QUOTE OF THE DAY
“They’ve been educated here, they’ve grown up here, and in most cases they don’t have family in their country of origin to go back to, so why not take advantage of the investment we’ve made in them and help them become productive adults here in the United States?”
—U.S. Representative Joe Barton to the Dallas Morning News. Barton, of Arlington, is the only congressional Republican from Texas to sign on to the DREAM Act, which protects children who were brought to the United States illegally from being deported.
Even as their home state is recovering from the devastation left by Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey, Texans are turning their attention to Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria left behind what San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz called “a humanitarian crisis.” As much of the island remains without electricity, water, or reliable phone service, billionaire Mark Cuban lent the Dallas Mavericks team plane to guard J.J. Barea—a Puerto Rican native—to deliver supplies and rescue his family. “Mark gave him our team plane,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle confirmed. “They loaded up a bunch of stuff, supplies, etc., to take over to Puerto Rico, and they’re going to turn around and come back.” Barea returned to Texas on Tuesday night with his mother and grandmother in tow. After navigating the country’s crippled communications infrastructure, 27 members of Texas Task Force 1—and two dogs—have also arrived in Puerto Rico to help with search-and-rescue efforts, according to the Bryan-College Station Eagle. The new arrivals will join a team of eleven Texas Task Force 1 members who have been on the ground in Puerto Rico for weeks “providing leadership and coordination within FEMA.” Still, as Texans know, you don’t have to a billionaire or a FEMA agency to help out. After donating more than $1 million to relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Rangers gave proceeds from their Texas 2 Split 50/50 Raffle, held on Monday, to Hurricane Maria victims. And in Houston, medical professionals with the Medical Disaster Response Network are working to transport 2,500 pounds of medical supplies that they have been collecting since Harvey hit to Puerto Rico.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Governor Greg Abbott announced at a press conference on Tuesday that the state won’t tap into the Rainy Day Fund to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts until the next legislative session—if it uses any of the $10 billion at all. Abbott’s announcement comes just after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner wrote to the governor asking him to tap into the state’s fund so the city could avoid a year-long hike on property taxes, the Texas Tribune reports. At the press conference on Tuesday, Abbott said that Turner has “all the money he needs” in Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, and that all he has to do is “tap into it.” Abbott also pointed out that the state has already given $100 million to Houston to help clean up debris and created a “accelerated reimbursement program,” for which Abbott would sign off on any invoices submitted to him in the next ten days. “In times like these, it’s important to have fiscal responsibility as opposed to financial panic,” Abbott said, according to the Tribune. Abbott added later that “the mayor seems to be using [Harvey recovery] as hostage to raise taxes.”
One day after a panel of three federal appeals judges allowed parts of Texas’ sanctuary city ban to go into effect, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that he would begin fielding complaints against local law enforcement agencies violating Senate Bill 4, according to the Houston Chronicle. Now, citizens who suspect that officials are in violation of the so-called sanctuary cities bill can file with Paxton’s office, which the AG can then use to “seek the removal of an elected official, create civil penalties for the jurisdiction or seek court orders compelling them to follow the law,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said on Monday that local agencies must honor detention requests for people who are suspected to be in the U.S. illegally. “The 5th Circuit quickly confirmed what my office and I long maintained: Senate Bill 4 is a common sense measure that prevents governments in Texas from standing in the way of federal enforcement of immigration law,” Paxton said in a written statement. “By enforcing the key provisions of SB 4, we will prevent dangerous criminals from being released back into our Texas communities.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
Texas forever? Taylor Kitsch is back as David Koresh Rolling Stone
A Texas Democratic lawmaker threatens to force an impeachment vote The Hill
Guy Fieri will hit up the State Fair to host a kid’s BBQ cook-off (and probably eat some fried things) Culture Map Dallas
Students at the University of Texas at Austin are voting to bring back the UT-A&M rivalry Bryan-College Station Eagle
Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League apologizes. Again. Variety