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Julian Castro Wipes Floor With Dan Patrick In Televised Immigration Debate

by: Omar Araiza

Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 01:30 PM CDT

Last night, the Texas Tribune and Univision 41 (link in Spanish) televised the much anticipated immigration debate between San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Texas state Senator Dan Patrick, likely Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

The debate covered multiple issues concerning immigration, such as border security and the Texas DREAM Act -- and even some other issues, including Asian terrorists, "anchor babies," choice, and gay marriage, that Patrick decided mid-debate somehow pertained to the discussion.  

Seemingly missing from the debate was moderator Evan Smith, Trib CEO and Editor-in-Chief, who allowed Patrick to talk over Castro throughout the debate and did not correct Patrick when he used misleading information as facts. Thankfully, Mayor Julian Castro was there to fact-check Patrick and keep him honest about his awful immigration record.

Read the highlights of the debate below the jump.

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In Texas, the Future is Linked to Latino Voters

by: americasvoice

Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 02:54 PM CDT

(Thanks to America's Voice for this guest post! - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Texas Republicans apparently see the future coming -- but the question is whether they can break their bad habits in time.  

The Dallas Morning News published an article this week on how gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (R) believes the future is linked to Hispanic voters:

In the immediate celebratory afterglow of his GOP primary victory, Greg Abbott went to Hidalgo County, a stretch of South Texas that hasn't exactly been Disneyland for Republicans.

While there, Abbott pronounced that his goal was to break the record for Hispanic support by a Republican candidate for governor. That peak was reached in 1998, when George W. Bush captured at least 46 percent of the Latino vote statewide, according to exit polls.

More recently, that percentage has dropped to 38 percent, but even if Abbott does only a little better, it would leave Democratic rival Wendy Davis with few plausible paths to victory.

The jostling for the Latino vote is on.

Texas Latino voters are 27% of the state electorate, and some Texas Republicans have been attuned to the importance of their vote.  And Texas, in the past, has been so red that a Republican could win statewide while losing a large majority of the Latino vote, as Rick Perry did in 2002 when Tony Sanchez won 85% of Latinos.  

But by the next decade, the growing Latino demographic is expected to turn the state purple (or even blue), which means that Republicans are really going to have to reconsider some of their current practices.

Read more below the jump.

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Officials Call On GOP Congressmen Pete Olson, John Carter And Bill Flores To Support Immigration

by: Omar Araiza

Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:26 AM CDT

Wrapping up their tour stops in Texas this week, immigration reform group, Fast for Families Across America, held a press conference yesterday morning in Temple and Waco with elected officials and constituents belonging to districts represented by GOP Congressmen John Carter (R-Round Rock) and Bill Flores (R-Bryan), calling on the two Republican representatives to make it their mission this year to finally pass immigration reform.

The group and officials chose the congressmen because their constituents have shown to support immigration reform, and because of the members' influence in the House.

Flores previously linked passing reform to "building a sandwich," yet has failed to do his part by advocating his support.

Carter, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, said earlier this year in an interview he believed Republican elections were more important than passing immigration reform. He said this despite having previously belonged to a House bipartisan group attempting to negotiate a bill.

Read more of the group's efforts below the jump, including a stop in Houston attended by Mayor Annise Parker and Texas state Senator Sylvia Garcia.

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State Sen. José Rodríguez: The border is an opportunity, not a threat

by: Emily Cadik

Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 00:00 PM CST

Trade and commerce with Mexico is responsible for nearly half a million jobs in Texas, but you'd never know it listening to Greg Abbott and others seeking to militarize the US-Mexico border.

In a recent op-ed, State Senator José Rodríguez, who represents more than 350 miles of the border, calls on Abbott and other Republican candidates "running against the future" of Texas to instead invest in infrastructure, education and health care.  While acknowledging the need for law enforcement along the border, he argues that creating a paramilitary zone is unnecessary and fiscally irresponsible.

Read the op-ed below the jump.

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ICE Admits to Detaining Pregnant Women in El Paso Processing Center

by: Shelby Alexander

Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM CST

The National Immigrant Youth Alliance, the organization whose membership has literally put their bodies on the line to highlight our nation's unjust immigration system, recently revealed new and even more upsetting conditions immigrants are current living under in US detention. Organizers who intentionally allowed themselves to be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to gain access to the El Paso Processing Center identified up to 13 pregnant women detained in the center between August and November of 2013. In conjunction with the NIYA, Fusion has also reported as a part of their on-going investigation that one of the women suffered from a miscarriage while detained.

While ICE policy states that detaining pregnant or nursing women is low on their priority list, having 13 women in detention within a four month period says otherwise. Agents require special permission from field office directors to detain pregnant women. Their directive states that resources should be spent on top priority cases such as those who have previously broken immigration laws, those who are threats to public safety, or those who have been convicted of crimes.

Read more about this human rights violation below the jump.

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Greg Abbott Wins YCT Straw Poll, Still Silent On DREAM Act

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 09:00 AM CST

The Young Conservatives of Texas, the controversial group whose UT Chapter was  responsible for both the "Affirmative Action Bake Sale" and the "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game" have released the results of their straw poll along with their endorsements of Texas statewide Republicans and it could get a little awkward.

Greg Abbott, YCT's top choice for governor was pressured into distancing himself from the group earlier this month, and now Texas Democratic Party leaders are calling for him to outright and preemptively reject their endorsement because of their anti-immigrant activities. State Representative Mary Gonzalez one of the Texas Legislature's youngest members said,

"Given the organization's latest stunt insulting DREAMers, Greg Abbott needs to announce loud and clear that he will decline an endorsement from the Young Conservatives of Texas...Greg Abbott can't on one hand claim to support the Latino community and on the other take assistance from this organization."

