire. William Henry Ellis had one of the most remarkable, and mysterious, rags-to-riches stories of the early 20th century. We spoke with Karl Jacoby and Chip Williams to better understand the story of this self-made millionaire and all his identities in between.

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

The study of heritage Spanish is receiving more credit and recognition in the classroom. Meghann Peace and Emily Bernante, professors of Spanish at St. Mary’s University and St. Edward’s University, explain this recent phenomenon (00:18). And, a historic Mexican movie theater which was once a cultural cornerstone for the community is getting a second chance (13:57).

Julia Reihs / KUT

On a brisk, windy morning at the Texas-Mexico border, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is being briefed on the deployment of about 7,000 active-duty troops on the southern border.

Contributed photo / Catholic Charities

The president of Catholic Charities in San Antonio has returned from helping a flood of immigrant families recently released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and he plans to go back.

David McNew / Getty Images file

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund was founded 50 years ago to defend the rights of Mexican-Americans in the U.S. We explored some of the organization’s victories with Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the organization (01:02). And, a new play is shedding a light on some Latino Vietnam veterans who have gone unaccounted for decades (16:45).

The hotel chain Motel 6 has agreed to pay $7.6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit after multiple Motel 6 locations gave guest lists to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Sharing those lists led to arrests and deportations of an as-yet-unknown number of hotel guests.

The settlement deal was tentatively reached in July, but details were not public until this week. The agreement, which still needs to be approved by a federal judge, calls for Motel 6 to pay money directly to affected guests and also to impose tighter controls over private information.