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

Cuellar: Debate on Immigration Surge Set to Re-emerge

US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.
US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.

The congressional debate about how to address the influx of unaccompanied Central American minors crossing illegally into Texas is likely to re-emerge later this year when lawmakers debate an omnibus budget bill, according to a Texas lawmaker.

On Border, Questions Over National Guard Troops' Needs

Governor Rick Perry gives a pep talk to National Guard troops training for deployment to the Texas border at Camp Swift on August 13, 2014.
Governor Rick Perry gives a pep talk to National Guard troops training for deployment to the Texas border at Camp Swift on August 13, 2014.

Democrats say media reports that some National Guard troops on the border haven't been paid and can't afford basic necessities are infuriating. Republican Gov. Rick Perry's office says the National Guard is fully equipped to help them. 

Guard's Arrival on Border Brings Reassurance, Concerns

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 arrival of the Texas National Guard to the border has been met with praise by some who say the state is taking the lead in securing the border. Others say the deployment is overkill that only serves to hamper the local economy.

Attorneys Struggling to Help Migrants Navigate Legal System

A Catholic Charities shelter at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen helps hundreds of displaced immigrants who have crossed the Texas-Mexico border. Texas immigration lawyers are scrambling to coordinate representation for many of the migrants.
A Catholic Charities shelter at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen helps hundreds of displaced immigrants who have crossed the Texas-Mexico border. Texas immigration lawyers are scrambling to coordinate representation for many of the migrants.

Texas immigration lawyers are scrambling to coordinate representation for the thousands of Central American migrants who have crossed into Texas illegally. 

 

Letters Highlight Local Tension Over Increased Border Security

A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols on the Texas border near the Rio Grande, Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.
A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols on the Texas border near the Rio Grande, Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.

A coalition of ranchers and business owners from South Texas is pushing back against border officials who have criticized the build-up of law enforcement on the Rio Grande.

Congressional Inaction Leaves Border Communities Hoping for Funds

A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.
A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.

When Congress adjourned last week without passing a border security bill to pay for additional operations, it also left local governments without an avenue to be reimbursed for millions spent during the border crisis.

El Paso Homeless Shelter to Focus on Female Veterans

Hope Jackson, who retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army, is shown on the future site of her HOPE (Healing, Optimizing, Perfecting, Empowering) Institute shelter for female veterans, on July 29, 2014, in El Paso. The shelter will start providing services to women in the area this fall, Jackson says.
Hope Jackson, who retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army, is shown on the future site of her HOPE (Healing, Optimizing, Perfecting, Empowering) Institute shelter for female veterans, on July 29, 2014, in El Paso. The shelter will start providing services to women in the area this fall, Jackson says.

“God spoke to me," Hope Jackson said about her plan to start a shelter for homeless female veterans in El Paso. Jackson, who is relying on her money and community support to convert a house for the facility, said it would be ready this fall.

Will They or Won't They? Time Running Out to Address Border Crisis

A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.
A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.

UPDATED: After the U.S. House called off a vote Tuesday afternoon on a $659 million supplemental bill for border security operations, Gov. Rick Perry said Congress is "abandoning its post."