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Lawmakers Call For Immigration Law Enforcement & Midday Roundup


By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – As President Barack Obama prepared to give a speech on America's "broken immigration system" in Texas, lawmakers in Austin passed a bill that would force local police to give federal immigration offenses the same priority as other crimes.

Republicans in the Texas House approved the bill after hours of emotional and racially-charged debate. Gov. Rick Perry declared the measure to be emergency legislation. He said local law enforcement agencies were not doing enough to catch and deport illegal immigrants.

All of the police chiefs and sheriffs who commented on the proposed law opposed it. Most said they needed to focus on violent crimes and drug offenses. They also feared that enforcing immigration law would sew distrust in minority communities. If signed into law, the bill would forbid those decisions.

Bill would aid prosecution of human smuggling

The Texas Senate has approved a bill that would make it easier for prosecutors to convict human smugglers.

The vote Tuesday makes it a state jail felony to intentionally transport a person with the intent of hiding the individual from law enforcement officers or fleeing arrest.

Democratic Sen. Chuy Hinojosa of McAllen, the bill's author, said it's difficult to convict human traffickers. Under current law prosecutors have to prove that a person trafficked someone with the knowledge that the person will be forced into labor or services.

Rodriguez said his bill will solve that problem and give prosecutors additional tools to address trafficking.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

6 kids taken to hospital after bus crash

Six children were taken to the hospital after a Fort Worth school district bus was involved in a crash with a car.

School district spokesman Clint Bond says the bus was on its way to William James Middle School after picking up students when it was involved in the Tuesday morning accident.

Bond tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that six students were taken to Cook Children's Medical Center after complaining of pain. He says the bus was carrying 30 students.

MedStar spokeswoman Suzy Miller says one adult was also taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not deemed an emergency.

Dallas is 2nd stop for 36 rare Mexican mummies

A Mexican mummies exhibit is moving to Dallas more than a year after its debut in Detroit.

Thirty-six mummies make up the "The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato". Organizers said Tuesday the exhibit will run May 27 to Sept. 5 at the West End Market Place in Dallas.

The mummies are on loan from a museum in Guanajuato, Mexico, and their debut at the Detroit Science Center in November 2009 was their first display in the U.S.

A long U.S. tour was planned, but the mummies have been stored in Detroit since May 2010. A company that controls the U.S. rights filed a lawsuit last year, accusing the touring company of falling far behind in payments. The case was settled in January with no details made public.

Feds ask for help in Armstrong case

U.S. authorities are asking European officials for help gathering evidence against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in a case related to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

People familiar with the investigation have told The Associated Press that the request for evidence made to French officials mentions Armstrong by name and specifically targets him and other members of his former U.S. Postal team.

A grand jury has been meeting in Los Angeles to determine whether Armstrong should face criminal charges.

Thom Mrozek, a spokesman with the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles declined comment. Mark Fabiani, counsel for Armstrong, criticized investigators for leaking information and said the probe is a waste of taxpayers' dollars. Armstrong has always denied doping.