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

House Gives Tentative OK to Broad Border Security Bill

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, confers with State Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, during a point of order called on House Bill 11 on March 18, 2015.
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, confers with State Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, during a point of order called on House Bill 11 on March 18, 2015.

Texas House members overwhelmingly gave tentative approval to a sweeping border-security measure on Wednesday that would increase the number of state troopers on the border and establish a catchall intelligence center in Hidalgo County. 

Texas Urged to Crack Down on Employers That Misclassify Workers

Construction workers attend a February 2015 rally at the Texas Capitol during the Workers Defense Project's Day of the Fallen, which honors workers who died on the job.
Construction workers attend a February 2015 rally at the Texas Capitol during the Workers Defense Project's Day of the Fallen, which honors workers who died on the job.

Skirting tax laws and knowingly hiring unauthorized workers are common practices in Texas, especially in the state's construction industry. Lawmakers and workers' rights groups are trying again to target companies that misclassify workers.

Lawmaker Wants to Know Immigration Impact

Rally for Immigration Reform walked up Congress Ave. towards the Texas Capitol on February 22nd, 2013
Rally for Immigration Reform walked up Congress Ave. towards the Texas Capitol on February 22nd, 2013

For all the legislative debate about border security and immigration, it's been nine years since anyone comprehensively studied the economic impact of undocumented Texans. A border lawmaker wants to fill that information vacuum.

State Accuses Obama Administration of Misleading Judge

A cheerful Gov. Greg Abbott predicts that any challenge to Judge Andrew S. Hanen's recent amnesty ruling will be rejected on appeal at a Texas Capitol press conference on Feb. 18, 2015.
A cheerful Gov. Greg Abbott predicts that any challenge to Judge Andrew S. Hanen's recent amnesty ruling will be rejected on appeal at a Texas Capitol press conference on Feb. 18, 2015.

Attorneys for the state of Texas say the Obama administration started granting work permits to undocumented immigrants before it said it would, and misled a federal judge about it. They're demanding more details.

 

Funding for More DPS Border Officers Gets Tentative OK

Three of 44 Department of Public Safety troopers graduating from cadet training pause for prayer on April 7, 2011
Three of 44 Department of Public Safety troopers graduating from cadet training pause for prayer on April 7, 2011

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday tentatively approved $105 million in funding for several DPS troopers, but not before some border lawmakers on the panel questioned how the DPS would prove the money is being spent wisely.

Congress Fully Funds Homeland Security

U.S. Border Patrol agents patrolling in the Rio Grande Valley.
U.S. Border Patrol agents patrolling in the Rio Grande Valley.

The 8,900 U.S. Border Patrol agents stationed on Texas’ border with Mexico can clock in next week knowing they’re still going to get paid after Congress on Tuesday voted to fund the Department of Homeland Security through September.