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MCALLEN, RGV – A Washington Post story that portrays McAllen as being sympathetic to Central American immigrants seeking asylum in the United States was the second most popular story on the newspaper’s website on Thursday.

Kevin Sullivan’s story, posted in the national news section, is titled ‘An all-American city that speaks Spanish’: Immigration isn’t a problem for this Texas town — it’s a way of life.’ The story includes quotes from diners at Maria’s Restaurant and Mayor Jim Darling.

“I wrote the president, and I said, ‘We’re Americans, too, and some of the rhetoric hurts Americans,’ ” Darling told Sullivan. “We’re an all-American city that speaks Spanish.”

McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez is also quoted in the story. He points out that crime in the city is at a 33-year low, and there have been no murders this year.

Click here to read the story.

Another Rio Grande Valley to make the national news is Efrén Olivares, racial and economic justice director for the Texas Civil Rights Project. Olivares has penned a guest column for the New York Times titled,  “A Day in the Life of an Attorney at the Border.

Click here to read the guest column.

Olivares has called on the Trump administration to stop the secrecy about family reunifications. Responding to comments by Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that previous estimates of children separated from their families were inaccurate, Olivares said:

Efrén C. Olivares

“We are deeply troubled by HHS Secretary Azar’s admission that hundreds more children have been separated from their families than was previously reported. Sec. Azar’s refusal—or worse, inability— to give an exact number of children still in ORR custody underlines the complete lack of transparency from the government on this issue.

“Since the Trump Administration began separating families systematically at the border, the American people have been kept in the dark. Advocates and lawyers have been forced to fight tooth and nail to reach their clients and confirm their whereabouts. At least five of the Texas Civil Rights Project’s clients have already been deported without their children, and at least two children were deported without their parent. And there are still hundreds who remain detained and separated from their children with little or no opportunity for communication.

“We cannot and do not accept such secrecy from our government during this human rights crisis. This administration must inform the American people how they plan to reunite every family, including those who were deported without their loved ones, and they must terminate their plans for further detaining families.

“The Trump Administration continues to pretend it played no role in the crisis at hand and refuses to be held accountable for the ways it has handled the lives of children. The only way to end this nightmare is to end Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy immediately and provide meaningful legal representation to every family so that their asylum claims can be heard fairly, and so they can immediately be reunited with their loved ones.”

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