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.
Despite improvements in pockets of northern Mexico after years of bloodshed, instability still reigns in areas of Chihuahua state that continues driving people north to seek safe haven. What determines whether a person lives or dies near this part of the Rio Grande could be as simple as geography.
Along party lines, a Senate committee Wednesday advanced a controversial "sanctuary cities" bill from Lubbock Sen. Charles Perry that would cut state funds to cities that don't let their peace officers enforce immigration laws.
After a marathon hearing that stretched well into Tuesday morning, a Senate subcommittee approved Sen. Donna Campbell's bill to repeal Texas law that allows some undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at colleges and universities.
Often seen as a workers' rights issue, worker misclassification can have a direct impact on the state's child support collections. Some workers want to be classified as contractors to dodge wage garnishment.
The final piece of a high-profile border security package got moving Tuesday when a House committee heard House Bill 12 by state Rep. Oscar Longoria, which would elevate the state's Border Prosecution Unit into an official statutory being.
Texas House members overwhelmingly gave tentative approval to a sweeping border-security measure on Wednesday that would increase the number of state troopers on the border and establish a catchall intelligence center in Hidalgo County.
After taking a backseat in 2013, legislation to cut off funding to so-called sanctuary cities that don't use local police to enforce federal immigration laws is under debate before a Senate subcommittee.
Skirting tax laws and knowingly hiring unauthorized workers are common practices in Texas, especially in the state's construction industry. Lawmakers and workers' rights groups are trying again to target companies that misclassify workers.
Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice filed an emergency motion asking an appeals court to lift a temporary halt to a federal immigration program that was issued by a Brownsville-based federal judge in February.