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Fronteras: Breaking Down The Immigration Ruling

U.S. Mexico Border Fence Near El Paso.

This week on Fronteras: 

Immigration-  A Texas Judge freezes President Obama’s immigration protection plan that was supposed to start this week. The Obama administration says it will appeal but 26 states are fighting it. We’ll examine who’s against it and which immigrants are affected and how.  At the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, residents affected by the hold say they’re worried.

Children in Detention-  Attorneys claim immigrant children held in detention centers are not getting basic protections.

Mentally Ill Inmates-  In New Mexico, a look at efforts to help mentally ill inmates find the treatment they need when they get out of prison.  One mother tried to get help for her son, but it came too late.

We talk we the director of CineFestival, the nation’s longest running Chicano film festival.

Texas Judge Halts the start of President Obama’s Immigration Plan

This was the week one program that limited deportations was supposed to have kicked in.  But a federal judge’s ruling has frozen President Barak Obama’s immigration plan. Here’s a quick recap of what’s happened:

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville has ruled the President’s plan to protect more immigrants from deportation is unlawful because the administration didn’t allow public review or input.

The Obama administration is appealing, but the 26 states challenging the plan are also digging in.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is leading that charge.  He filed the lawsuit against the President’s plan when he was still the state’s attorney general.

Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe reports Texas Republican leaders are confident they will prevail in court.

Story on Fronteras

So which immigrants are affected and not affected by the ruling?  Those not affected are the nearly 700,000 young immigrants who’ve already been approved for the DACA program which went into effect in 2012.  DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. 

These young people were born after June of 1981 and they entered the United States before June of 2007.    They still qualify for a renewable two-year work permit and an exemption from deportation.

The president’s plan called for giving that assistance to an expanded group of young people and many of their parents.

Texas Public Radio’s Shelley Kofler talked to Patrick Taurel with the American Immigration Council about the two primary groups of immigrants who are now in limbo.

Interview with Patrick Taurel, American Immigration Council

The judge’s immigration ruling has prompted confusion, concern and a crowded waiting area at the Mexican Consulate in Dallas.  Stella Chavez from public radio station KERA reports.


Protecting Immigrant Children Held in Detention Centers


Immigrant children should not be held in detention in the same way adults are. That’s according to a federal settlement agreement known as Flores Versus Reno. But Joy Diaz reports from KUT in Austin, Texas, that attorneys claim immigrant children in detention are being denied basic protections.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement was contacted for this story but said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation. 

Better Treatment Plans for Released Mentally Ill Inmates


Last year, Albuquerque, New Mexico police shot and killed a homeless man who was mentally ill.  And several years ago, police killed a mentally ill inmate who had been released.  KUNM’s Marisa Demarco reports, the man’s mother spent a year trying to get medical treatment for her son, but it came three days too late.

The proposed law would allow district courts to establish Assisted Outpatient Treatment programs to help people previously jailed with behavioral disorders.

CineFestival:  Longest Running International Latino Film Festival  

Interview with CineFestival director

This weekend CineFestival returns to San Antonio.  Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan talked with the director of what’s become the region’s largest Latino Film Festival.

CineFestival this year includes films by directors Hector Galan, Pablo Veliz and Sam Lerma.

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.