Skip to Content

Local Blogs

More States' Rights Madness from Another Progressive Bastion

US Immigration Reform Forum - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 8:22pm
More States' Rights Madness from Another Progressive Bastion

Source: More States' Rights Madness from Another Progressive Bastion

--Center for...
Categories: Local Blogs

A Successful Visa Mill, by One Standard, Is Three Times Richer than Harvard

US Immigration Reform Forum - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 8:22pm
A Successful Visa Mill, by One Standard, Is Three Times Richer than Harvard

Categories: Local Blogs

Most UACs Released to Sponsors Without Status

US Immigration Reform Forum - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 8:22pm
Most UACs Released to Sponsors Without Status


The trend in apprehensions is upward, and the release of the overwhelming majority of UACs t...

Categories: Local Blogs

Sharp enrollment losses in lower grades raise more concerns about El Paso population growth

Borderzine - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 8:07am

The number of El Paso County children enrolling in kindergarten through second grade has dropped precipitously in the last seven years, further evidence that El Paso’s once-robust population growth has stalled.

El Paso County schools – including both traditional school districts and charter schools – had 34,603 students enrolled in kindergarten, first grade and second grade this year, according to data released in March by the Texas Education Agency. That’s down more than 5,000 from the 2011-12 enrollment in those grades, according to TEA records, a decline of 13%.

Related: El Paso population growth rate hits 8 decade low, census estimates show

Only one traditional school district in El Paso County – Canutillo Independent School District in the western part of the county – has seen an increase in K-2 population in the past seven years. Canutillo’s K-2 population grew by 88 students to 1,345 this year, or 7%.

Even Socorro ISD, long described as a growing district on the eastern edge of El Paso’s city limits, is experiencing a population decline among its youngest students, according to TEA data. Socorro enrolled 8,758 students in K-2 this year, down 317 from 2011-12, a 3.5% drop.

The new student enrollment data reinforces trends evident in the latest Census Bureau population estimates for El Paso County. Those estimates, released in April, showed that El Paso’s population growth rate had dropped to its lowest level in 80 years, increasing 5% between 2010 and 2018. Neighboring Doña Ana County in New Mexico grew even more slowly, only 3.3%.

El Paso’s population slowdown appears to be driven largely by people moving from the county to other communities in the United States. The Census Bureau reports that El Paso had a huge loss of people between 2010 and 2018 in what is called domestic migration, movement from one U.S. community to another. The census estimated that El Paso had a net loss of more than 50,000 people in domestic migration in those years.

What little population growth El Paso is seeing is being driven by births and immigration from other countries, according to the Census Bureau. School enrollment figures suggest that some of those children are moving from El Paso before enrolling in school. The Census Bureau estimates that El Paso County had about 14,000 births in 2012. This school year, when those children turned 6, first-grade enrollment in the county was less than 12,000.

The new Texas Education Agency student enrollment data suggests that much of the domestic migration loss in El Paso may be among young adults and their families. Slowing enrollment growth – or worse, declining enrollment – creates numerous risks.

  • Fewer students means fewer jobs for teachers, administrators and other education professionals. That would further limit the job prospects in El Paso for people with four-year college degrees, pushing more people to leave the area.
  • Between 2015 and 2017, voters in the Ysleta, El Paso and Socorro school districts approved more than $1.5 billion in bond issues to build new schools and renovate decaying campuses. Current enrollment trends could make it difficult to fill classrooms in some of these schools, even though taxpayers will continue paying off the bonds. That could create what are called “stranded assets” – investments that have their economic life curtailed because they no longer meet a viable need.
  • Fewer people in elementary school eventually will mean fewer people going on to higher education, creating enrollment challenges for El Paso Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso a decade from now.

Enrollment at all grade levels in El Paso County this year is 176,412, down 6,284 or 3.4% since 2011-12. Countywide school enrollment has declined every year this decade. Since 2011-12, elementary school enrollment (grades K-5) is down almost 9%; middle school enrollment (grades 6-8) and high school enrollment (grades 9-12) is down about 1%.

The sharpest declines are among the youngest students. Kindergarten enrollment dropped 14% in El Paso County between 2011-12 and this school year; first-grade enrollment is down 13% and second-grade enrollment is down 12%. Those declines at the earliest grade levels suggest that enrollment losses are likely to continue in coming years.

