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On Fronteras: Immigration Bills Fail; Mexicans Vote; Strangers Save Flood Victims

flood-damaged_wimberly_home_may_2015_kut.jpg
KUT Public Radio
Storm-damaged home in Wimberley a day after Sunday's storms.

This week on Fronteras:

  • Texas lawmakers fail to pass get-tough immigration laws
  • Texas will allow licensed handgun owners to openly carry firearms and to pack concealed weapons on college campuses
  • Mexico's elections could affect relations with the United States
  • A California family pursues justice five years after border agents shoot a suspect with 
  • Assistance available for some flood victims
  • Good Samaritans risk their lives to save Texans swept up by flood waters

Texas Immigration Laws Fail to Pass

In January at the beginning of the Texas legislative session, some Republicans lawmakers promised to pass tougher laws to discourage illegal immigration. But as the session wrapped up this week some of their biggest efforts had fallen apart.

Key conservatives at the Texas legislature promised to ban sanctuary cities and repeal in-state tuition for many immigrant children. Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe has more on why those efforts failed.

http://tpr.org/post/did-republicans-get-everything-they-wanted-concerning-border-security-and-immigration

Licensed Texas Gun Owners Can Openly Carry Handguns

State lawmakers have now relaxed the requirement for handguns to always be out of sight.  Licensed carriers can now openly holster their handguns in public.  

Gun advocates at the legislature also succeeded in passing a bill that allows licensed gun owners to carry their concealed handguns into classrooms on public university campuses. Private colleges can opt out. Until now gun owners had to lock their firearms in the trunks of their car before stepping foot on campus. 

Mexicans Voting Sunday In Mid-Term Elections

Heading now across the border where Mexican voters go the polls Sunday for midterm elections.   Due to term limits, Mexicans will elect an entirely new Congress along with many state legislators, governors and mayors.   In Mexico, as in the U-S, midterm elections are a referendum on a president’s performance.  The new Congress will support, or stall, the second half of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term in office.   Marfa Public Radio’s Lorne Matalon reports on why the outcome has implications for U.S.-Mexico relations.  

http://marfapublicradio.org/blog/referendum-on-pena-nieto-mexico-midterm-election-has-implications-for-us/

Family Seeks Justice Five Years After Border Taser Death

Five years ago, a Mexican man died after being beaten and shot with a Taser by border agents in San Ysidro, California.  Cameras captured the violent confrontation and the San Diego County Medical Examiner ruled the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas a homicide, but no charges were filed. KPBS Fronteras Reporter Jean Guerrero looks at what has happened since the deadly incident.

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/may/28/immigrants-family-demands-justice-after-tasing-dea/

Employees Flooded Out of Work Get Help

Texas had the most violent weather in the country in May, including hail, tornadoes, and severe flooding.  That resulted in a lot of people losing work.  And, as KUT’s Veronica Zaragovia reports, some may qualify for government assistance through the Texas Workforce Commission.

http://kut.org/post/texas-employees-have-one-month-apply-disaster-assistance-money

Flood Heroics:  Strangers Risk Lives To Save Family

Somehow in the worst of times we see the best in so many of us. 

At least 31 people died in Texas’ ferocious storms. But others are alive due to the heroism of strangers like Daniel Navarro and his stepfather Chris Gutierrez.  They were searching for a family member when they came across a mother and her three children stranded in San Marcos floodwaters.  Navarro and Gutierrez told KUT’sMoseBuchele what happened.

http://kut.org/post/san-marcos-flooded-two-men-risked-their-lives-save-stranded-family

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.