ALPINE, Texas - Federal public defenders in the district of West Texas say they will work without pay should the government shutdown continue beyond the next week. Defenders provide free legal council to those who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
Texas' Western District spans 700 miles of the border and is the size of the entire United Kingdom. Defenders in the Western District have the second-highest caseload in the country, second only to Arizona, another border area.
Under the agreement known as the "Merida Initiative," the United States has given the Mexican government billions of dollars to fight drug cartels. The program has been criticized as violent, reactionary and ineffective in its attempts to stem the flood of drugs across the border or stop the violence that's plagued Mexico for nearly a decade.
Though that approach continues, the U.S. has also begun using Merida funding to help programs in three cities designed to support so-called sustainable communities and prevent children from being drawn into the drug trade.
In the midst of federal government paralysis, the Washington Post hailed a "rare moment of bipartisan cooperation" when the House of Representatives on Wednesday night approved a bill to extend the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa Program.
Deportations can be examined in numbers, but the lasting impact on family members who remain in the United States is more challenging to categorize, especially for young people who face emotional challenges after parents or siblings are deported.
Jackie has struggled in the years since her older brother was deported. She's a quiet high school sophomore with a big, sweet smile. Jackie says she and her brother were inseparable growing up.
"He'd put his hat on and we'd have tea parties," she says. "He was basically my best friend."
At national parks across the country visitors have been turned away, camping trips and even weddings canceled because of the federal government shutdown. In addition to fewer park visitors, it means fewer customers at local restaurants, hotels and stores. In Arizona, Grand Canyon river trips have been canceled or postponed.
If the government shutdown lasts a month, as some suspect it will, Grand Canyon river outfitters estimate a million dollars in total lost revenue.
SAN ANTONIO - As Texas inches closer to a statewide election in November, officials are reaching out to people without proper identification. Citizens without an ID can apply for an election certificate starting this week.