Throughout 2016, The Texas Tribune took a deep look at the issues of border security and immigration, topics never far from the headlines — or the presidential trail. The Tribune reported on the reality and rhetoric around issues like the removal of undocumented criminal offenders, the stemming of government corruption and the conditions many immigrants are fleeing to seek sanctuary in the U.S.
No issue stirred more passion in the 2016 elections than border security and immigration. In Beyond The Wall, a Texas Tribune documentary, we look past the heated rhetoric to explore why people and dope keep pouring across the border. This documentary is part of our Bordering on Insecurity project.
Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna was found guilty of engaging in organized criminal activity, but a Cameron County jury acquitted him of the murder charges that could have put him in prison for life without the chance of parole.
Devoted public servant who protected the nation’s borders and erred only by helping out his family? Or leader of a drug- and gun-trafficking enterprise? Those were the two portraits that emerged of Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna at his two-week murder trial. Now, a jury will decide his fate as early as Monday.
The fate of Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna and his Mexican-born brother Eduardo, both charged with drug trafficking and the murder of a would-be snitch, is set to fall to a Cameron County jury Friday after almost two weeks of testimony and sparring over evidence.
Hoping to bolster their assertion that Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna used thousands of dollars in smuggled money from Mexico and participated in a criminal enterprise that took the life of a would-be snitch, prosecutors showed jurors a safe they say he used to store the money.
Joel Luna, the Border Patrol agent on trial for capital murder in Brownsville, was linked to hundreds of thousands of dollars in smuggled money by the prosecution's star witness — Luna's older brother Eduardo.
A state judge ruled that a statement Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna voluntarily gave authorities can be used in his murder trial. Sparring over evidence marked the first day of his trial in South Texas, in a case that has stoked concern about alleged law enforcement corruption on the U.S. side of the border.
The capital murder case began with the discovery of a headless body floating in the waters off South Padre Island. Now, nearly two years later, the trial of two of the men prosecutors charged in the case — a U.S. Border Patrol agent and his Mexican-born brother — begins in South Texas.
Want to find out what specific locations immigrant smugglers used most to transport their loads? Which gun dealers sold the most firearms that ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels? Gov. Greg Abbott's personal plan for employers who hire undocumented immigrants? Good luck.
In Houston and Austin, construction industry leaders are starting to acknowledge that they can't keep operating under the assumption that an endless supply of people — many in the country illegally — will always be available to do dangerous jobs for little pay. This story is part of the Tribune's yearlong Bordering on Insecurity project.
Two cases brought by the Equal Justice Center against Target and H-E-B illustrate how big-name employers can benefit from illegal labor and why undocumented workers are easily exploited. This story is part of Tribune's yearlong Bordering on Insecurity project.
An underground labor market provides abundant employment opportunities for undocumented immigrants in the United States. But working in the shadows often means accepting low pay and exploitation. This story is part of Tribune's yearlong Bordering on Insecurity project.
For all their condemnations of illegal immigration, Texas lawmakers — Republican and Democratic — have shown little interest in cracking down on businesses that employ undocumented workers. The low-wage labor is simply too ingrained in the state's economy. This story is part of The Texas Tribune's yearlong Bordering on Insecurity project.
The state's top elected officials are happy to go on about border security, but they get tongue tied if the conversation turns to cracking down on employers of undocumented immigrants. Here are the statements the Tribune managed to wrangle from the state's top three leaders and their staffs. This story is part of Tribune's yearlong Bordering on Insecurity project.
An estimated 1.6 million adultTexans have substance use disorders, many addicted to drugs that arrive illegally from Mexico. Texas spends significantly more on trying to catch the smugglers than on treating the addicts. This story is part of Tribune's yearlong Bordering on Insecurity project.
Supporters of legal marijuana say it would help ease problems with drug smuggling, but experts say drug cartels would probably just switch to other products. As states embrace marijuana, pot seizures have fallen, but heroin and methamphetamine busts have gone up. This story is part of Tribune's yearlong Bordering on Insecurity project.
Often overlooked in border security debates is the river of guns and ammunition that flows from the United States — especially Texas — into Mexico, arming cartels and smugglers. But legislators, especially strong proponents of the Second Amendment, aren't inclined to pass laws that might slow the flow. This story is part of Tribune's yearlong Bordering on Insecurity project.