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Fronteras: National Guard On Border; Tarrant County; Border Mural ; & 'Taco Literacy'

This week on Fronteras, National Guard troops arrive on the border, and students expand their knowledge of Mexican food culture through “taco literacy”’

  • President Trump has called for National Guard members to deploy to the U.S.-Mexico border. Troops are making their way into South Texas (0:00).
  • Tarrant County partners with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enforce immigration law (4:28).
  • A mural of a Mexican abuela peers down on the West Texas border town of Presidio (9:00).
  • Students gain insight into Mexican-American culture through “taco Literacy” (12:47).

Credit Carson Frame / Texas Public Radio
John-Michael Torres of La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) says the National Guard deployment will free up border patrol agents, creating new opportunities for abuse.

Rio Grande Valley Prepares For National Guard

The governors of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California committed to sending around 2,000 National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s in response to a call to action by President Trump, who says there’s been an uptick in illegal border crossings and drug trafficking. Troops are arriving, but operations are not yet fully underway.  Texas Public Radio’s Carson Frame has this story produced by the American Homefront Project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans.


Credit Christopher Connelly / KERA News
Protesters from United Fort Worth outside the Fort Worth Club

Immigrant Rights Protesters Interrupt Panel On Tarrant County's Partnership With ICE

The Texas ban on so-called sanctuary cities, known as SB4, allows police to question the immigration status of any person they detain or arrest. Law enforcement must also cooperate with federal immigration officials and honor detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

SB4 was actively opposed by some Texas cities, including San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, and they entered a lawsuit against the state to prove the law’s unconstitutionality.

However, some cities and counties are actively partnering with ICE to enforce immigration within their jurisdictions under a program known as 287(g). Tarrant County entered that partnership last year. KERA’s Christopher Connolly takes us to a recent forum on the issue by the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


Credit Bayla Metzger / Marfa Public Radio
In-progress mural on the water tank in Presidio.

Welcoming’ Abuela Mural Watches Over Texas-Mexico Border

A Los Angeles-based artist has been painting a mural in the West Texas border town of Presidio. As Marfa Public Radio’s Bayla Metzger reports, the mural was a gift from the Mexican government.  And its design is meant for both sides of the border.


Credit Taco Literacy on Instagram
Taco de chicarrón and pernil

‘Taco Literacy’: Exploring Immigrants’ Journeys Through Food

Tacos. Next to water and oil, it’s a topic prickly enough to start a war. Corn or flour? Rolled or folded? Soft or crispy — or puffy?

And most importantly, where is the REAL home of the breakfast taco? San Antonio and Austin are still fighting it out.

MORE | Fronteras takes a cloer look at Taco Literacy

Steven Alvarez, an assistant professor of English at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, teaches a course called “Taco Literacy,” which explores the foodways of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. Alvarez was seeking commonalities between his culture and that of his students, and he found the best way to do that was through food.

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

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