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

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.”

Patrick Wants Emergency Spending for Border Security

Texas DPS agent Cuevas removes a M2-40 machine gun from newly commissioned patrol vessel. The boat, 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
Texas DPS agent Cuevas removes a M2-40 machine gun from newly commissioned patrol vessel. The boat, 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: Dan Patrick, the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, joined some of his conservative colleagues on Tuesday in calling for “immediate action” to address the surge of undocumented immigrants crossing into Texas.

 

 

In CD-23, Advantages Are Seen for Both Gallego and Hurd

U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (left), an Alpine Democrat, is facing a challenge from Will Hurd, a former CIA agent, in the race to represent the 23rd Congressional District.
U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (left), an Alpine Democrat, is facing a challenge from Will Hurd, a former CIA agent, in the race to represent the 23rd Congressional District.

U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, is facing a challenge from former CIA agent Will Hurd, a Republican. The contest is considered a toss-up, with immigration and border security likely to be key issues in the border district.

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.