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

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.

 

Despite Early Momentum, Immigration Bills Fall Flat

Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond, speaks in favor of HB 1403 which was passed in 2001 and grants all Texans in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status on April 13th, 2015
Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond, speaks in favor of HB 1403 which was passed in 2001 and grants all Texans in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status on April 13th, 2015

Though campaign promises to enact immigration-enforcement measures and repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students didn't see the light of day, Republicans who championed the measures said they'll be back next session to try again.