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Articles by Gus Bova

Gus Bova reports on immigration, the U.S.-Mexico border and grassroots movements for the Texas Observer.

Featured Article

Residents wade through floodwaters from Harvey in Beaumont Place, Texas.

Both undocumented Mexican immigrants, Lorenzo and Paulina fled Houston Friday with their three children, leaving behind a mobile home a foot deep in water. Now they’re living with about 200 others in a shelter at the Delco Center in northeast Austin.

With Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center well over capacity at around 9,000 people, Austin and other Texas cities have offered refuge to those who fled the historic Hurricane Harvey. More than 30,000 people are now staying in 230 shelters across Texas, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official said Wednesday.

Lorenzo and Paulina are among Houston’s estimated 575,000 undocumented immigrants. Unlike many, they didn’t believe rumors that emergency shelters would be asking for identification or aiding deportation agents: “We’ve done this before,” Lorenzo said.

Lorenzo said his family has evacuated Houston three times in their 17 years there, including when Hurricane Ike hit in 2008. By now, it’s almost a bizarre routine for them, so they weren’t afraid when they saw friends posting on social media not to seek assistance.

Enough fear has circulated about immigration enforcement during Harve... Read more