Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

African American teen invited to ‘KKK’ birthday party, mom says

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

(ABC News) A black student at a Texas junior high school was the victim of routine racial taunts and bullying, including his receiving a fake invitation to a KKK birthday party to be held in his honor, his mother says.

Justin Howard, a seventh-grader at Tomball Junior High School in Tomball, Texas, has been harassed by a group of white students who bullied him because he is black, according to his mother, Tahiyyah Howard.

"I'm just, really, you know, sick of it," Howard told ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV. "A girl wrote on the board 'Black Justin' and my son was really upset."

The most egregious example, the boy's mother said, came when Justin received a fake birthday party invitation from two classmates with a Ku Klux Klan theme. It is unclear about how the boy became aware of the note.

"[They] put it on his desk and said that he was invited to a KKK birthday party with lots of fun and games," said Howard, who has not sought action outside the school.

Full story…

Justice Sonia Sotomayor slams Texas prosecutor for racial remark

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013


(Los Angeles Times) Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court's first Latina justice, slammed a Texas prosecutor Monday for citing race as grounds for convicting a defendant of a drug deal, saying the government attorney had tried to "substitute racial stereotype for evidence and racial prejudice for reason."

She filed a rare statement commenting on the court's refusal to hear an appeal, not to dissent from the decision but to "dispel any doubt" that the action "should be understood to signal our tolerance of a federal prosecutor's racially charged remark. It should not."

Sotomayor, who began her career as a prosecutor in New York, said she was troubled by what happened.

"By suggesting that race should play a role in establishing a defendant's guilt, the prosecutor here tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation," she wrote. "… It is deeply disappointing to see a representative of the United States resort to this base tactic more than a decade into the 21st century."

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‘Latino Barack Obama’ Julian Castro enters national spotlight at DNC

Thursday, September 6th, 2012


(Globe and Mail) A telegenic young Texas mayor billed as a Latino Barack Obama in the making, Julian Castro, bounded on to the world’s brightest political stage Tuesday, the first Hispanic to give a keynote speech at the Democratic convention.

The 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio, the second-largest city in the Lone Star State, told his family’s personal rags-to-rich story, the embodiment of the American dream.


Ahead of the speech – the most important of his political life – he told AFP there were a few butterflies.

“Of course, I’m a bit nervous but I know that when I walk up there I’ll be ready for it,” Mr. Castro said.

In the end, his performance brought adulation from the party faithful and complimentary comparisons to President Barack Obama, whose speech at the 2004 convention catapulted him toward the White House.

Full story…

Asian American Honor Student At Texas High School, Jailed For Missing School

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

(Huffington Post) Diane Tran, a 17-year-old honor student in Texas, was forced to spend the night in jail last week after missing too many classes, KHOU-11's Sherry Williams reports.

The Willis High School junior, who helps support two siblings, has both a full time and part-time job. She said that she's often too tired to go to school.

"She goes from job to job from school," Devin Hill, one of Tran's classmates, told KHOU-11. "She stays up until 7:00 in the morning doing her homework."

In an interview with KHOU-11, Tran said she takes AP Spanish, college level algebra and dual credit English and history courses. Her parents divorced and no longer live near her, so she lives with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends.

Full story…

Study: Only 1 in 5 Texas 8th-graders earns any degree with 6 years after high school

Monday, March 19th, 2012

(Austin Statesman) Dropout rates, graduation rates, retention rates, passing rates for standardized tests — the education arena is flush with statistics.

Now, a private foundation in Houston is seeking to cut through the noise and focus attention in Texas on what it considers the single most valuable measure of educational effectiveness: the percentage of eighth-graders at public schools who go on to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate within six years of their expected high school graduation date.

A study commissioned by the foundation, the Houston Endowment, found that only about 1 in 5 eighth-graders earns such a credential

Full story…

Did immigrants take most of the new jobs in Texas?

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

(Washington Post) Did immigrants take the vast majority of new jobs in Texas? That’s the claim coming from the Center for Immigration Studies, an advocacy group for immigration reduction.

A new CIS research memo concludes that 81 percent of the jobs created in Texas since 2007 have gone to newly arrived immigrant workers—93 percent of whom aren’t US citizens and half of whom are illegal immigrants. The authors based their analysis on the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, and their conclusions have gained particular traction as attacks have mounted against Rick Perry’s immigration record. “Should Rick Perry be bragging about a job creation record if 40 percent went to illegal immigrants?” writes the National Review.

But Ray Perryman, head of an economics research firm based in Waco, Texas, argues that the paper has significant methodological problems, calling the eye-popping numbers in the study “highly suspect.” Perryman who has closely studied the economic impact of immigration in Texas and elsewhere, raises three basic questions about the study.

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Rick Perry moves right on immigration

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

(Los Angeles Times) Immigration advocates in Texas were heartened last year when the Republican governor, Rick Perry, flatly stated that Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants "would not be the right direction for Texas."

But in June, Perry convened a special session of the Legislature, hoping to pass a measure outlawing sanctuary cities — places where police are not allowed to ask people they detain about immigration status.

The law, which had already failed during the Legislature's regular session, was defeated a second time thanks to an opposition coalition that included immigration activists as well as law enforcement officials, evangelical pastors and Republican business owners, among them one of Perry's biggest fundraisers.

Why did the governor push the ban in a state where no official sanctuary cities even exist? Many in Texas, including Perry supporters, thought they knew the answer: He was considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Full story…

How much did illegal immigrants contribute to Texas’ economic boom?

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

(Washington Post) A fast-growing population was key to Texas’ record job growth, fueling a demand for construction and services while the rest of the country languished. How much did illegal immigration contribute to the state's growth?

Relying significantly on lower-wage jobs to fuel growth, Texas has drawn from a large, relatively cheap labor pool that’s included large numbers of legal and illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants have taken jobs in many of the industries central to Texas’ economic boom, such as home construction, agriculture and the service industry. Illegal and legal immigrants make up about 20 percent of the state’s total workforce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 8 percent of Texas’ total workforce was made up of illegal immigrants as of 2008.

“It’s a big part of our economy across the board, overwhelmingly in low-skilled, hard work,” says Charles Foster, a Houston-based immigration attorney and board member of the Greater Houston Partnership, a business development group. “It impacts Texas more than almost any other state.” The state’s heavy reliance on immigrant labor may not have dragged wages down to rock bottom either: As Matthias Shapiro notes, the state’s median hourly wage is $15.14, ranking 28th of 51 in the nation, and it’s been increasing at the sixth-highest rate since the recession.

Full story…

Local immigration enforcement costly and potentially unconstitutional

Monday, January 24th, 2011

(American Progress) A handful of local communities across our nation enacted unconstitutional, discriminatory, and costly immigration controls in recent years in an effort to chase away undocumented immigrants and their families and friends, many of whom are American citizens. This growing backlash against Hispanic immigrants in particular was driven by fear, economic uncertainty, and cultural differences in these localities: small towns in New Jersey, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Texas, and one county in Virginia.

Against the backdrop of a slowly recovering economy, high unemployment, falling state and local tax revenues due to the Great Recession, and a host of problems ranging from crime to overcrowded schools, Hispanic immigrants proved to be handy scapegoats for the white majority of citizens in these communities. Never mind that these immigrants—legal and undocumented—are neither the root cause of any of these problems nor a major factor in any of them.

Arizona, of course, drew the most attention for its law, S.B. 1070, which requires police to question the legal status of suspects when there is “reasonable suspicion” they are undocumented immigrants. The law also sets “attrition through enforcement” as Arizona’s official immigration policy, which in plain English means if the laws are harsh enough, immigrants will flee in fear. The state’s immigration control measure has not been enforced, however, because a federal judge put a hold on the new law pending the outcome of a lawsuit in which the U.S. Department of Justice challenged Arizona’s attempts to usurp federal jurisdiction of immigration matters.

Full story…

Texas GOP gets tougher on #immigration. #hispanic

Monday, June 14th, 2010

(Houston Chronicle) Texas Republicans adopted another get-tough policy on immigration and bilingual education Saturday that some say will make it hard for the party to attract Hispanic voters at a time when the Texas population is turning increasingly Latino.

The platform encourages state lawmakers to create a Class A misdemeanor criminal offense “for an illegal alien to intentionally or knowingly be within the State of Texas,” and to “oppose amnesty in any form leading to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

Texas Republicans also want to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a U.S. citizen “with no exceptions.” The platform calls for the end of day-labor work centers and emphasizes border security, encouraging “all means … (to) immediately prevent illegal aliens.”

The party’s education platform calls for the end of federally sponsored pre-kindergarten, and opposes any mandatory pre-kindergarten or kindergarten.

Full story…

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