RACE & IMMIGRATION

A municipal police officer at a crime scene in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The municipal police force was recently "purged" under the new chief of police Julien Leyzaola.
A municipal police officer at a crime scene in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The municipal police force was recently "purged" under the new chief of police Julien Leyzaola.

Is Ciudad Juárez on the brink of a new gang war?

October was the deadliest month in Ciudad Juárez in nearly three years. Locals are anxious — and hopeful they're not witnessing a resurgence of the brutal drug war that plagued this Mexican border city from 2008 to 2011.

Is Ciudad Juárez on the brink of a new gang war?

A municipal police officer at a crime scene in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The municipal police force was recently "purged" under the new chief of police Julien Leyzaola.
A municipal police officer at a crime scene in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The municipal police force was recently "purged" under the new chief of police Julien Leyzaola.

October was the deadliest month in Ciudad Juárez in nearly three years. Locals are anxious — and hopeful they're not witnessing a resurgence of the brutal drug war that plagued this Mexican border city from 2008 to 2011.

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From one river to the next

Election dealt some setbacks to Texas GOP's modest diversity

(L to R) State Reps. John Lujan and Rick Galindo and U.S. Rep. Will Hurd receive a last-minute campaign boost from Gov. Greg Abbott at The County Line barbecue restaurant in San Antonio on November 7, 2016.
(L to R) State Reps. John Lujan and Rick Galindo and U.S. Rep. Will Hurd receive a last-minute campaign boost from Gov. Greg Abbott at The County Line barbecue restaurant in San Antonio on November 7, 2016.

One-half of the Hispanic Republicans in the Texas Legislature lost their seats this election, but there were only six to begin with.

Immigrants fear what Trump will do to "sanctuary cities"

Immigrants and activists participate in press conference and rally on Nov. 19, 2015, before a 37-mile march to show support for immigration reform. The marchers planned to walk for three days, from the federal immigration detention facility in Taylor to the Texas Governor's Mansion in downtown Austin.
Immigrants and activists participate in press conference and rally on Nov. 19, 2015, before a 37-mile march to show support for immigration reform. The marchers planned to walk for three days, from the federal immigration detention facility in Taylor to the Texas Governor's Mansion in downtown Austin.

It’s not yet clear whether, or how, the Trump administration could make good on a promise to end "sanctuary cities." But the simple fact that he says he’ll try is enough to terrify many undocumented immigrants in Texas.

Travis County sheriff's race likely to bring immigration policy shift

Travis County Constable Sally Hernandez is running for Travis County sheriff as a Democrat vowing to "get ICE out of Austin," meaning the local jail will no longer cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, making Austin the first true "sanctuary city" in the state.
Travis County Constable Sally Hernandez is running for Travis County sheriff as a Democrat vowing to "get ICE out of Austin," meaning the local jail will no longer cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, making Austin the first true "sanctuary city" in the state.

Democrat Sally Hernandez was cruising toward easy victory in the race for Travis County sheriff. It's likely to put her in the crosshairs of the Texas Legislature, where top Republicans are promising to ban "sanctuary city" policies. 

U.S.-funded programs try to convince Central Americans to stay home

A student presents her answers to gang related questions in an El Salvador elementary school workbook. "What have you heard recently about gangs and violence?" the question asks. "That there are a lot of murders" reads the student's response.
A student presents her answers to gang related questions in an El Salvador elementary school workbook. "What have you heard recently about gangs and violence?" the question asks. "That there are a lot of murders" reads the student's response.

The United States is helping fund anti-gang initiatives and jobs programs in Central America, trying to decrease the flow of migrants heading north for the Texas-Mexico border. 

The Ford Foundation and the Hunt Family Foundation have supported coverage of immigration, demographics and the border region at The Texas Tribune.

Most border arrests by Texas troopers are not for drug smuggling

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45-year-old Nickolas Mares is described by DPS as a “high-threat criminal,” though he only faced a drug possession charge. He can hardly speak from a stroke and lives with his mother in Rio Grande City.
45-year-old Nickolas Mares is described by DPS as a “high-threat criminal,” though he only faced a drug possession charge. He can hardly speak from a stroke and lives with his mother in Rio Grande City.

DPS has added more troopers to the border under the assumed objective that they're going after drug and human smugglers. But most of their arrests are for drunk driving and misdemeanor drug possession. 

Many border drug smugglers avoid prison

A DPS trooper spots a motorist along Highway 83 in Starr County.
A DPS trooper spots a motorist along Highway 83 in Starr County.

In two key counties, less than a quarter of the “high-threat criminals” arrested by Department of Public Safety troopers for felony drug offenses during the state’s border surge have been sent to prison.