RACE & IMMIGRATION

After being pulled over for a broken taillight while a student at the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, Raul Zamora found himself in an immigration detention center instead of class for a week.
After being pulled over for a broken taillight while a student at the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, Raul Zamora found himself in an immigration detention center instead of class for a week.

Undocumented Student's Arrest a Cautionary Tale

Almost seven years ago, Raul Zamora, an undocumented immigrant brought to the U.S. from Mexico by his parents when he was 10, was on the verge of deportation after being stopped for a broken taillight. The UT student spent years fighting to stay, and his case illustrates the contentious balances of U.S. immigration policy. This story is part of our "Bordering on Insecurity" series.

Juan Leonardo Quintero, an undocumented immigrant pictured here in 2015 in a visitation booth at the maximum-security Allred Unit near Wichita Falls, is serving a life sentence for the 2006 murder of Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson.
Juan Leonardo Quintero, an undocumented immigrant pictured here in 2015 in a visitation booth at the maximum-security Allred Unit near Wichita Falls, is serving a life sentence for the 2006 murder of Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson.

After Deportation, Killer Returned Easily to U.S.

Deported to his native Mexico for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, Juan Leonardo Quintero returned to Houston and easily resumed his life. When he killed a police officer in 2006, Quintero became a poster child for loose border enforcement. This story is part of our "Bordering on Insecurity" series.

A group of undocumented Mexican national ex-offenders enter Mexico at the US-Mexico border crossing at Brownsville/Matamoros after being deported from the United States on Nov. 4, 2015.
A group of undocumented Mexican national ex-offenders enter Mexico at the US-Mexico border crossing at Brownsville/Matamoros after being deported from the United States on Nov. 4, 2015.

"Criminal Aliens" Flashpoint of Border Security Debate

How to deal with, or talk about, foreigners who commit crimes in the United States — the government’s term for them is the politically incorrect “criminal aliens” — has prompted heated calls for vastly different solutions. This story is part of our "Bordering on Insecurity" series.

After Deportation, Killer Returned Easily to U.S.

Juan Leonardo Quintero, an undocumented immigrant pictured here in 2015 in a visitation booth at the maximum-security Allred Unit near Wichita Falls, is serving a life sentence for the 2006 murder of Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson.
Juan Leonardo Quintero, an undocumented immigrant pictured here in 2015 in a visitation booth at the maximum-security Allred Unit near Wichita Falls, is serving a life sentence for the 2006 murder of Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson.

Deported to his native Mexico for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, Juan Leonardo Quintero returned to Houston and easily resumed his life. When he killed a police officer in 2006, Quintero became a poster child for loose border enforcement. This story is part of our "Bordering on Insecurity" series.

"Criminal Aliens" Flashpoint of Border Security Debate

A group of undocumented Mexican national ex-offenders enter Mexico at the US-Mexico border crossing at Brownsville/Matamoros after being deported from the United States on Nov. 4, 2015.
A group of undocumented Mexican national ex-offenders enter Mexico at the US-Mexico border crossing at Brownsville/Matamoros after being deported from the United States on Nov. 4, 2015.

How to deal with, or talk about, foreigners who commit crimes in the United States — the government’s term for them is the politically incorrect “criminal aliens” — has prompted heated calls for vastly different solutions. This story is part of our "Bordering on Insecurity" series.

ICE Chief a Bipartisan Punching Bag in Immigration Debates

Sarah R. Saldaña, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., December 9, 2015.
Sarah R. Saldaña, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., December 9, 2015.

When she was a federal prosecutor in Texas, Sarah Saldaña was seen as hard-nosed and nonpartisan. Since President Obama appointed her to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she's learned to take hits from the left and right.

U.S. House Race a Test Case of Identity Politics

Mexican flags wave along Harrisburg Ave. in Houston. Drawn in 1991 to reflect the area’s booming Hispanic population, the Houston-based 29th Congressional District has never had a Hispanic representative.
Mexican flags wave along Harrisburg Ave. in Houston. Drawn in 1991 to reflect the area’s booming Hispanic population, the Houston-based 29th Congressional District has never had a Hispanic representative.

The upcoming primary face-off between incumbent Gene Green and Adrian Garcia in Houston's 29th congressional district will test case the influence of identity politics in Texas Democratic races.

Houston Sheriff Still Shielding Killer's Record

Victor Reyes, shown in 2001 jail mug shot from Hidalgo County. Authorities say Reyes, an undocumented immigrant, went on a January 2015 shooting spree in Harris County that killed two and wounded three.
Victor Reyes, shown in 2001 jail mug shot from Hidalgo County. Authorities say Reyes, an undocumented immigrant, went on a January 2015 shooting spree in Harris County that killed two and wounded three.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office has decided to keep secret its investigative files on a Mexican national whose 2015 shooting spree in Houston left two people dead and three injured.  

 

UT System Chancellor McRaven Blasts Top 10 Percent Rule

On Jan. 20, 2016, the Texas House Higher Education Committee discussed efforts to grow educational programs with University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven.
On Jan. 20, 2016, the Texas House Higher Education Committee discussed efforts to grow educational programs with University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven.

Texas should consider scrapping its top 10 percent automatic admissions rule for universities, which hurts the prestige of the University of Texas at Austin, UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven said in two separate public appearances this week.

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Obama's Immigration Program

Immigrants and activists participate in press conference and rally on Nov. 19, 2015, before a 37-mile march designed 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 designed 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.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to consider the Obama administration’s controversial immigration program, which has been on hold for nearly a year after being blocked by a Texas-based federal judge.

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

As Supreme Court Prepares to Hear Historic Immigration Case, Texas Explains its Strategy

Texas First Assistant Attorney General Chip Roy and Solicitor General Scott Keller sat down with Tribune reporter Julián Aguilar on Feb. 1, 2016 to discuss an upcoming case on illegal immigration headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Texas First Assistant Attorney General Chip Roy and Solicitor General Scott Keller sat down with Tribune reporter Julián Aguilar on Feb. 1, 2016 to discuss an upcoming case on illegal immigration headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear a case challenging President Barack Obama's executive order on illegal immigration, the two top lawyers for Texas spoke to the Tribune about what the state is fighting for.

As Feds Plan to Cut Surveillance at Border, Texas Officials Demand Explanation

A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols on the Texas border near the Rio Grande, Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.
A Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols on the Texas border near the Rio Grande, Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.

Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat, pressed the Department of Homeland Security on Monday to explain why the agency plans to reduce its aerial surveillance on the Texas-Mexico border.

 

Houston Slayings Fueled Border Security Debate

Dan Golvach, father of Spencer Golvach,  at his son's grave in Houston Tuesday, October 20, 2015.
Dan Golvach, father of Spencer Golvach, at his son's grave in Houston Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

One year ago today, Spencer Golvach waited for the green light at a Houston intersection. An undocumented Mexican national pulled up next to him, pointed a pistol at Golvach’s head and pulled the trigger. The killing ignited a political firestorm.

As Pope's Trip to Border Nears, Catholics Wonder What His Message Will Be

A cardboard cutout of His Holiness Pope Francis  greets residents of Ciudad Juárez on January 16, 2016. Pope Francis will visit the border city in February as part of a six-day tour of Mexico.
A cardboard cutout of His Holiness Pope Francis greets residents of Ciudad Juárez on January 16, 2016. Pope Francis will visit the border city in February as part of a six-day tour of Mexico.

With Pope Francis scheduled to visit Ciudad Juárez next month, the area's Catholics are speculating whether the famously outspoken pontiff will bring up hot-button social issues such as immigration, poverty and corruption.