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Latest from Juan Castillo

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Trump: Border wall position unchanged. But can you spare $18 billion?
 Hundreds of people, many of them Haitian, demonstrate against racism in Times Square on Martin Luther King (MLK) Day, January
               15, New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) President Trump is learning that the problem with asking U.S. taxpayers to pick up the $18 billion tab for his border wall
            is that...

Posted: 2 days ago

Hundreds of people, many of them Haitian, demonstrate against racism in Times Square on Martin Luther King (MLK) Day, January 15, New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) President Trump is learning that the problem with asking U.S. taxpayers to pick up the $18 billion tab for his border wall is that...
Castillo: A southern border wall remains Trump’s north star
 It’s not every day we get to watch an American president think through his policy positions in real time on live television, much less on a third-rail subject like immigration. But that’s what happened Tuesday when we had the rarest of chances to witness President Trump engage members of Congress in a discussion about border security...

Posted: 8 days ago

It’s not every day we get to watch an American president think through his policy positions in real time on live television, much less on a third-rail subject like immigration. But that’s what happened Tuesday when we had the rarest of chances to witness President Trump engage members of Congress in a discussion about border security...
Castillo: A southern border wall remains Trump’s north star
 It’s not every day we get to watch an American president think through his policy positions in real time on live television, much less on a third-rail subject like immigration. But that’s what happened Tuesday when we witnessed President Trump engage members of Congress in a discussion about border security and the immigration...

Posted: 8 days ago

It’s not every day we get to watch an American president think through his policy positions in real time on live television, much less on a third-rail subject like immigration. But that’s what happened Tuesday when we witnessed President Trump engage members of Congress in a discussion about border security and the immigration...
Juan Castillo: In Khizr Khan’s story, a mighty river flows
 Maybe sometimes it takes a stranger to remind us of greatness and of the things we hold dear as a nation, but which we take for granted. Maybe it takes someone like Khizr Khan, a Pakistani immigrant who chased his American dream and is living it. You remember Khan. At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016, the Gold Star...

6:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 09, 2017

Maybe sometimes it takes a stranger to remind us of greatness and of the things we hold dear as a nation, but which we take for granted. Maybe it takes someone like Khizr Khan, a Pakistani immigrant who chased his American dream and is living it. You remember Khan. At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016, the Gold Star...
In Khizr Khan’s inspirational story, a mighty river flows
 Khizr Khan, father of fallen U.S. Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, speaks as his wife Ghazala listens at the Democratic National
               Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Maybe sometimes it takes a stranger to remind us of our greatness and of the things we hold dear as a nation, but which we
 ...

8:44 PM Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2017

Khizr Khan, father of fallen U.S. Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, speaks as his wife Ghazala listens at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Maybe sometimes it takes a stranger to remind us of our greatness and of the things we hold dear as a nation, but which we ...
Juan Castillo: How common sense can transcend ideology about guns
 It seems outrageous now, but cruising New Mexico streets while tossing back a beer used to be as common as hatch chiles in August. It was the culture, pure and simple, says Doug Fritzsche, who used to live there. Not surprisingly, until the 1990s, New Mexico led the nation in alcohol-related deaths, the New York Times reported back in 2005...

6:00 AM Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

It seems outrageous now, but cruising New Mexico streets while tossing back a beer used to be as common as hatch chiles in August. It was the culture, pure and simple, says Doug Fritzsche, who used to live there. Not surprisingly, until the 1990s, New Mexico led the nation in alcohol-related deaths, the New York Times reported back in 2005...
Castillo: We can’t let gun violence remain the new normal
 Texas weeps today. In a small house of worship in a bucolic small town – one of those where everyone knows everyone else’s business, and that’s just fine – a gunman with a military-style rifle methodically opened fire Sunday morning. When he was done, 26 people lay lifeless inside a Baptist church. The dead ranged...

