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Top Stories: Working On A DACA Deal; The Power Of The Texas Railroad Commission

Martin do Nascimento
KUT News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Members of Congress are still trying to reach an agreement on an Obama-era immigration program that protects young people, who came to the U.S. illegally as children, from deportation.

Disagreements on tying the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, to the federal spending bill helped lead to a three-day government shutdown, which ended Monday.

Democratic Congressman Marc Veasey of Fort Worth said he wants to be hopeful that Congress can hammer out a deal on keeping DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, in the country.

“It’s tough right now because the Republican leadership in the Senate and the leadership in the Republican House [are] very far apart,” Veasey said. “And because of that, I am concerned. There were some guarantees that were made to Democratic senators but those guarantees were not made on the House side.”

Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn said he’s hopeful a bipartisan group can produce immigration legislation that passes the Senate – but he said the plan would need President Donald Trump’s support in order for the House to approve it.

There are about 120,000 so-called Dreamers in Texas – about 700,000 nationwide.

Other stories this evening:

  • Child welfare advocates in Texas say they’re worried after a federal appeals court late last week halted the implementation of a judge's order that the state make sweeping changes to its foster care system. The state last Friday quickly appealed a ruling by U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack, who said much work remains for Texas to cure the woes of the foster care system she had found unconstitutionally broken two years before.
  • A new report shows the number of Texas women dying during or soon after childbirth has risen dramatically in recent years – and black mothers are disproportionately at risk. Today on Think, Krys Boyd talked with Texas Tribune reporter Marissa Evans about why black women die more than other mothers.
  • As Texas gears up for another election season, one race you might not hear much about is for Texas Railroad Commissioner. The current chair, Republican Christi Craddick, is running for re-election. As Mose Buchele with KUT in Austin reports, the job is a much more powerful office than the name might suggest.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.

Former KERA staffer Stephanie Kuo is an award-winning radio journalist who worked as a reporter and administrative producer at KERA, overseeing and coordinating editorial content reports and logistics for the Texas Station Collaborative – a statewide news consortium including KERA, KUT in Austin, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio.