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

Supporters of Mérida Cite Successes From Aid Package

Children who participate in an after school program in Ciudad Juárez dance to Beyoncé as part of their routine. The program is one of several Merida Initiative projects in this border city designed to help the city rebound.
Children who participate in an after school program in Ciudad Juárez dance to Beyoncé as part of their routine. The program is one of several Merida Initiative projects in this border city designed to help the city rebound.

The Mérida Initiative, a $1.5 billion U.S. aid package whose beneficiaries include Mexico, has faced its share of criticism. But in Ciudad Juárez, many say they see the positive results of the initiative every day. 

While Searching for Mom, Sisters Form Drug-War Support Group

Twins, Nitza Alvarado Espinoza (black shirt) and Mitzi Alvarado Espinoza, with their sister Deisy, at a rally in Austin on November 9. The sisters started "Hijos de Desaparecidos" after their mom was kidnapped by the Mexican military in Chihuahua. They are currently in deportation proceedings but their attorney has filed a petition seeking a special-immigrant status since they were abandoned or orphaned.
Twins, Nitza Alvarado Espinoza (black shirt) and Mitzi Alvarado Espinoza, with their sister Deisy, at a rally in Austin on November 9. The sisters started "Hijos de Desaparecidos" after their mom was kidnapped by the Mexican military in Chihuahua. They are currently in deportation proceedings but their attorney has filed a petition seeking a special-immigrant status since they were abandoned or orphaned.

The mother of twin sisters Mitzi and Nitza Alvarado Espinoza disappeared from their home in Mexico in 2009. Now exiled in El Paso, the sisters have formed a movement aimed at providing comfort to young victims of the drug war.

2011 UP Settlement Could Impact Bridge Dispute

The uncompleted new international railroad bridge near Brownsville passes over the border fence and US 281 before crossing the Rio Grande.
The uncompleted new international railroad bridge near Brownsville passes over the border fence and US 281 before crossing the Rio Grande.

A 2011 settlement between U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Union Pacific could play a role in ending the current stalemate over the transfer of a Cameron County rail scanning machine.

Van de Putte Will Announce Future Plans on Nov. 23

Texas Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, gestures during a dicsussion of her future plans at TribFest closing session on September 29, 2013.
Texas Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, gestures during a dicsussion of her future plans at TribFest closing session on September 29, 2013.

As promised, state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said  she would make a formal annoncement about her future plans on Nov. 23 in an email sent to supporters Friday. She is expected to run for lieutenant governor.

 

 

Asylum-Seeker Completes "Pedaling for Justice" Ride

Carlos Gutierrez holds up his bike in front of the Texas Capitol on November 9th, 2013 after a 12 day bike ride across Texas.
Carlos Gutierrez holds up his bike in front of the Texas Capitol on November 9th, 2013 after a 12 day bike ride across Texas.

After riding his bike for more than 700 miles over 12 days, Carlos Gutierrez, — a Chihuahua native and businessman whose legs were cut off by Mexican gang members — completed his "Pedaling for Justice" trek Saturday in Austin.

Castro: No Split Among Democrats on Immigration Reform

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, at a victory party for congressional candidate Pete Gallego at Don Pedro Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio on Nov. 6, 2012.
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, at a victory party for congressional candidate Pete Gallego at Don Pedro Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio on Nov. 6, 2012.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro said that despite reports that some Democrats are urging their colleagues not to work with Republicans on immigration reform, the party wants to see something pass before the year ends.

Activist Immigrants Hurting Their Cause, Lawyer Says

Carlos Gutierrez, who lives in exile in Texas, embarks on the first segment of his "Pedaling for Justice" bike trek that ends in Austin next month.
Carlos Gutierrez, who lives in exile in Texas, embarks on the first segment of his "Pedaling for Justice" bike trek that ends in Austin next month.

A top immigration lawyer says activist immigrants like the DREAM 9 in Arizona betray the cause they champion and can dilute important cases like that of Carlos Gutierrez, who sought asylum in the U.S. after criminal gangs cut his legs off.