FRONTERAS: Sanctuary Cities, Latino U.S. Poet Laureate, and More
This week on Fronteras:
· Texas Governor Greg Abbott makes good on his promise to cut government funding to sanctuary cities.
· President Trump’s immigration freeze motivates protesters to rally nationwide and in Texas.
· The nation’s first Latino Poet Laureate shares his thoughts on the president’s proposed border wall.
· Repeal of Obamacare could affect programs that care for people who don’t have health insurance. .
· A North Texas volunteer program that helps families save money during tax season.
Governor Abbott Cuts Grants To Travis County Over Immigration Policy
Texas Governor Jim Abbott follows up on his promises and takes action against sanctuary cities. In his state of the state address, the Governor said dangerous criminals are coming across the border into Texas. Abbott earmarked a sanctuary city ban as an emergency item. Proposed sanctuary city legislation calls for denying state funding to local governments if they don’t fully work with federal immigration officials.
Gov. Greg Abbott: “Elected officials don’t get to pick and choose which laws they will obey, we must insist our laws be followed. This is the session when we will ban sanctuary cities in Texas.”
The day after his address, the governor canceled $1.5 million dollars in criminal justice grants from his office to Travis County over Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s new immigration policy. KUT’s Trey Shaar reports.
Immigrants Opposed To Governor’s Sanctuary City Action Rally In Austin
Immigrants who oppose Governor Abbott’s action against sanctuary cities rallied at the state capitol Wednesday. Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe reports from Austin.
55 Refugees Come To Texas Before Immigration Freeze Takes Effect
Under President Donald Trump’s immigration order, refugees from foreign lands are now barred from entering the U.S. for 120 days. Before the ban went into effect, Refugee Services of Texas says federal officials granted waivers to 872 refugees, allowing them to enter the country this week. KERA’s Stella Chavez reports Texas is the destination for 55 of the foreigners who’ve fled their homelands.
Houston Among Cities Protesting President Trump’s Immigration Orders
Public outcry against the president’s immigration freeze stretched across the country and Texas. What happened in Houston was typical of many protests. Laura Isensee of Houston Public Media reports on how the city responded and why some of its leaders and residents are determined to keep the city a welcoming place for all.
First U.S. Latino Poet Laureate Shares Thoughts On Proposed Border Wall
On the west coast, Juan Felipe Herrera, the first Latino U.S. Poet Laureate, spent a week at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, California in San Diego County as scholar-in-residence. His latest collection, Notes of the Assemblage, explores the Mexican-American identity. He shared insights with students about his experience as the child of migrant farmworkers. Jean Guerrero of KPBS spoke with Herrera about President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, and the power of words. .
Bexar County’s CareLink Could Be Affected If Obamacare Is Repealed
If Obamacare is repealed and replaced with some other healthcare plan, it could have a big impact on local programs designed to help the uninsured. In Bexar County, the people who run University Health System’s CareLink program are keeping a close eye on the debate in Washington. Texas Public Radio’s Wendy Rigby has the story.
VITA Program Provides Vital Taxpayer Help
Some taxpayers who need all of the tax refund money they can get, are finding free filing help, thanks to a volunteer program. Spending a couple of hundred dollars on a tax preparer-- can eat into a refund—and keep a family from finding stable fiscal ground. That’s what the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is there to prevent. As KERA’s Courtney Collins reports, thousands of North Texans rely on what’s known as “VITA”.