President Barack Obama on Nov. 20 announced his decision to take executive action on immigration because Congress has not acted on immigration reform to address the presence and inflow of undocumented residents. “In order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation, these undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and unlawful permanent residents would have to: Have been here 5+ years, pass a background check, pay taxes,” according to information posted by the White House.
On Veterans Day, we honored our veterans and remembered what they have accomplished. What they have contributed to our country goes well beyond their actions on the field of battle. Our veterans have served our country, and after they left the military, they went to work on the rigs and ranches. They started businesses. They taught our children in school. They joined our police forces to preserve the peace. They taught their children about integrity and the honor of an honest day’s work. These veterans are all around us.
It is a horrifying story, but one that has become all too common. By age 10, a young girl was being sold to men in bars. At 14, she escaped captivity as a sex slave and landed on the streets, penniless and alone, ultimately turning to a pimp who trafficked her for several years as a minor. This happened not in the dark corners of a Third World country, but right here in Dallas.
Winners in the Nov. 4 general election on the whole proved that incumbency and/or running as a Republican continue to be assets when Texas voters hit the polls. Democrats Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte lost by wide margins to Republicans Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. In the Abbott-Davis race, the spread was 20 points: 59 to 39 percent. Similarly, the spread in the Patrick-Van de Putte race was 19 points: 58 to 39 percent.
Secretary of State posts early voting turnout totals
The Secretary of State’s Elections Division on Oct. 31 posted early voting turnouts for each of the state’s 15 highest-population counties: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, Travis, Collin, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Hidalgo, Montgomery, Williamson, Galveston, Nueces andCameron. Of the 8,978,313 registered voters in those counties, 1,715,731 voted early in person or by mail. That’s a 19.11 percent cumulative early voting percentage.
Polls continued to show Republican candidates ahead in top-ofballot races as Texas moved closer to the Oct. 31 early voting deadline before Election Day, Nov. 4. Political campaigns continued to work feverishly across Texas, knocking on doors, holding rallies, robo-calling, planting signs, flooding mailboxes and barraging email accounts.
We are writing to clear up some misconceptions about the law regarding hunting on or near Lake Buchanan (“Banner Year in Hunting Predicted,” Oct. 1, 2014, Burnet Bulletin). Long-standing state law forbids hunting or possessing firearms and other weapons on LCRA lands. This ban in the Parks and Wildlife Code Sec. 62.081 has been in place since 1975 and is not a recent change.
With early voting in Texas only days away, the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 18 let stand a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals order, thereby allowing Texas’ 2011 voter identification law to remain in force for the time being. Civil rights plaintiffs in Veasey et al. v. Perry et al. sought to have portions of the law declared unenforceable on constitutional grounds. In a Corpus Christi federal courtroom, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos struck down the law and ordered the state to return to election law practices in place before the Legislature passed the law in 2011.
We had great town hall meetings in Lamesa and Garden City. These “town halls” are an integral part of representing my constituents. I have to know what citizens are thinking and what their unvarnished opinions are. Democracy is not a spectator sport. This past week, we focused mostly on the crisis in Syria and the need to export United States oil.
Nelva Gonzalez Ramos of Corpus Christi prevents the state from enforcing the voter identification law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011 as Senate Bill 14. In the case, Marc Veasey et al. v. Rick Perry et al., Ramos ruled the law was enacted with a discriminatory purpose and an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans. Ramos said the law places an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote that is, in effect, a poll tax. “Plaintiffs,” she wrote, “have thus demonstrated that every form of SB 14-qualified ID available to the general public is issued at a cost.”