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

Mayor Confident City Will Be Reimbursed for Relief Costs

On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.
On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.

Humanitarian relief efforts in McAllen will cost local governments more than $1.1 million by the end of the year, officials said on Thursday. Law enforcement officials also praised the state security surge that began last month.  

Texas Democrats Say GOP Stalling Aided Immigrant Influx

A U.S. Border Patrol helicopter patrols over the Paso del Norte International Bridge between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico on Tuesday March 27, 2012.
A U.S. Border Patrol helicopter patrols over the Paso del Norte International Bridge between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico on Tuesday March 27, 2012.

Texas border Democrats are pushing back against Republicans who have said that current White House policies are responsible for the swell of Central American migrants breaching the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

Perry: Send Migrant Kids Home Without Delay

Gov. Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw, speak to media following a tour to a federal facility housing unaccompanied alien children in Weslaco, Texas June 23rd, 2014. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to commence surge operations to help combat crime along the border.
Gov. Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw, speak to media following a tour to a federal facility housing unaccompanied alien children in Weslaco, Texas June 23rd, 2014. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to commence surge operations to help combat crime along the border.

Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday doubled down on his stance that tens of thousands of children crossing into Texas illegally from Central America should be sent back to their countries without delay.

 

Immigrant Surge Fueled by Rumors, Misinformation

Julio Cesar Garcia Duarte, holds a photograph of his common law wife and son at a bus station in McAllen. He was told a "coyote" would deliver them to the Rio Grande but doesn't know their whereabouts.
Julio Cesar Garcia Duarte, holds a photograph of his common law wife and son at a bus station in McAllen. He was told a "coyote" would deliver them to the Rio Grande but doesn't know their whereabouts.

Many undocumented immigrants flooding into Texas from Central America are basing their decisions to leave their home countries on a rumor that they'll be allowed to live here legally. 

Volunteers Provide Care, Shelter to Incoming Immigrants

On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.
On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.

Politics are left at the door at McAllen’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church, a border parish where hundreds of the thousands of recently detained migrants have been taken for temporary food and shelter.

Perry Warns of a "Trail of Tears" From Central America

Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.
Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.

Gov. Rick Perry on Monday warned that if Central American leaders do not heed the call to stop their citizens from flooding across the Texas-Mexico border, the summer months will bear witness to a “trail of tears” caused by a surge of dead migrants.

 

Wendy Davis Calls for Special Session on Border Surge

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, speaks to media during a campaign stop at East Austin restaurant Juan in a Million on May 6th, 2014
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, speaks to media during a campaign stop at East Austin restaurant Juan in a Million on May 6th, 2014

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, has added her name to the list of lawmakers calling for a special legislative session to immediately address the unprecedented number of illegal border crossers into Texas.

White House Under Fire for Proposed Solution to Immigrant Surge

U.S. Border Patrol agents say that illegal traffic on public and private land in the Rio Grande Valley has triggered the need for additional resources in the region this year.
U.S. Border Patrol agents say that illegal traffic on public and private land in the Rio Grande Valley has triggered the need for additional resources in the region this year.

Both immigrants' rights groups and conservative lawmakers are criticizing the White House's plan, announced Friday, to deal with the influx of migrants illegally crossing Texas’ southern border.

DPS Addresses New Border Operation

Newly commissioned patrol vessel, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River
Newly commissioned patrol vessel, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River

UPDATED: The Texas DPS said Thursday that as part of its new mission, it will partner with local and federal authorities to “deter and disrupt drug and human trafficking, and other border-related crimes.”