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

With Clock Running, Immigration Bills Cling to Senate Calendar

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

After idling in the Senate, two controversial immigration bills — ending in-state tuition for some undocumented immigrants and barring sanctuary cities — are apparently back in play. But it remains unclear whether sponsors have the votes to bring the measures up for debate.

Lawmaker "Encouraged" After Meeting With DPS Director

DPS chief Steve McCraw outlines plans for the National Guard role securing the Texas border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listen on July 21, 2014.
DPS chief Steve McCraw outlines plans for the National Guard role securing the Texas border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listen on July 21, 2014.

The state's public safety director says if lawmakers let him, he'll provide Rep. César Blanco with data on security operations on the border. The move follows weeks of tense exchanges over how border security dollars are being spent.

 

 

Dennis Bonnen, From Loudmouth to Mouth of the House

Ways and Means chair State Rep.Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, while debating State Rep. Sylvester Turner on HB11 border security bill March 18, 2015.
Ways and Means chair State Rep.Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, while debating State Rep. Sylvester Turner on HB11 border security bill March 18, 2015.

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen has become a go-to mouthpiece for House leadership, and the votes for his legislation are indicative of how closely in step with him his colleagues are. If he were out of line, someone would yank his leash. Nobody has.

Senate Bill Makes It Harder to Sue Insurers

State Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, speaks during the "House vs. Senate" panel at The Texas Tribune's "On the Road: A Symposium Previewing the 84th Legislature" event on Dec. 5, 2014. Taylor is the chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
State Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, speaks during the "House vs. Senate" panel at The Texas Tribune's "On the Road: A Symposium Previewing the 84th Legislature" event on Dec. 5, 2014. Taylor is the chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

A controversial bill that would make it harder for homeowners and companies to recover certain damages from their insurance companies — cheered by the insurance industry and criticized by liberal groups and some businesses — cleared the Texas Senate on Thursday.

Senate Sends Border Security Measure to House

Sen. Brian Birdwell R-Granbury listens during debate of his campus carry bill SB #11 on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Brian Birdwell R-Granbury listens during debate of his campus carry bill SB #11 on March 18th, 2015

The Texas Senate on Monday passed its own sweeping border security bill, choosing to send its own version to the House rather than taking up the House’s measure, which the lower chamber passed last month.

 

Judges Weigh Fate of Immigration Policy

From left, immigration rights activists Manuel Ramirez, Lucian Villasenor and Adrian Orozco protest President Obama's Civil Rights Summit speech at the University of Texas in 2014, challenging the president's dedication to civil rights.
From left, immigration rights activists Manuel Ramirez, Lucian Villasenor and Adrian Orozco protest President Obama's Civil Rights Summit speech at the University of Texas in 2014, challenging the president's dedication to civil rights.

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers met some vigorous skepticism when they tried to convince a panel of federal appellate judges that Texas lacks standing to sue over federal immigration policies.

 

State Readies for Court Battle in New Orleans

President Obama talked about the U.S. economy in a speech on July 10, 2014, at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.
President Obama talked about the U.S. economy in a speech on July 10, 2014, at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.

Two months after a Brownsville-based federal judge halted President Obama's immigration program, attorneys for Texas will try to convince a three-judge panel at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to keep it on hold. 

Castro Asks Feds for Border Surge Details

Former Texas House member and current Congressman Joaquin Castro at TTEvents with Evan Smith on Feb. 19, 2015.
Former Texas House member and current Congressman Joaquin Castro at TTEvents with Evan Smith on Feb. 19, 2015.

A Democratic congressman has asked the federal government to do what the Texas Department of Public Safety has said it can’t: Provide information on what role federal agents have played during the state’s multimillion-dollar border surge.