Houston Matters

Change to Death Records Law Aims to Help Families of Immigrants

Posted on · Legislation signed into law in June makes death records of unidentified people in Texas public information after a year. Previously, all death records were confidential for 25 years. The change only applies to unidentified remains. Human rights advocates say the measure is a good start to addressing a bigger issue, especially for border counties in […]

Houston Matters

New Law Looks to Crack Down on ‘Green Card Weddings’

Posted on · Early last month, Louisiana approved legislation designed to crack down on marriage fraud, the practice of marrying a U.S. citizen as a means to becoming a lawful permanent resident in the United States. The law specified that, among other conditions, a birth certificate, valid international ID or a passport would be needed to receive a marriage […]

Houston Matters

The Million: Inside the Black Market for Day Laborers in Houston

Posted on · This spring, Houston Public Media and the Houston Chronicle launched a collaborative series documenting the lives of the 1.4 million foreign-born residents of Harris County. In the most recent installment in the series, Houston Chronicle reporter Karen Chen examines how day laborers are exploited in the Greater Houston region. Chen will tell us more about her report. […]

Houston Matters

Backlog Means Immigration Cases Wont Be Heard Until 2019

Posted on · Back in November of 2012, the Houston Chronicle reported a growing backlog of cases in Houston’s immigration court. At that time, the backlog grew from more than 4,000 to more than 12,000 in a three-year period, and cases were being scheduled for late 2014. Now a recent update on that number puts the tally at 31,300 with cases […]

Houston Matters

The Million: Stories of Houston’s Many Foreign-Born Residents

Posted on · In Harris County, more than one million residents – that’s one in four people — were born in a foreign country. Today, Houston Public Media began its first installment in a year-long series called “The Million” with our partners at the Houston Chronicle. It explores how diversity shapes our region. The series started with a […]

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Texas Population Growth and The Million: Monday’s Show (March 30, 2015)

Posted on · Between recent census figures and a new report from the Office of the State Demographer, growth is the word on many people’s lips in Texas. The report says the state’s population could double by 2050. That’s if migration patterns continue along the same trends seen from 2000 to 2010. On this edition of Houston Matters, […]

Houston Matters

Immigration Reform is More than Just a U.S.-Mexico Problem

Posted on · At a recent symposium on immigration at Rice University, diplomats, scholars, activists, and public officials noted the issue is more than just a U.S./Mexico border problem, that other countries bear responsibility for migration. We discuss immigration beyond the border with Dr. Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, […]

Houston Matters

Study: Immigrant Children are More Likely to be Sedentary

Posted on · A new study by sociologists at Rice University indicates immigrant children from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are more likely to be sedentary than U.S.-born white children. We learn more about the study from Rachel Kimbro, one of its co-authors, and discuss reasons why this might be the case.

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Payday Lenders, Fracking Water and LibroFEST: Houston Matters for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Posted on · You’ve seen them all over Greater Houston – and maybe you’ve even had to use one: payday or auto title loan centers. Customers short on cash can get a high-interest loan due at their next payday or they can borrow money with the title to their car as collateral. On this edition of Houston Matters, […]

Houston Matters

Children Crossing the Border Alone Face Numerous Challenges

Posted on · Last week the Obama Administration created a program to provide young children crossing the border without their parents with lawyers to help them navigate their way through immigration court. Obtaining adequate legal representation isn’t the only challenge children caught crossing the border illegally face. In a series of investigative reports, the Houston Chronicle has documented […]

Houston Matters

What is ICE and How Does the Agency Handle Immigration Issues?

Posted on · Last week, Houston police helped rescue 115 undocumented immigrants stuffed inside a small stash house. 17 children were among them. Five men suspected of running the human trafficking operation were detained at the scene in southeast Houston. Houston police say the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency – or ICE – is taking over the […]