Today’s Times — with a Texas Twist

Iran calls new US sanctions ‘outrageous and idiotic’

Acting Pentagon chief Esper on global stage amid Iran crisis

Government moves migrant kids after AP exposes bad treatment

Clint, TX

Leaked Photos (dated May 27, 2019) Show Crowded Texas Border Facilities

A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the agency has not “officially released any photos at this time in order to protect the rights and privacy of unaccompanied minors in our care.”

“The influx of unaccompanied children across the southwest border has resulted in an urgent humanitarian situation,” the CBP spokesperson said. “It requires a whole of government coordinated and sustained response.”






President Barack Obama has directed an effort, lead by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to provide resources and “humanitarian relief to affected children,” which is a “priority,” the spokesperson said.

It is unclear who leaked the photos to Breitbart, the conservative news agency that released them.

“Given the deteriorating security and economic conditions in the Central American countries where most of these children and adult immigrants came from, it's hard to understand how Department of Homeland Security didn't see this coming,” Sylvia Longmire, a contributor to Breitbart who focuses on border issues, said on the website. “Now, the results of this mismanagement are thousands of individuals living in inhumane conditions for an indeterminate period of time, as well as exhausted and overwhelmed Border Patrol agents and CBP detention facilities.”

Tough choices loom for Texas cities under new tax caps

AUSTIN — Mayor Steve Adler says one last 8-percent increase in property tax revenue may be the best move for city leaders this summer, as they prepare for future penny-pinching required by a new state law restricting such tax collections.

“Obviously no decision has been made on that yet, but if we’re being responsible and prudent, it’s certainly something we have to consider,” Adler said. “If only to create extra reserves so that the cuts — so the next three years aren’t felt all in the same year. So that we can transition.”

San Antonio Mayor Mayor Ron Nirenberg has directed his staff to run the same numbers.

Under current law, Texas cities and counties can collect up to 8 percent more in property tax revenue a year before the public can petition for a rollback election. The new law caps the increases at 3.5 percent without voter approval, excluding revenue from new construction.

The law won't take effect until Jan. 1, after most cities' 2020 fiscal years begin, but many are already preparing for leaner years.

The new law is intended to shield Texas homeowners - who pay the third-highest rate in the nation for a single-family dwelling — from surges in property taxes that many homeowners in fast-growing parts of the state are seeing.



McAllen hopeful of quick passage for $30M migrant aid reimbursement

RIO GRANDE VALLEY—Senate appropriators have agreed on a “border supplemental package” that includes $30 million in available funds for reimbursements to local governments, states and non-governmental organizations that have spent money on migrant aid.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.

Sen. John Cornyn announced the deal after sending a letter earlier this week to Senate appropriators “requesting this inclusion after hearing from many local Texas officials and nonprofits that, due to increased border crossings in recent months, local governments and NGOs have had to spend significant resources on services typically provided by the federal government.”

“In the absence of federal resources, local communities in Texas have been providing transportation, food and shelter for migrants in need,” Cornyn said, adding that local “resources are drained and funds for critical services like public safety and utilities are taking a hit. Through these reimbursements, we can take the burden off local communities and NGOs.”

Senate appropriators agreed with Cornyn’s request.

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