Yvette Benavides | Texas Public Radio

Yvette Benavides

Last month, millions tuned in to watch the Democratic presidential debates in Miami. Three of the candidates broke into Spanish during the debates at different times. The country reacted.

When the smoke cleared, it was former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro who had the most to answer for — for a perceived lack of fluency in his attempt. Texas Public Radio commentator Yvette Benavides sees his code-switching, not as deficient, but as part of a far more complex and authentic story. 

This week, we’ve continued to see the disturbing images coming from the detention centers on the southern border. The families keep making the journey from their home countries to the US/Mexico border, risking family separation—and more. 

David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

On Thursday night Congress passed a $4.6 billion emergency border aid bill, but it wasn’t the spending bill that many Democrats in the House said they wanted – including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


Anna Surinyach | MSF

The situation on the border isn’t getting any better. The flow of asylum seekers from a destabilized Central America is running into a politically charged federal government response that is not focused humanitarian aid.


 

Oscar Casares is known for his short story collection, "Brownsville," a publication that has become a new classic about life in this border city. 

The Texas Historical Commission has recognized musician Lydia Mendoza as a significant contributor to Texas history by awarding her an official Texas History Marker.

Courtesy

Some politicians paint such a dire picture of the Texas/Mexico border it’s natural to wonder where all this is leading.


Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

On Monday, State Senator Brandon Creighton rose on the Senate floor to present his bill SB 1663. He is proposing a stringent process for the removal or alteration of historic monuments in Texas.

Sen. Creighton:

Our historical monuments tell the story of Texas. Our history is part of who we are, part of the story of Texas, but history is never just one person's account.

What followed was a four-hour debate on the Senate floor that was passionate and sometimes personal. 

The immigration debate has prompted a surge in the use of words we didn’t used to hear quite so much. Words like “caravan” or “asylum.” Words matter. Words are loaded with meaning—associations that could denigrate and fail to communicate.  In her commentary, Texas Public Radio contributor Yvette Benavides gives us a lesson in semantics. Benavides is a professor of English and creative writing at Our Lady of the Lake University.

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David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

During President Donald Trump’s recent State of the Union Address, he paid special attention to the state of the Southern border.

"As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States. We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection. I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our southern border to prepare for the tremendous onslaught," Trump said. 

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