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Cornyn, Cuellar call for action, propose HUMANE Act

20140718 HUMANE-Act-news-conference 2508It's time for solutions, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar emphasized while discussing their proposed HUMANE Act with local leaders in the Rio Grande Valley at Mission City Hall last Friday.

"We need to act," Cornyn said. "We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We’re more than happy to work with you to try to improve this, but you can’t just say no. Washington is so polarizing these days that many people think they can just say no and feel satisfied they have done their jobs."

The HUMANE (Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency) Act would amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. If passed, it would treat all migrant children the same no matter their native country. Currently, children from Mexico are given an immigration hearing and can be deported within seven days. Meanwhile, Central American children are given a notice to appear in immigration court and often don't have a hearing for three to five years, Cuellar said.

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Glenn Beck’s Mercury One visits Palmview

20140719 Iglesia Del Pueblo lg-10It was Christmas in July for thousands of lower-income Valley children Saturday when radio talk show host Glenn Beck’s Mercury One charitable organization rolled into the parking lot at Iglesia Del Pueblo church in Palmview complete with tractor trailer-full loads of food, water, stuffed toys and soccer balls.

As volunteers worked to prepare and serve the kids and their parents breakfast, others handed each child their brand new stuffed toy or soccer ball. Iglesia Del Pueblo pastor Juan De La Garza explained how Mercury One came to be involved with the event meant to help the needy right here in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Some weeks back I got in contact with Glenn Beck through a friend of mine and as a result of our conversation Glenn decided he wanted to do what he could to help those being affected by the border crisis,” said De La Garza. “While Glenn was well aware of the border crisis, I explained that we actually have two issues we’re dealing with down here. We have the issue of the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children and we have the issue of the colonia residents who need help as well. What we came up with, and what we’re doing here today, is a way of dealing with both issues at the same time.”

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Northern sheriffs get close-up look at border crisis

20140717 Sheriffs Border Tour lg-08The tens of thousands unaccompanied immigrant children who have been caught this year at the border are being bused and flown to facilities across the country where they will be housed and cared for in make-shift camps until they are released to family. As a result, many officials in northern states are taking a sudden interest in this crisis and are demanding to know what is being done to deter future waves of children from coming to America illegally.

Last week six sheriffs from across the country were given the opportunity to take a ride on two of the Texas Highway Patrol speed and gun boats that have been patrolling the Rio Grande south of Mission since this crisis began.

Susan Tully, as the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR’s) National Field director, helped organize the tour. Tully said FAIR is a nonprofit public policy organization out of Washington, D.C., that has been in place 35 years. Supporters of FAIR believe immigration policies should benefit America and Americans first and foremost, she said.

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Sharyland school board, administration actions questioned

sharyland-logo-copy-1MISSION—Former Sharyland ISD Board Member, Virginia Townsend said it has been 21 years since she has listened in on a Sharyland ISD regular meeting. During the public comments portion of this month’s regular meeting, Townsend told board members she did not like the way discussions were being conducted.

A group of community members came to show support for Townsend and three other citizens participating in the public comments portion of the regular meeting.

Townsend is an active member of the Objective Watchers of the Legal System (OWLS), a non-partisan public watchdog group based in Hidalgo County.

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Border Patrol opens facility to process unaccompanied migrant children

20140725 AREA Border-Patrol-processing-facility 2337McALLEN–It took contractors 17 days to get the new Border Patrol processing facility up and functional.

The facility, at the corner of W. Ursula Avenue and Ware Road, has the capacity to hold 1,000 children. The warehouse is filled with four pods that can hold 250 children each. Chain-link fences serve as dividers and forest green mats were stacked in corners for sleeping.

For now, it will solely be used to process the influx of unaccompanied children coming from Central America, but Kevin Oaks, chief patrol agent for the Rio Grande Valley Sector, said in the future it could be used to process other populations.

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Mayor loses battle for commercial zone

City-of-Mission-logoMission City Council rejected a proposed zone change in the Melba Carter Subdivision on Monday that would have changed property use from residential to commercial over protests from Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas.

The proposed business involved a site where storage units, commercial trucks and trailers could be left for periods of time in the subdivision, which sits between Conway Avenue and the Mission Industrial Park south of Expressway 83.

“Some members of the council just do not understand,” Salinas said, “That one business would have provided up to 20 jobs for Mission residents.”

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Work on Bryan Rd to create detour

20140718 detour-signConstruction Bryan will reroute traffic today through Monday, July 21.

According to a news release, a street cut will be made on Bryan Road north of Business 83, and vehicles will be diverted west along Ash Street, north on Pecan Street and then east on Oak Street back to Bryan Road.

For more information, contact the city of Mission planning department at 580-8672.

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H-E-B plus! store offers larger selection, donates to local non-profits

20140711 HEB Sharyland-ribbon-cutting AF  9021MISSION—Visitors to the H-E-B plus! on Shary Road took tours last week to see the multiple additions made to the existing facility.

Bob Tellez, director of retail operations for the Upper Valley, said customers could expect many upgrades and more items offered at the store. Areas offering more products include: the Flaming Bird Café, dairy department, the bakery, the entertainment department, lady’s apparel and the wine section.

Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas, City Manager Martin Garza and the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce President/CEO George Myers were just a few of the city officials who were present for a ribbon cutting.

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