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

Voices from the Border: Illegal Crossings and Deportations

Milton Otoniel Lopez Chupin, from Santa Tecla Libertad, El Salvador, in the courtyard at the Casa del Migrante migrant shelter in Matamoros, Mexico, on Nov. 3, 2015.
Milton Otoniel Lopez Chupin, from Santa Tecla Libertad, El Salvador, in the courtyard at the Casa del Migrante migrant shelter in Matamoros, Mexico, on Nov. 3, 2015.

Every month, busloads of deported undocumented immigrants arrive at the southern border, returning to Mexico after serving prison time in the United States. Meanwhile, other migrants prepare to attempt illegal border crossings. This story is part of our "Bordering on Insecurity" series.

Immigration Saga Leaves Teen Trapped in Mexico

Marcus Francisco Valencia Rodriguez, 19 years old, in the courtyard at the Casa del Migrante migrant shleter in Matamoros, Mexico, on Nov. 2, 2015.
Marcus Francisco Valencia Rodriguez, 19 years old, in the courtyard at the Casa del Migrante migrant shleter in Matamoros, Mexico, on Nov. 2, 2015.

Marcos Valencia was raised in Indiana, but in the eyes of the law, his home is the cartel-infested state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, where he was born. Now he's stuck in Mexico, unable to return to the country where he grew up.

Border Communities Have Lower Crime Rates

There are many busy retailers near the international bridge where pedestrians may cross in and out of the United States, in historic downtown Laredo, Tx.
There are many busy retailers near the international bridge where pedestrians may cross in and out of the United States, in historic downtown Laredo, Tx.

Texas counties along the Rio Grande are relatively safe, state and federal crime statistics show, and they seem to be getting even safer as more law enforcement resources pour into the area. 

Pope Francis' Border Mass Awes El Paso Catholics

Pope Francis hugs two girls during a meeting with youths at José María Morelos y Pavón stadium in Morelia, Mexico on Feb. 16. 2016.
Pope Francis hugs two girls during a meeting with youths at José María Morelos y Pavón stadium in Morelia, Mexico on Feb. 16. 2016.

During a whirlwind, one-day visit to Ciudad Juárez on Wednesday Pope Francis delivered poignant remarks on immigration and corruption, keeping intact his reputation as a polite but no-holds-barred pontiff. 

Border Catholics Ready to Welcome Pope Francis

Pope Francis hugs two girls during a meeting with youths at José María Morelos y Pavón stadium in Morelia, Mexico on Feb. 16. 2016.
Pope Francis hugs two girls during a meeting with youths at José María Morelos y Pavón stadium in Morelia, Mexico on Feb. 16. 2016.

After weeks of planning and speculation about what Pope Francis might say during his visit to the El Paso/Ciudad Juárez area on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Catholics are finally ready for the all-day affair.