The El Paso and Ysleta independent school districts have struggled for years with declining enrollment, closing and consolidating schools as a result. El Paso ISD’s enrollment this year is 57,315, down 11% from 2011-12. Ysleta ISD’s enrollment of 41,064 this year is down more than 7% from seven years ago.

Socorro ISD has passed Ysleta ISD as the county’s second-largest school district, growing more than 7% in the last seven years to reach 46,814 students. But almost all that growth is in middle school and high school grades. Socorro’s elementary school population has grown only 1% in eight years and kindergarten and first-grade enrollment is down in that period. Socorro’s growth will slow or stop in the next decade if those trends continue.

Other than in Canutillo, which is becoming increasingly urbanized, elementary school enrollment has dropped sharply in rural school districts outside the El Paso city limits. In those five rural districts – Anthony, Clint, Fabens, San Elizario and Tornillo – elementary school enrollment plunged almost 16% between 2011-12 and this year.

El Paso County charter schools enrolled 5,810 students this year, up 57% over the 2011-12 school year. Charter schools are adding to the enrollment struggles of traditional public schools, but are not the primary cause.

Enrollment in El Paso County’s nine traditional public school districts dropped by almost 8,400 students between 2011-12 and 2018-19. Growth in charter schools accounted for 2,100 of those students. The bulk of the decline — 6,300 students – is due to fewer school-age children living in El Paso County, according to TEA data.

Robert Moore is a veteran El Paso journalist who has covered population trends for more than 30 years.

Click hear to read Sharp enrollment losses in lower grades raise more concerns about El Paso population growth

Categories: Local Blogs

Pay attention to the EPISD board of trustees election

ElPasoSpeak - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 5:00am

Jaime Abeytia makes an interesting observation in this blog piece on the Lion Star Blog.

If you live on the west side of El Paso and intend to vote in the EPISD election I suggest that you read it.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Debating the Path to Citizenship

US Immigration Reform Forum - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 12:01am
Debating the Path to Citizenship


Immigration activists seem to be blind to the fact that if they have their way in the Democratic primarie...

Categories: Local Blogs

King County, Washington, Denies ICE Access to its Airport

US Immigration Reform Forum - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 12:01am
King County, Washington, Denies ICE Access to its Airport


Dow Constantine, the executive of King County, Wash., issued an order prohibitin...

Categories: Local Blogs

The NRA Is Unamerican

EPN - Border Analysis - Mon, 04/29/2019 - 10:00pm
When I first became aware of the National Rifle Association (NRA) it seemed like a worthwhile organization that […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Border-based PolicyHack uses solutions approach to tackle complex problems

Borderzine - Mon, 04/29/2019 - 7:24pm

SANTA TERESA — Many things can be hacked, computers, smartphones, game consoles, and that usually creates problems but a recent hackathon focused on solutions.

This hackathon doesn’t hack technology, but it hacks policies, which is what gives this event its name: PolicyHack.

“I thought it was one of the best policy hacks we’ve ever done,” said Cris Turner, head of government affairs for the Americas at Dell and a judge for PolicyHack.

Dell Inc. organizes policy hacks at sites around the world to bring together government officials, entrepreneurs, business and non-profit leaders, venture capitalists and students.

The border event included people from both the U.S. and Mexico and three states, Texas, New Mexico, Chihuahua.

Group photo of participants of PolicyHack.

“We’ve got so much turmoil going on around border issues and the solutions-oriented approach to this event really gives the opportunity to elevate a different story about the border and a story that’s being told by people that actually live and work here,” Turner said.

The people who participated in the first Dell Border Policy Hack met in Santa Teresa in early April.

“This gathering puts together our minds and all our intentions to do better. I always thought this could be the best border between Mexico and the U.S. and also the world,” said Jaime Campos, director of innovation and economic development for the state of Chihuahua.

He and others who participated in the policy hack want to build on the unique relationships and connections on both sides of the border.

The policy hack happened as President Donald Trump threatened to close the border unless Mexico did more to stop Central American migrants from trying to reach the U.S. to ask for asylum.

“The shutdown of the border cannot happen. We have good ports of entry, good Homeland Security. We really think that sometimes the people misunderstand what’s going on,” Campos said.

With everything that’s happening on the U.S.-Mexico border, the policy hack participants wanted to focus on solutions that benefit both sides while building on existing cross border relationships.

“It is important for us to keep this positive idea that we can still collaborate that we’re still a good partnership…,” said Francisco Palleres with the Economic Development Department of the City of Las Cruces.

