Parents, children separated at border gain widespread attention



AUSTIN — Although border-crossing issues are largely federal matters, the Lone Star State has been a center of news reports about authorities separating children from their parents at detention centers along the Rio Grande.

President Trump on June 20 ordered a cease in the forced separation of family members who are in detention, but the fate of more than 2,000 minors who were taken away from their parents remained unresolved.

Meanwhile, many Republican and Democratic members of Congress are seeking solutions that would keep more asylum-seeking families together and reunite families that have been separated.

Emergency election is set

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation ordering a July 31 emergency special election to fill the Senate District 19 seat formerly occupied by Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio.

Uresti resigned from office effective June 21. He was convicted of fraud and money laundering by a San Antonio federal district court on June 18.

Senate District 19 includes Brewster, Crockett, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Kinney, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Real, Reeves, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde and Zavala counties and parts of Atascosa and Bexar counties.

SBOE OKs ethnic course

The State Board of Education on June 15 announced preliminary approval of a new social studies course titled “Ethnic Studies: Mexican American Studies.”

A second and final vote on curriculum standards for the course will take place at the board’s Sept. 11-14 meeting. If approved, the one-credit elective course would then become the first SBOE-approved ethnic studies course in Texas.

Once fully adopted, the course will be available for use in Texas public schools in the 2019-2020 school year. The course is based on a course created by the Houston Independent School District.

ED STERLING is the Director of Members Services at Texas Press Association.

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