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FRONTERAS: Fort Worth And SB4; US-Owned Maquilas Want NAFTA To Change; Juan O'Gorman's Daughter

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

This week on Fronteras:  

  •  Fort Worth citizens opposed to SB4 – the new sanctuary cities law – turn out by the hundreds to protest against it.
  • In San Diego, refugees claim resettlement workers told them to falsify rent applications.
  •   Americans who own maquilas, factories in Mexico, welcome the prospect of positive change for NAFTA.
  •  Eleven immigrants become U.S. citizens at Fort Davis historic site in West Texas.
  •  A daughter reflects on growing up with her artist father, Juan O’Gorman, a master of mosaics and murals.



Fort Worth Residents Rally Against Sanctuary Cities Law

Hundreds marched and rallied in Fort Worth this week protesting SB4 - known by critics as “the show me your papers” law - as the city council debated the pros and cons of joining the lawsuit against it.  Led by the tiny border town of El Cenizo, all of the biggest cities in Texas have joined the lawsuit challenging the new state law targeting so-called sanctuary cities. All of the biggest cities, that is, except Fort Worth. KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports on the protest and how Fort Worth city council members wrestled with handling SB4.

The Story


Thirteen Smuggling Survivors Charged As Material Witnesses

Now an update on the San Antonio human smuggling case that resulted in 10 deaths.  Thirteen immigrants have been formally charged as material witnesses in the case. They were all in the sweltering truck that James Matthew Bradley Jr. was driving through South Texas.

The immigrant’s lawyer is Michael McCrum – a former federal prosecutor.  He told Texas Public Radio all thirteen people are being sent to area detention centers so they can assist the U.S. Attorney’s Office: "And I was horrified to discover that you put a person in a jail cell, restrict their liberty, when all you want them for is to be a witness." 

McCrum says he plans to seek relief for his clients that want to stay in the United States after they assist the federal prosecutor.  The truck driver faces a court hearing later this month.


Credit Photo by Megan Wood / inewsource
Mohamad Abdullah (far right), touches the shoulder of his son during a family photo in kitchen of the family's two-bedroom El Cajon apartment, July 25, 2017.


Refugees Face Housing Dilemma In San Diego

San Diego County resettled more refugees than any other region in the U.S. last year.  But the high cost of living and tight rental market there may have forced some new arrivals into a difficult situation.  Three refugee families there claim a resettlement agency staff worker told them to falsify lease applications in order to find housing.  Now they fear losing their homes. KPBS reporter Taryn Mento has the story.

The Story


Credit Lorne Matalon
Alberto Martinez welds steel at a maquila owned by Florida-based Metal Industries. The company makes vents for air conditioners & heating systems.


U.S. Owned Maquilas Welcome Prospect Of Change To NAFTA

Foreign-owned assembly-line factories known as maquilas that line the Mexican side of the border from Tijuana to the Gulf of Mexico, have been bracing for change since the election of President Donald Trump. But not in the way you might expect. They don't fear the possibility of the U.S. withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Instead, American maquila operators want NAFTA to change, saying it currently gives Mexican exporters to the U.S. an unfair competitive advantage. Marfa Public Radio's Lorne Matalon reports from Reynosa, one of the largest concentrations of maquilas on the border.

The Story





Become U.S. Citizens At Fort Davis

Eleven West Texas residents recently became U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony at Fort Davis Historic Site.  Elizabeth Trovall was there for Marfa Public Radio.

The Story


Credit Tom Shelton, Institute of Texan Cultures
Juan O'Gorman and miniature of "Confluence Of Civilizations"


Juan O’Gorman’s Daughter Shares Memories Of Artful Childhood

This summer, San Antonians have been enjoying the rediscovery of an enormous mosaic in front of the Lila Cockrell Theatre downtown.  The mosaic is part of the legacy of Mexican Artist Juan O'Gorman.   To get personal insight on the artist and his iconic art, Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan talked with O’Gorman’s daughter, who watched her father create his masterpieces.

The Story

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1