While Abbott tip-toes around the issue of immigration, his party's candidates for Lt. Gov. have been much more vocal on that topic as well as their desire to be courted by YCT.

At least two candidates -- Dan Patrick and Jerry Patterson -- actively lobbied for their endorsement through social media. "It was an honor to see candidates running for office at all levels pushing this straw poll on social media and through email," YCT State Chairman, Jeff Morris said in a press release.

For full YCT straw poll results and the response from the TDP click below the jump.

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Greg Abbott Continues to Avoid Qualifying His Support For The DREAM Act

by: Joe Deshotel

Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 04:30 PM CST

Texas Republicans have a lot to say about Immigration lately unless they happen to be running for governor and named Greg Abbott.

Yesterday hundreds of UT students as well as University officials expressed disgust at the "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game" organized by a former staffer of Abbott's. While the Attorney General did distance his campaign from the "repugnant" event it stopped short of addressing the larger issue at hand, the DREAM Act.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa took the opportunity to press Abbott in light of recent events:

Even with this week's debate about immigration and the importance of the Texas DREAM Act, and even after a former Abbott staffer attempted to hold mock campus detainments at UT, Greg Abbott still refuses to clearly state a position on the Texas DREAM Act. DREAMers, the Hispanic community, and all Texans deserve a clear answer.

Greg Abbott, why do you not support the Texas DREAM act as it stands?

Adryana Boyne, a Latina Republican candidate for State Representative told the Quorum Report's Scott Braddock that she was shocked by her party's, "deafening silence" on the event. The Hispanic Immigrant who identifies herself as "solidly conservative" said she "felt all alone" and that silence on such issues hurts her party's chance to connect with Hispanic voters.

Rick Perry told the Republican Governors' Association that he believed, "immigration reform is going to be very passé," yet that is impossible since his party refuses to move forward with reform and the leading Republican nominee to replace him would rather avoid the subject altogether. Interestingly Abbott says the Texas DREAM Act needs to be reformed, but has yet to provide specifics. If he is hoping the issue is already passe, there are over 20,000 Texas DREAMers that prove otherwise.

What's happening is simple, Greg Abbott is reading the polls and doing the math.

Check below the jump to see how this all adds up...

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Greg Abbott Campaign Poll of "Important Reforms" Doesn't Include "Education" Or "Immigration"

by: Joe Deshotel

Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 00:59 PM CST

The Greg Abbott campaign continues to avoid the real issues important to Texans and focus more on federal and local issues instead of the one's his prospective office actually deals with. It's no wonder a recent article in Texas Monthly referred to him as having, "little knowledge of state government."

As we reported previously Greg Abbott's website does not even list public education on his website under, "Issues", but has expressed "reform" as a pillar of his education platform. That's why it is noteworthy that a poll being conducted on his campaign website asks, "Which reform do you think is most important," but does not even include Public Education as an option.

Consistent with the "Issues" already listed as important by his campaign, preventing the implementation of Obamacare is first on the list. The rest looks like a paranoid tea partier's list pulled from Alex Jones' InfoWars more than someone who wants to govern over the nation's 2nd largest economy. Apparently the campaign believes that, "open carry and campus carry for CHL holders," is more important to Texans than education reform or even immigration reform.

Paul Burka of Texas Monthly made a similar critique when he wrote, "The Abbott proposals do not build one highway, they do not educate one child, they do not improve the health of one community. Abbott is doubling down on the tea party agenda."

Check below the jump and see who called Abbott, "a perfect candidate for a role on a Gunsmoke remake."

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Latino Victory Project Targets GOP Members Opposed To Immigration: 'We Know Who We're Going After'

by: Omar Araiza

Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM CDT

DNC Finance Chair Henry Muñoz and actress Eva Longoria.
As if Republicans already didn't have enough problems keeping their party alive, a large network of Latino donors that played a pivotal role in raising money for President Obama's reelection have set forward their newest effort: Oust lawmakers who stand in the way of immigration reform.

The Latino Victory Project -- a new political advocacy organization modeled after the very-successful Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund -- is planning to spend as much as $20 million on congressional campaigns targeting Republican members who have sizable Latino communities in their districts but oppose comprehensive immigration reform.

The Latino Victory Project grew out of a fundraising committee called the Futuro Fund. The fund brought in more than $30 million for Obama's reelection, minting a new group of national political donors. Fundraising efforts were led by actress Eva Longoria, Puerto Rico lawyer Andres Lopez and San Antonio businessman and DNC Finance Chair Henry R. Muñoz III. The group represented the largest demonstration yet of the Latino community's ability to accrue immense amounts of money for U.S. political campaigns.

Leaders of the group have laid out a strategy to make the issue central in the 2014 midterm elections if Congress were to fail to pass a reform bill this year, identifying 10 House Republicans who would be vulnerable to pressure from Latino constituents.

Read the list of members and more on the groups' strategy below the jump.

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The Journey to #BringThemHome Continues

by: Shelby Alexander

Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:13 PM CDT

Several weeks ago, we reported on a group of undocumented activists known as the #Dream30 (whose size increased to become the #Dream36) who participated in an action on the Laredo border of self-deportation and re-entry into the United States, knowing they would be detained under law. As a part of the #BringThemHome campaign, this group, and many other activists around the country have participated in a variety of actions that have literally put their bodies on the line to speak out against unjust immigration policies.

While a handful have been released, about 25 are still in custody in Texas at the El Paso Processing Center.

Since then, momentum has been building, and questions have built surrounding whether or not they will be granted asylum by establishing credible fear (meaning their return to Mexico could result in harm or death). While the first round of the #BringThemHome campaign saw success after 17 days, changes in how this round of activists are being processed has introduced new questions whether the #Dream30 will see similar resolution.

Read more below the jump.

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