Original article appeared in The Texas Observer: One day in August 2013, Alyse Ogletree was turning onto her street in a new, unfinished development in Denton when she saw […]
Original article appeared at VICE.com On November 27, 2007, a series of phone calls cut a congressional session in Mexico City short. The lower chamber of Congress was meeting when, […]
With attention focused on other aspects of immigration reform, the federal government has quietly gone on a massive immigrant prison building spree. Since 1999, the Bureau of Prisons has contracted for the operation of 13 for-profit private prisons located mostly in isolated towns far from the prying eyes of activists, prisoner’s families or attorneys. Five are located in Texas. Run by three private companies, these 13 “criminal alien requirement” prisons, as the BOP calls them, house one of America’s fastest-growing prison populations: immigrants in federal custody, many convicted for the crime of illegally crossing the border. The 13 facilities collectively house more than 25,000 immigrant prisoners at a cost to US taxpayers estimated at $1bn a year.
A foreign oil company convicted of polluting a Texas community’s air with dangerous chemicals has gotten off easy in a criminal case that could undercut the prosecution of environmental crimes in the United States. The case revolves around Venezuelan-owned Citgo Petroleum’s decade-long violation of the federal Clean Air Act at its refinery in Corpus Christi.
After seven years of waiting, Corpus Christi pollution victims finally learned what restitution they’ll be receiving from Citgo Petroleum Corp.: nothing. Last week, a federal district judge determined that residents of a neighborhood exposed to toxic chemicals from Citgo’s Corpus refinery weren’t due any compensation, including medical expenses or relocation costs.
One year ago on April 17, five-year-old Parker Pustejovsky lost his father in the fertilizer plant explosion that wrecked the small Texas town of West. Joey Pustejovsky was one of 10 first responders to die trying to put out the fire that precipitated the blast. It wasn’t long before young Parker declared he would rebuild the city park, stripped bare by the explosion—and he’d do it by selling hot dogs.
Last year was the deadliest on record for Texas firefighters. Can dampening a culture of heroism keep them safer?