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

Vela: Guzmán's Escape an Insult to U.S. Law Enforcement

A picture of Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera is released by Mexican law enforcement officials in February 2014 after Guzmán was captured.
A picture of Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera is released by Mexican law enforcement officials in February 2014 after Guzmán was captured.

The prison escape of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán is an affront to U.S. law enforcement, which has worked for years to build a case against the kingpin, a member of Texas' congressional delegation said Sunday.

 

Texas Wants Another Win Against Obama's Immigration Plan

Scott Keller, the Texas Solicitor General, speaks to reporters after delivering oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.
Scott Keller, the Texas Solicitor General, speaks to reporters after delivering oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

Attorneys for the Obama administration will try again on Friday to persuade a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to let a controversial immigration policy take effect.

 

Mexican Official: Border Security a "Shared Responsibility"

Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico José Antonio Meade Kuribreña and Gov. Greg Abbott at the Governor's Mansion on July 9, 2015
Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico José Antonio Meade Kuribreña and Gov. Greg Abbott at the Governor's Mansion on July 9, 2015

José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs, talks about the relationship between Mexico and Texas, border security, and whether Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's security plan is working. 

El Paso Democrat Márquez Bows Out

State Rep. Marisa Márquez, D-El Paso, who announced she will not seek reelection.
State Rep. Marisa Márquez, D-El Paso, who announced she will not seek reelection.

El Paso Democratic state Rep. Marisa Márquez will not seek reelection after four terms in the Texas House. She announced her retirement in a statement on her official website, saying she would remain an active figure in the state politics.

Advocates Call for Release of Some LGBT Asylum-Seekers

Supporters of LGBT asylum-seekers rally at a church in Austin.
Supporters of LGBT asylum-seekers rally at a church in Austin.

A growing number of asylum-seekers are asking for safe haven based on a factor that isn't usually associated with a need to flee one's homeland: gender identity. In the days before the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark gay marriage case, immigrant rights groups were drawing attention to the plight of LGBT immigrants.

At Shooting Range, Abbott Signs "Open Carry" Bill

Gov. Greg Abbott signs an open-carry bill passed by the state Legislature at Red’s Indoor Range, a gun store and shooting range in Pflugerville, Texas, on June 13, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott signs an open-carry bill passed by the state Legislature at Red’s Indoor Range, a gun store and shooting range in Pflugerville, Texas, on June 13, 2015.

In a bill-signing ceremony at a popular Central Texas gun store, Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday praised pro-gun groups and lawmakers for helping Texas ensure that the Second Amendment is alive and well in the Lone Star State. 

Church Offers Haven to Lesbian Facing Deportation

Sulma Franco, 31, talks to reporters at her make-shift shelter at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Austin, Texas.
Sulma Franco, 31, talks to reporters at her make-shift shelter at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Austin, Texas.

An Austin church has offered sanctuary to an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant who said returning to her homeland means violence, abuse or even death. As a lesbian, Sulma Franco said she is fighting for herself and others at risk because of their sexual orientation. 

Border Crossings Down; State Buildup Forges Ahead

The Catholic Charities shelter at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen has provided assistance to hundreds of displaced immigrants who have crossed the Texas-Mexico border.
The Catholic Charities shelter at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen has provided assistance to hundreds of displaced immigrants who have crossed the Texas-Mexico border.

The numbers of unaccompanied children and families illegally crossing the border into Texas have fallen dramatically, but Gov. Greg Abbott says the state is still justified pumping about $800 million into beefing up border security.

 

Mexico Loosening Rules for Armed U.S. Agents

New Federal Inspection Station encompassing Mexican and US Customs at Laredo International Airport, Tuesday, March 11, 2014.
New Federal Inspection Station encompassing Mexican and US Customs at Laredo International Airport, Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

Texas lawmakers are celebrating news that Mexico will soon allow U.S. agents to carry guns while inspecting cargo on Mexican soil. The change should help speed trade between the two countries.