Five stories that have North Texas talking: the president’s deportation-relief program was stalled, but local efforts resume; the state’s gay marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional in Travis County; the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile is stopping through Dallas; and more.
The Obama administration’s new deportation-relief program was supposed to launch today. However, it was put on hold Tuesday because U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas blocked the executive action Monday night. The Associated Press reported: “Obama's directives would make more than 4 million immigrants in the United States illegally eligible for three-year deportation stays and work permits. Mostly those are people who have been in the country for more than five years and have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.” Despite the national program being stalled, local relief efforts are still in the works. In the wake of the ruling, President Obama argued “law and history” were on his side and “predicted the case would be resolved in his favor.” On the other hand, Republican House Speaker John Boehner said the federal block showed the president ultimately “acted beyond his authority.” Although The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has stopped preparations for the program, secretary Jeh Johnson also believes the immigration executive action will “ultimately prevail in the courts.” [Associated Press, Dallas Morning News]
- A Travis County judge ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional on Tuesday. But the county isn’t issuing marriage licenses just yet. KUT in Austin reported: “County Clerk Elections Coordinator Ginny Ballard says that the County Attorney's office is examining Judge [Guy] Herman's order alongside ongoing federal litigation on marriage equality before it takes action.” The order handed down ruled that the ban violated the 14th amendment by restricting marriage to the “union of a man and a woman.” [KUT]
- Art&Seek’s Jerome Weeks interviewed the legendary Inigo Montoya and a professional drag queen. Mandy Patinkin, the actor who played the Spanish fencer in The Princess Bride (1987) and currently stars in Homeland, has teamed up with off-off-Broadway, drag performance artist Taylor Mac for The Last Two People on Earth, a ‘post-apocalyptic vaudeville’ getting its world premiere at the Eisemann Center in Richardson tonight. Listen to their conversation. [Art&Seek]
- George W. Bush is talking with veterans today about post-9/11 transitions from the war front to home. The second annual Military Service Initiative Summit will include a conversation with the former president as well as several panel discussions detailing new research on “what a successful veteran transition looks like and how funders, non-profits, and communities play an effective role in delivering resources,” according to a press release. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao will report later today. [KERA]
- A 27-foot-long, motorized hot dog is driving around Dallas this week. The flashy and friendly Oscar Mayer Wienermobile will parade around the city and park at different locations for events through Sunday, Feb. 22. The wienermobile’s halfway through its tour across the country, so catch the car and a few plastic wiener whistles while you can. Here’s the mobile app and the Twitter handle to help you track it down.