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Joan Brook for The Texas Tribune

Family Separation Crisis Takes Center Stage At Texas Democratic Convention

FORT WORTH — Even before Texas Democrats’ convention officially got underway here this weekend, its top candidates were chomping at the bit to seize on the biggest story in the country: thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border.

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Still On The Edge

The North Texas economy has seen tremendous gains. Many, though, have not shared in that success.

The fear of family separation is not new for many immigrants already living in the U.S. In fact, that fear, heightened in recent weeks, has been forcing a tough decision for some families. Advocates say a growing number of American children are dropping out of Medicaid and other government programs because their parents are undocumented.

Marlene is an undocumented resident of Texas and has two children who are U.S. citizens. (NPR is not using Marlene's last name because of her immigration status.) One of her kids has some disabilities.

State representatives on Monday will begin discussing whether a "red flag" law giving courts the ability to remove guns from a person considered dangerous would work in Texas.

Kandace Vallejo thought she knew Southwest Key Programs: a big nonprofit based in Austin, Texas. Runs a charter school. Works with youth.

And holds thousands of migrant children in facilities paid for by the U.S. government.

That was news.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A group of North Texas researchers has made the cut in an international competition to develop an easy-to-use smartphone app to improve adult literacy.

Julia Reihs / KUT News

Catholic Charities Fort Worth says it's housing a dozen children who were separated from their families at the border after fleeing violence in Central America.

Official U.S. Senate portraits

The top local stories this morning from KERA news: 

Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz will join more than 25 members of Congress this weekend on another visit to the Rio Grande Valley.

Lawrence Schiller (courtesy Lawrence Schiller Archives), 1968

The drama on the U.S.-Mexico border the last few weeks has eerie echoes from a half-century ago, when then-U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy went to Mississippi.

What he saw — brutal poverty, especially among children — sparked what historian and author Ellen Meacham calls a "Delta Epiphany." 

As the other kids cry inconsolably on an audio recording of migrant children, 6-year-old Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid can be heard pleading for someone to call her aunt — reciting the number in Spanish.

Jimena is from El Salvador, and had just crossed into the U.S. before she was detained and separated from her mother.

The controversy over President Trump's executive order to end the policy of separating migrant families who cross into the U.S. illegally is shifting to the courts.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News: 

The U.S. House rejected a hard-line immigration bill Thursday afternoon -- despite support from Texas Republicans. The conservative measure was defeated 231-193.

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Here Are 39 Things You Should Do In Texas Before You Die

Texas Independence Day is March 2. (On that day, back in 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was adopted at Washington-on-the-Brazos.) So, to celebrate, the KERA News staff figured we’d come up with a list of quintessential Texas experiences – a list of things you should do in the Lone Star State before you kick the bucket.

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