The State of Texas: Texas Settles Immigrant Birth Certificate Case
Plus: Texans take center stage on day one at the DNC, archaeologists make a big find at the Alamo, and a South Texas cemetery agrees to allow non-whites to be buried there.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We are looking for Mullet Hair Style MEN…may be women also. For Japanese reality TV show, study of hair Mullet hair Style.”
—An ad posted on Austin’s Craigslist. The ad, which was first highlighted by the Houston Chronicle, is apparently seeking well-mulleted Austinites for an interview and a video shoot. Prospective mulleteers are being offered $150 for two hours of their time. That, combined with the surreal nature of Japanese television, will likely draw both the business-in-the-front and the party-in-the-back crowds.
It will be a lot easier for undocumented immigrants to get birth certificates for their Texas-born kids now that Texas has settled a federal lawsuit filed by immigrant parents. According to the Associated Press, Texas reached a deal that allows undocumented immigrants to use more forms of identification to obtain birth certificates. Previously, immigrants requesting a birth certificate needed two secondary forms of identification (like a foreign ID with a photo or a Mexican voter registration, which until earlier this year could only be received in Mexico). In the settlement, Texas agreed to accept utility bills, pay stubs, and “letters relating to public assistance benefits,” according to the Texas Tribune, as well as foreign identification like Mexican voter registrations received by mail after the immigrants had settled in the state, and documents from Central America that have been signed by consular officials. According to the Dallas Morning News, there were 62 plaintiffs attached to the lawsuit filed last year, including parents from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and though it’s unclear exactly how many children were affected by the old rules, one attorney for the plaintiffs estimated that number is in the “thousands.” It goes without saying, but birth certificates are pretty important. Without them, writes the Morning News, children “can have a difficult time enrolling in school, getting vaccinations, receiving baptismal certificates and receiving government-funded health care.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Texans Take Center Stage
As the first day of the Democratic National Convention kicked off in Philadelphia, quite a few of the event’s scheduled speakers were Texas women, as the Texas Tribune noted. The convention’s youngest delegate, seventeen-year-old Clarissa Rodriquez from Galveston, led the opening pledge alongside the oldest delegate, 93-year-old Ruby Gilliam of Ohio. Corpus Christi native and actor Eva Longoria spoke about growing up as a Mexican-American in South Texas, and criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric toward Hispanics: “My father is not a criminal or a rapist,” Longoria said. “In fact, he’s a United States veteran.” Cheryl Lankford, a San Antonian who claims she was bamboozled by Trump University, also spoke. (She also didn’t have any good things to say about Trump.) Former Texas state senator Leticia Van de Putte, co-chair of the rules committee, also spoke. Meanwhile, U.S. Representative Joaquín Castro made news for saying during an interview that he thinks some, but not all, of Trump’s supporters are racist, while his brother, Julián, current U.S. HUD secretary and former vice presidential hopeful, told the Tribune that he has no interest in taking the place of ousted DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Archaeologists excavating at the Alamo discovered part of a Spanish colonial adobe wall buried below the surface, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Although the find isn’t as sexy as, say, finding Davy Crockett’s skull or a pencil imprinted with Santa Anna’s teethmarks, it’s still far more exciting than it sounds (unless you’re an archaeologist, in which case an old wall probably sounds pretty exciting to begin with). According to the Texas Tribune, the discovery is significant in that it will help researchers draw up plans for the Alamo’s long-term renovation project. The wall is in poor condition, and researchers still have to do some additional tests to verify what, exactly, they’ve found, but it seems as though the once-buried wall could be part of the original Alamo, or even remnants from another building constructed during the 1700s that was long gone by the time the Alamo fell in 1836.
RIP Racist Cemetery
A controversial South Texas cemetery will no longer refuse to bury anyone who isn’t white. So here we are, in 2016, and it’s only after a lawsuit alleging discrimination that the cemetery’s operators finally threw their hands up and basically said, “Okay, fine, I guess we’ll bury non-whites, too.” According to the Texas Tribune, the San Domingo Cemetery in Normanna “admitted defeat” last week in a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleged that she was turned down when she tried to bury her Latino husband’s ashes in the cemetery. According to the complaint, cemetery operator Jimmy Bradford told the woman that her husband couldn’t be buried there “because he’s a Mexican,” and that she should “bury him with the n—— and Mexicans” in another cemetery nearby. Segregated cemeteries have been illegal since 1948.
WHAT WE’RE READING
The Texas veterinarian who killed a cat with a bow and arrow was recently charged with a DWI San Antonio Express-News
No charges will be filed after a twelve-year-old black girl suffered serious rope burns during a school field trip Waco Tribune-Herald
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office will be getting new body cameras and tasers El Paso Times
A sexual assault activist said she had a positive meeting with the Baylor football team and coaches Dallas Morning News
Houston Rockets’ mascot Clutch the Bear is hanging up his, um, bear shoes? Houston Press