The five teams had to answer some crucial questions about building federal and local support, academic and industry partnerships, and businesses clusters based on the region’s strengths. Each team had 75 minutes to create a 5-minute presentation. And panel of judges had five minutes to ask questions.

The two winning teams of Border PolicyHack.

The judges usually pick one winner but because everyone had such interesting proposals, they chose two teams, one focused on creating a “campus of the mind” the other a “business cluster” plan on the border.

“What’s nice in that short amount of time, the easy ideas, the most achievable ideas bubble up. So I think implementing it is doable to in a short amount of time,” said Emma Schwartz, president of the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation in El Paso. Her team won for their business cluster idea.

Dell will work with the teams over the next 18 months to come up with a plan to execute the proposals with the help of industry and government support.

“All of the teams that didn’t win, we actually decided we want to take all of your ideas and build them into the plan,” Turner said.


Click hear to read Border-based PolicyHack uses solutions approach to tackle complex problems

Categories: Local Blogs

Crop Data Suggests Climate Change Is Not Driving the Migration Surge

US Immigration Reform Forum - Mon, 04/29/2019 - 12:08pm
Crop Data Suggests Climate Change Is Not Driving the Migration Surge


Put simply, Central American migrants are by-and-large not coming to ...

Categories: Local Blogs

An Interesting, if Flawed, EB-5 Fundraising Pitch from the Middle East

US Immigration Reform Forum - Mon, 04/29/2019 - 6:03am
An Interesting, if Flawed, EB-5 Fundraising Pitch from the Middle East


A young journalism student at Northwestern University called me wit...

Categories: Local Blogs

Literarity book shop is worth a visit

ElPasoSpeak - Mon, 04/29/2019 - 5:00am

Mr. Michael Bray wrote about independent bookstore day this Saturday  and asked “WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?”.

My answer is unequivocal, Literarity.

They are located at 5400 North Mesa and have a facebook page at


The shop offers a selection of books that has been carefully curated by the owners.

They are a married couple that share a love of fine things including books.

Visiting the shop and talking with them is a treat in itself even if you do not buy something, although with their low prices and remarkably wide selection I find it hard to leave there empty handed.

I have never found a store like it in El Paso and recommend it without reservation.

This is better



Categories: Local Blogs

Judge Indicted for Helping an Alien Elude ICE ? But What About the Prosecutor and Defense Counsel?

US Immigration Reform Forum - Mon, 04/29/2019 - 12:02am
Judge Indicted for Helping an Alien Elude ICE ? But What About the Prosecutor and Defense Counsel?


As my colleague Andrew Arthur

Murder, Measles and Border Security

EPN - Border Analysis - Sun, 04/28/2019 - 10:00pm
Most of you reading this today know that on Saturday there was another killer targeting a Synagogue. The […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Controversial ‘Godspell’ opens season for El Paso children’s theater group at new home, First Presbyterian Church

Borderzine - Sun, 04/28/2019 - 1:22pm

Kids-N-Co chose the musical Godspell as the El Paso children’s theater company’s first performance at First Presbyterian Church, the group’s new home.

The play, written by Stephen Schwartz, interprets the Book of Matthew through acting, singing and dancing.

“If seventeen-year-old blue-haired Jesus doesn’t float your boat, that’s okay,” said director Rachael Robbins, 22. “It doesn’t float my mom’s boat either. She might not come to see the show but that’s okay because that’s everyone’s personal interpretation and this is my interpretation and this is my cast’s interpretation.,”

The pastor of First Presbyterian Neil Locke performed in the play and encouraged Kids-N-CO to choose Godspell for the spring performance, despite concern it could be controversial.

“Jesus was called blasphemous during his own lifetime. So sometimes if you’re not stirring the pot, you’re not doing it right,” Locke said.

He shares the role of Judas with Romanti Mata ,21, the son of another pastor. “Using all of my previous knowledge helps me understand Judas as character as opposed to just seeing him as the evil person,” Mata said.

The play has had critics since the audition process for its content and because it was performed in a church.

“The show has clowns giving an interpretation of the bible and I feel like that is inappropriate,” said Veronica Dominguez, a parent of an actor with the children’s community theater company. “I can’t believe Pastor Neil has allowed this. It feels like they are mocking the bible and everything it stands for.”

