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

Abbott Asks Feds for $30 Million for Emergency Border Operation

Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to press after voting in the primary on March 4th, 2014 at South Austin church. Abbott is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas
Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to press after voting in the primary on March 4th, 2014 at South Austin church. Abbott is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas

Saying the U.S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed by an influx of minors crossing the border illegally, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has asked the Obama administration for $30 million for state-based border security operations.

Charity Seeks to Educate Others on Mexican Bureaucracy

An aid worker and Aaron Sanchez, who is 3 years-old and has Gastaut syndrome, walk through the living area of the Los Ojos de Dios Center on June 3, 2014 in Juarez, Mexico. The center opened in 2008 and serves special needs children who are orphans.
An aid worker and Aaron Sanchez, who is 3 years-old and has Gastaut syndrome, walk through the living area of the Los Ojos de Dios Center on June 3, 2014 in Juarez, Mexico. The center opened in 2008 and serves special needs children who are orphans.

Officials with a Texas-based nonprofit operating a binational charity learned a difficult lesson about running a facility in Juárez, Mexico. What happened to them, they said, could happen to others if they are unprepared.

USCIS Sets Instructions for Deferred Action Renewals

Deferred action recipients can get a two-year reprieve from deportation proceedings and a work permit. Undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for at least five straight years, are in school or have graduated from high school or have obtained a GED, or are honorably discharged from the military, may apply.
Deferred action recipients can get a two-year reprieve from deportation proceedings and a work permit. Undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for at least five straight years, are in school or have graduated from high school or have obtained a GED, or are honorably discharged from the military, may apply.

UPDATED: Two years after President Obama announced his executive decision on deferred action, benficiaries are nothing the anniversary with gratitude and trepidation. And they now have instructions on renewing their status.

O'Rourke: El Paso VA Wrong About Wait Times

Bonnie D'Amico holds a photograph of her son Nicholas D'Amico, who committed suicide after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army.
Bonnie D'Amico holds a photograph of her son Nicholas D'Amico, who committed suicide after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army.

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Wednesday that according to a study commissioned by his office, it takes El Paso veterans seeking mental health care more than two months to see a provider, and as many as a third go without treatment. 

Changes to Specialized Visas Could Impact Border Cities

A number of Mexican nationals are in the United States on treaty investor visas, which allow them to operate businesses here. Some are taking issue with recent changes to the requirements on renewing those visas.
A number of Mexican nationals are in the United States on treaty investor visas, which allow them to operate businesses here. Some are taking issue with recent changes to the requirements on renewing those visas.

Treaty investor visas allow foreign nationals to live and work in the U.S. if they make substantial investments here. Some visa holders are crying foul over new renewal requirements, and some advocates worry the changes could impact some border cities' economies.

Proposed Border Rail Project Gets Mixed Reviews

Men work on the railroad tracks at the Union Pacific railyard in El Paso on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
Men work on the railroad tracks at the Union Pacific railyard in El Paso on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

As Mexican officials contemplate relocating a major railway that connects the state of Chihuahua to Texas, trade experts in El Paso have mixed views on whether the investment is needed immediately.

Charity Group Backs Private Company in Immigrant Smuggling Case

Demonstrators march through the streets of downtown Dallas in 2010 to protest the passage of Arizona's controversial new immigration law.
Demonstrators march through the streets of downtown Dallas in 2010 to protest the passage of Arizona's controversial new immigration law.

A Catholic philanthropic organization has thrown its support behind a mining company and one of its employees who are being sued after three undocumented immigrants were killed during an incursion onto private property in Brooks County.