Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump squared off for a final time Wednesday night in a 90-minute debate in Las Vegas. It was one of their last chances to sway undecided Texans before early voting starts Monday.
Over the three debates, the candidates often touched on national issues that have ramifications for Texans. Here are five moments from the back-and-forth that highlight Texas issues.
1. Immigration and border security
In several moments during the debates, Trump called for a need to increase border security. “We have no country if we have no border.” He said multiple times that he had the endorsement of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency. The agency hasn’t endorsed Trump, but a union that represents federal immigration officers and law enforcement has endorsed the Republican nominee.
- Meet some of the Central Americans who are fleeing violence and abject poverty at home, only to endure shakedowns and abuse on their way to an uncertain future in the United States.
- The challenge of securing the southern U.S. border is changing dramatically as fewer Mexicans cross illegally, but more Central Americans arrive seeking refuge from the terror and chaos of their home countries.
- Whether most — or even a significant fraction of — corrupt federal border agents are caught and punished is an open question. Customs and Border Protection boasts of more stringent screening and monitoring of its agents but releases little data to back up its claims.
2. Racial tensions and police shootings
At the first debate, Trump and Clinton struck contrasting tones on the racial divide facing America. Trump focused on “law and order,” while Clinton said that “we have to restore trust.”
In Texas, multiple Texas lawmakers promised to file legislation and push for reforms after the arrest and death of Sandra Bland.
- With one major legal battle seemingly behind them, Sandra Bland’s survivors and advocates are gearing up for the next phase of their quest to wrest change after the 28-year-old black woman’s death in a Waller County jail cell.
- The Texas Tribune spent almost a year investigating police shootings in Texas’ largest cities. Explore the findings.
Trump promised to renegotiate or repeal the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a 22-year-old agreement that lowered trade barriers between the United States, Mexico and Canada. But not all Texas Republicans have agreed with him. This summer, The Texas Tribune reached out to all 27 Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation; not one joined Trump’s call for renegotiating NAFTA.
- Donald Trump might want out of NAFTA. Texas congressional Republicans aren’t going there.
- As Donald Trump’s presidential campaign assembles a fundraising network in Texas, it is turning to a longtime proponent of a historic trade deal with Mexico against which the candidate regularly rails.
4. Syrian refugees
In the second debate, Trump called for “extreme vetting” of refugees. Regarding the Syrian refugee crisis, Clinton said “we need to do our part.” This year, Texas officially withdrew from the refugee resettlement program. Gov. Greg Abbott cited concerns with security and safety. But refugees will still likely be settled in Texas – just not through the state government.
- Texas has officially withdrawn from the nation’s refugee resettlement program, according to Gov. Greg Abbott‘s office. But that won’t stop the federal government from continuing to help refugees relocate here.
- Texas nonprofits that resettle refugees say volunteer turnout has increased – in some cases dramatically – since the state’s elected officials started trying to bar Syrians fleeing violence at home.
In their final debate, Trump and Clinton sparred over abortion rights and whether the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case. Just this year, the Supreme Court overturned part of a far-reaching Texas anti-abortion law.
- Despite intense outcry from the medical community and reproductive rights advocates, Texas isn’t budging on a proposed rule to require the cremation or burial of fetal remains.
- Following their win at the U.S. Supreme Court, the attorneys that brought a lawsuit against Texas’ 2013 abortion restrictions are asking the state for more than $4.5 million in legal fees.