Texas Limits Mexico Harvey Aid to Mobile Kitchens

HOUSTON - Texas is limiting hurricane aid from Mexico to community and mobile field kitchens, far from the “Katrina-like” assistance that the state's southern neighbor had originally offered.The aid, which will include the deployment of some civil servants and members of the military, may not arrive until this weekend, officials said. The aid is limited to 30 days, unless Texas and Mexico agree more time is needed.The aid is likely be distributed through mobile kitchens to shelters throughout Texas, including the Houston area, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, and is coming after the state assessed its needs, said Sam Taylor, spokesman for the Texas secretary of state.Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, the Mexican consul general in Austin, said the number of Mexican personnel was still being determined in Mexico City. He said he was still waiting for final details from state emergency officials within Texas’ Department of Public Safety as to where and how the aid will be distributed. Nonetheless, Gonzalez stressed, “The help will be significant and it will help many people regardless of nationality.”Texas’ cautious response is consistent with a state trying to strike a delicate political balance, said analyst Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at the Baker Institute at Rice University in Houston.“Governor [Greg] Abbott is a good ally of Donald Trump and Texas continues to be a good political base for Mr. Trump,” Payan said. “Abbott is caught in a fine line between accepting Mexico’s offer and appeasing the Trump administration. He’s faced with salvaging the U.S.-Mexico relationship by striking a very delicate balance and he seems to have struck that, for now.”  Continue reading...

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