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Unaccompanied Minors Crossing the Border: Houston Matters for Thursday, June 12, 2014

Vast numbers of often unaccompanied young children continue to cross into south Texas from Mexico. The White House says they’re fleeing violence in Central America. That’s why the Obama administration has begun to provide these minors seeking asylum with lawyers to assist them as they navigate our immigration courts. It’s not common practice for those […]

Vast numbers of often unaccompanied young children continue to cross into south Texas from Mexico. The White House says they’re fleeing violence in Central America. That’s why the Obama administration has begun to provide these minors seeking asylum with lawyers to assist them as they navigate our immigration courts. It’s not common practice for those believed to have entered the country illegally, but as the number of young people crossing the border grows, officials say non–profits and attorneys working pro-bono can’t handle the flood of cases.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss this ongoing development and the many issues it raises with Vernon Loeb, Managing Editor for the Houston Chronicle, which has been reporting extensively on what’s happening to these unaccompanied children.

Then, we welcome your questions about the legal representation these unaccompanied minors might receive, and the immigration court process they face, as we talk with Stewart Gagnon, Senior Partner at the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski. (In the interest of full disclosure, we’ll note that Fulbright & Jaworski is an underwriter of Houston Public Media programming).

Also this hour: by any number of measures, Greater Houston is an increasingly diverse community. Which means we not only have the opportunity to spend time with – and learn from – people from a wide array of backgrounds. We also have the pleasure of hearing a wide variety of interesting voices, with intricacies, accents, special ways of pronouncing all manner of words and phrases. But recreating those sounds can be a challenge. That’s where Jim Johnson comes in. Jim is the Director of the School of Theatre and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Houston, and he coaches young actors on how to properly speak in accents from all over the world. We ask him to share some of his wisdom on dialect coaching, and explain the intricacies behind the many accents we hear in and around Greater Houston.

Plus: Episcopalian priest Father William “Bill” Miller, who grew up in Garden Oaks near The Heights, likes to share two passions: his religion…and alcohol. In addition to his calling in the priesthood, he owns a bar in Marfa called, naturally, Padre’s. He also writes about God and alcohol. His newest book is entitled “The Beer Drinker’s Guide to God: The Whole and Holy Truth About Lager, Loving, and Living.” Houston Matters’ Edel Howlin introduces us to Father Bill.

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