Julián Aguilar Reporter

Julián Aguilar reports on politics and border affairs from the Texas-Mexico border. His focuses include immigration reform and enforcement, voter ID, international trade, border security, and the drug trade. His political coverage has included local, legislative and congressional races in Texas, as well as local and national elections in Mexico. Before joining the Tribune, he was a freelance writer for the Fort Worth Weekly; a government and crime reporter for the Laredo Morning Times; and a political writer for the Rio Grande Guardian. A native of El Paso, he has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas and a master's degree in journalism from the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas.

Recent Contributions

Senate Sends Border Security Measure to House

Sen. Brian Birdwell R-Granbury listens during debate of his campus carry bill SB #11 on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Brian Birdwell R-Granbury listens during debate of his campus carry bill SB #11 on March 18th, 2015

The Texas Senate on Monday passed its own sweeping border security bill, choosing to send its own version to the House rather than taking up the House’s measure, which the lower chamber passed last month.

 

Judges Weigh Fate of Immigration Policy

From left, immigration rights activists Manuel Ramirez, Lucian Villasenor and Adrian Orozco protest President Obama's Civil Rights Summit speech at the University of Texas in 2014, challenging the president's dedication to civil rights.
From left, immigration rights activists Manuel Ramirez, Lucian Villasenor and Adrian Orozco protest President Obama's Civil Rights Summit speech at the University of Texas in 2014, challenging the president's dedication to civil rights.

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers met some vigorous skepticism when they tried to convince a panel of federal appellate judges that Texas lacks standing to sue over federal immigration policies.

 

State Readies for Court Battle in New Orleans

President Obama talked about the U.S. economy in a speech on July 10, 2014, at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.
President Obama talked about the U.S. economy in a speech on July 10, 2014, at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.

Two months after a Brownsville-based federal judge halted President Obama's immigration program, attorneys for Texas will try to convince a three-judge panel at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to keep it on hold. 

Castro Asks Feds for Border Surge Details

Former Texas House member and current Congressman Joaquin Castro at TTEvents with Evan Smith on Feb. 19, 2015.
Former Texas House member and current Congressman Joaquin Castro at TTEvents with Evan Smith on Feb. 19, 2015.

A Democratic congressman has asked the federal government to do what the Texas Department of Public Safety has said it can’t: Provide information on what role federal agents have played during the state’s multimillion-dollar border surge.

House Passes Border Prosecution Unit Bill

Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.
Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.

The Texas House on Thursday passed legislation that would codify the current policies and duties of the state’s Border Prosecution Unit.

Juárez Valley Cartel War Drives Many Across Border

The mass for brothers Elmer García Archuleta and Edgar Ivan García on March 27, 2015, in Fabens, Texas. The two brothers were kidnapped and killed in December of 2014 in the Valley of Juárez, Mexico.
The mass for brothers Elmer García Archuleta and Edgar Ivan García on March 27, 2015, in Fabens, Texas. The two brothers were kidnapped and killed in December of 2014 in the Valley of Juárez, Mexico.

Despite improvements in pockets of northern Mexico after years of bloodshed, instability still reigns in areas of Chihuahua state that continues driving people north to seek safe haven. What determines whether a person lives or dies near this part of the Rio Grande could be as simple as geography.

GOP Takes First Step to End In-State Tuition for Undocumented

Dreamer Cristina Lizeth Urdiales was born in Monterrey, Mexico and brought to the US at the age of 5, listens during the Senate committee hearing on April 6th, 2015
Dreamer Cristina Lizeth Urdiales was born in Monterrey, Mexico and brought to the US at the age of 5, listens during the Senate committee hearing on April 6th, 2015

After a marathon hearing that stretched well into Tuesday morning, a Senate subcommittee approved Sen. Donna Campbell's bill to repeal Texas law that allows some undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at colleges and universities. 

Senate Panel Advances Sanctuary Cities Bill

Sen. Charles Perry R-Lubbock answers questions regarding his bill SB #185 which relates to to the enforcement of state and federal laws governing immigration during Senate Subcommittee on border security on March 16th, 2015
Sen. Charles Perry R-Lubbock answers questions regarding his bill SB #185 which relates to to the enforcement of state and federal laws governing immigration during Senate Subcommittee on border security on March 16th, 2015

A bill banning so-called sanctuary cities in Texas – the common term for local entities that do not enforce immigration laws — advanced out of a Senate subcommittee on Monday.