Ruben Paquian

Ruben Paquian is an intern at the Texas Observer.
Texas Politics

In Their Rush to Appear Pro-Israel, Texas Lawmakers May Have Stepped on Free Speech

A growing number of people have reported that a state law is forcing them to choose between their political beliefs and payment for their labor.

To make extra money while attending the University of Texas at Austin, Obi Dennar often worked as a judge for high school debate tournaments. In October, after working a two-day tournament at Klein High School near Houston, Dennar noticed a … Read More


In Violation of Texas Law, Most High Schools Aren’t Giving Students the Chance to Register to Vote

Abysmal compliance with a decades-old state law is leaving at least 180,000 high school seniors off the current voter rolls, according to a new report.

About two-thirds of Texas high schools are not following a state law that mandates giving all eligible students the opportunity to register to vote, according to a new report. That means hundreds of thousands of potential voters have been left … Read More


Williamson County Votes to End Contract with Detention Facility Holding Separated Mothers

In the face of activist pressure, commissioners voted to end the county’s involvement in the incarceration of immigrant mothers and women at the 512-bed T. Don Hutto Detention Facility.

In a victory for immigrant advocates in a conservative, law-and-order community, the Williamson County Commissioners Court on Tuesday voted to cut ties with a detention facility for migrant women. Commissioners voted 4-1 to terminate the county’s contract with Immigration and … Read More

Tony Diaz

What’s in a Name? Texas SBOE Tentatively Approves ‘Ethnic Studies: Mexican American Studies’

Ultimately, the name change was a compromise in a long, hard-fought battle over whitewashed history.

After months of back-and-forth over a hyphen, ethnic labels and what it means to be American, the State Board of Education on Wednesday voted on a name for the recently approved K-12 Mexican-American studies elective course: “Ethnic Studies: Mexican American … Read More