Kids-N-Co founder Stella Gutierrez doesn’t view the play as offensive.

“It’s still a story with a great ending with a lot of hope and I don’t see how that’s bad,” Gutierrez said.

El Paso Kids N Co performs one of the numbers for the show “Godspell” at the First Presbyterian Church on February 27th.

Youth theater groups across the country have performed Godspell. Gutierrez said the audience in El Paso included people of all ages.

“We had a class from UTEP’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute attend the dress rehearsal and we had a great response from them,” Gutierrez said.

Kids-N-Co is in rehearsals for the next show, Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone, a play based on the Harry Potter novels, which opens May 3rd at First Presbyterian Church.

Click hear to read Controversial ‘Godspell’ opens season for El Paso children’s theater group at new home, First Presbyterian Church

Categories: Local Blogs

This Could Be One of Trump?s Biggest Political Victories

US Immigration Reform Forum - Sun, 04/28/2019 - 12:05am
This Could Be One of Trump?s Biggest Political Victories

The Supreme Court seems poised to let the administration manipulate the 2020 census by adding a citizenship question to it.
Source: [url=
Categories: Local Blogs

RumpToons No: 130

EPN - Border Analysis - Sat, 04/27/2019 - 10:00pm
I hope you enjoy RumpToons No: 130!
Categories: Local Blogs

Sound off

ElPasoSpeak - Sat, 04/27/2019 - 5:00am

It’s Saturday.

Sound off.

If you can spare the time send a note to your elected officials telling them what you think.


Categories: Local Blogs

Sports mascots spark vehement arguments on both sides

Borderzine - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 1:10pm

The appropriation of Native American symbols as sports mascots is a divisive topic as sports fans enthusiastically support their teams, and others want the mascots replaced, a scholar on the topic said recently.

For example, some Cleveland Indians fans embrace Chief Wahoo, the team’s mascot, and fight vehemently to keep their beloved emblem, said Wayne State University Associate Professor Kelly Young said during a recent presentation.

Young emphasized his love for sports and how his time in Cleveland helped add to his research. “When I was there it was sort of the ground zero of anti-Chief Wahoo protest going on there,” Young said.

For rabid fans, such symbols, are not seen as racist but as symbols of remembrances when they went to games with loved ones. For some members of Native American population, the symbols are caricatures and racist.

Young said he thinks this issue is far more complex than people give credit. “For opponents of Native American mascots, we fall into a trap that its real simple. Clearly these are racist images. We shouldn’t be racist. We should stop it, but I’m really curious on the other side of the equation on why do these fans seem to be drawn to it so much,” Young said at his presentation, sponsored by the Sam Donaldson Center at the Blumberg Auditorium on April 22.

“I’ve been a debate coach for several years and I was working on this project on the Makah Indians and it was just fascinating. They had this debate about wailing and what was their identity as a people, and that led me to shift my entire research into this area of Native American affairs and its just developed over time,” Young said.

Young did not focus exclusively on the Cleveland Indians mascot, and added fans of the Washington Redskins are just as passionate.

During the lecture Young played a YouTube video of Cleveland Indians fans using profanity and flipping off Chief Wahoo protesters outside of the stadium on baseball’s Opening Day.

He wondered why people cared so much about the mascot. Reiterating that he was not against the idea of the mascot but why people so passionately defend them.

From his personal experience there are many people who are clearly not racist, but will defend the symbols. Young said he hopes this research sparks the conversation and helps register that these mascots are problematic.

Young never imagined he was going to be a Native American Rhetoric Scholar, but the interest sparked him one day while doing debate research into representation of Native Americans in sports and museums.

He then goes on to connect the passion of the fans for these mascots is the nostalgia they provide and different connections or family ties.

For example, Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, used the nostalgia of his father taking him to games as a reason he would not change the team name in a letter published in the Washington Post published in 2013. Snyder also adds how he would like to share the Redskins tradition with his three children.

Another argument in his research is how mascots get categorized to something lesser. “I’m also in my research looking at how mascots get coded as a happy fun thing,” Young said.

Young described how this argument develops in a few different ways. Summarizing that people would argue mascots are meaningless, are being blown out of proportion, and the mascots are just meant to be fun.

The ongoing research will lead to a book-length manuscript on the debate, but no title or release date has been set.


Click hear to read Sports mascots spark vehement arguments on both sides

Categories: Local Blogs
Syndicate content

by Dr. Radut