8:25 PM Tuesday, Nov. 07, 2017

Texas weeps today. In a small house of worship in a bucolic small town – one of those where everyone knows everyone else’s business, and that’s just fine – a gunman with a military-style rifle methodically opened fire Sunday morning. When he was done, 26 people lay lifeless inside a Baptist church. The dead ranged...
We can’t let gun violence become the new norm
 Rebecca Thompson of Santa Fe, Texas, prays at a memorial near the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Monday. JAY
               JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Texas weeps today. In a small house of worship in a bucolic small town – one of those where everyone knows everyone else’s business, and that’s
          ...

10:35 PM Monday, Nov. 06, 2017

Rebecca Thompson of Santa Fe, Texas, prays at a memorial near the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Monday. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Texas weeps today. In a small house of worship in a bucolic small town – one of those where everyone knows everyone else’s business, and that’s ...
No kidding, Austin tax bills are squeezing some out
 Many longtime Austin homeowners move to outlying areas, including Buda, to seek property tax relief. (Stephen Spillman / for
               American-Statesman) If you were in denial or, better for you, were blissfully oblivious to the reality that the tax squeeze is choking many Austin
            families, a report in Sunday’s American-Statesman...

8:43 PM Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017

Many longtime Austin homeowners move to outlying areas, including Buda, to seek property tax relief. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman) If you were in denial or, better for you, were blissfully oblivious to the reality that the tax squeeze is choking many Austin families, a report in Sunday’s American-Statesman...
Latinos had income gains, but not all the news is rosy
 Bladimira Martinez takes notes while her daughter and business associate, Yessenia Ramirez, conducts business in Pflugerville
               last month. Martinez recently started her own cleaning company after years of working for others at or near minimum wage.
               NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN The headlines have been heartening...

10:40 PM Friday, Oct. 13, 2017

Bladimira Martinez takes notes while her daughter and business associate, Yessenia Ramirez, conducts business in Pflugerville last month. Martinez recently started her own cleaning company after years of working for others at or near minimum wage. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN The headlines have been heartening...
Castillo: The beat goes on at ACL — with changes after Vegas carnage
 Time was when the rockin’ rite of passage known here simply as ACL brought with it mundane concerns, like getting your hands on a pricey ticket, fighting choked traffic to get there, and putting up with extreme heat or dust once you got in. Braving the elements took on new meaning in 2009, when heavy rain turned Dillo Dirt on the Zilker...

5:39 PM Thursday, Oct. 05, 2017

Time was when the rockin’ rite of passage known here simply as ACL brought with it mundane concerns, like getting your hands on a pricey ticket, fighting choked traffic to get there, and putting up with extreme heat or dust once you got in. Braving the elements took on new meaning in 2009, when heavy rain turned Dillo Dirt on the Zilker...
Castillo: Bastrop revives Texas’ undertold story of ‘Mexican’ schools
 Texas didn’t always treat all schoolchildren as equals. It treated some differently based on the color of their skin or the language they spoke. The justice system would make things right, but it’s a chapter in the historical saga of Texas that doesn’t get told as often as more romanticized ones. Draw your own conclusions...

3:44 PM Friday, Sep. 22, 2017

Texas didn’t always treat all schoolchildren as equals. It treated some differently based on the color of their skin or the language they spoke. The justice system would make things right, but it’s a chapter in the historical saga of Texas that doesn’t get told as often as more romanticized ones. Draw your own conclusions...
Castillo: A quiet vigilance against hate takes on an added urgency
 The racially-fueled violence that engulfed Charlottesville, Va., and transfixed the nation in August now is yesterday’s news. Such is the short shelf life of the 24-hour news cycle: One day we are riveted by incomprehensible images of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members marching on a college town, spitting racial epithets and anti-Semitic...

9:52 PM Friday, Sep. 15, 2017

The racially-fueled violence that engulfed Charlottesville, Va., and transfixed the nation in August now is yesterday’s news. Such is the short shelf life of the 24-hour news cycle: One day we are riveted by incomprehensible images of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members marching on a college town, spitting racial epithets and anti-Semitic...
Castillo: Using DACA youths as political pawn betrays America’s values
 So, this is what passes now for showing “great heart” in America. “We are going to show great heart,” President Trump assured the nation in February when asked about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “We are going to deal with DACA with heart.” More like heart-breaking. Trump unveiled...

5:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 09, 2017

So, this is what passes now for showing “great heart” in America. “We are going to show great heart,” President Trump assured the nation in February when asked about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “We are going to deal with DACA with heart.” More like heart-breaking. Trump unveiled...
Castillo: A border wall by any means remains Trump’s obsession
 President Trump’s obsession with a “big, beautiful wall” has reached new heights of absurdity. Once, he fumed with Mexico because our neighbor wouldn’t pay for his border wall, though he had promised as much — over and over and over again. Now, the president is steamed because the American taxpayer won&rsquo...

5:00 AM Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017

President Trump’s obsession with a “big, beautiful wall” has reached new heights of absurdity. Once, he fumed with Mexico because our neighbor wouldn’t pay for his border wall, though he had promised as much — over and over and over again. Now, the president is steamed because the American taxpayer won&rsquo...
Castillo: Trump calls out evil — but was the damage already done?
 Elections have real-life consequences. That is why every four years, we make decisions about who will lead our country by gleaning everything we can from the candidates’ words, their records and policy positions, and yes, sadly, even their tweets. Our votes affect every manner of our lives, our children’s lives and perhaps even...

4:23 PM Monday, Aug. 14, 2017

Elections have real-life consequences. That is why every four years, we make decisions about who will lead our country by gleaning everything we can from the candidates’ words, their records and policy positions, and yes, sadly, even their tweets. Our votes affect every manner of our lives, our children’s lives and perhaps even...
Castillo: Cornyn’s border plan less Trumpian, more Texas-friendly
 U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is chipping holes in President Trump’s vision of a massive border wall. A wall spanning the length of the U.S.-Mexico border is a signature piece of Trump’s domestic agenda. It’s of such magnitude to him politically that he fumed with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and pleaded with him...

4:37 PM Tuesday, Aug. 08, 2017

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is chipping holes in President Trump’s vision of a massive border wall. A wall spanning the length of the U.S.-Mexico border is a signature piece of Trump’s domestic agenda. It’s of such magnitude to him politically that he fumed with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and pleaded with him...
From Cornyn, a border security plan less Trumpian, more Texas-friendly
 Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn points to a poster with an image of barrier on the Texas-Mexico border as he announces his
               border security plan Thursday on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo) For President Trump, a border wall is a signature piece of his domestic agenda, of such magnitude to him politically that
            he fumed...

10:02 PM Friday, Aug. 04, 2017

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn points to a poster with an image of barrier on the Texas-Mexico border as he announces his border security plan Thursday on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo) For President Trump, a border wall is a signature piece of his domestic agenda, of such magnitude to him politically that he fumed...
Castillo: U.S. policy stole 8 lives in a truck. Why the dying won’t end
 Jammed into the back of a locked, pitch-black moving furnace without water or food, eight immigrants began a journey to what they thought would be a better life in America. Instead, inside that hellish trap they drew their final breaths. Two more would die in a San Antonio hospital. Dozens more were injured, and the city’s fire chief...

6:05 AM Friday, Jul. 28, 2017

Jammed into the back of a locked, pitch-black moving furnace without water or food, eight immigrants began a journey to what they thought would be a better life in America. Instead, inside that hellish trap they drew their final breaths. Two more would die in a San Antonio hospital. Dozens more were injured, and the city’s fire chief...
Castillo: Teachers deserve applause — and a raise plan with real funding
 At a spelling bee at Zavala Elementary School in McAllen long ago, I stood in front of our hushed fifth-grade classroom, all eyes on me. My stomach bounced around in my throat, but I was cocky, too. After all, I consistently scored in the top 1 percent nationally in spelling aptitude tests then. But a spelling bee was new territory for me...

5:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 15, 2017

At a spelling bee at Zavala Elementary School in McAllen long ago, I stood in front of our hushed fifth-grade classroom, all eyes on me. My stomach bounced around in my throat, but I was cocky, too. After all, I consistently scored in the top 1 percent nationally in spelling aptitude tests then. But a spelling bee was new territory for me...
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