Tribpedia: Border

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.

Most border arrests by Texas troopers are not for drug smuggling

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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. 

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

Many border drug smugglers avoid prison in Texas

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.

Trump protesters speak with San Antonio police office outside Hyatt Hotel in San Antonio where Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump was expected to attend a fundraiser on October 11, 2016
Trump protesters speak with San Antonio police office outside Hyatt Hotel in San Antonio where Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump was expected to attend a fundraiser on October 11, 2016

Can an anti-Trump surge of voters sway Texas?

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Texas is expected to go Republican this year, as it has in every presidential election since 1980. But Democrats have watched a turnout surge wash over the state’s most urban, least white areas.

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.

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

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. 

Rafts made of inflatable tires and wooden slats ferry people and goods across the Suchiate River separating Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, and Tecun Uman, Guatemala, with the international bridge connecting the two countries in the background.
Rafts made of inflatable tires and wooden slats ferry people and goods across the Suchiate River separating Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, and Tecun Uman, Guatemala, with the international bridge connecting the two countries in the background.

Mexico fights illegal immigration on its own southern border

Under pressure from the United States, Mexico has tried to cut down the flow of Central American immigrants passing through on their way to the southern U.S. border.

A Policia Nacional Civil patrol in the 22 de Abril neighborhood of Soyapango, just outside of San Salvador, El Salvador. The neighborhood is known to be controlled by the Mara Salvatrucha gang.
A Policia Nacional Civil patrol in the 22 de Abril neighborhood of Soyapango, just outside of San Salvador, El Salvador. The neighborhood is known to be controlled by the Mara Salvatrucha gang.

Hiding in Austin, a former El Salvador policeman seeks asylum

After years of trying to help control El Salvador's violent gangs, the danger became too great for the former detective and his family.

Meet some of the Central Americans who are fleeing violence and abject poverty at home, only to endure shakedowns and abuse on their way to an uncertain future in the United States. This mini-documentary is part of our Bordering on Insecurity project.

 

To Die or to Leave: Migrants Flee the Murder Capital of the World

Meet some of the Central Americans who are fleeing violence and abject poverty at home, only to endure shakedowns and abuse on their way to an uncertain future in the United States. This mini-documentary is part of our Bordering on Insecurity project.

 

The body of an alleged gang member following a shootout in Ayagualo, El Salvador, in May 2016 that police say began when one of their patrols was ambushed.
The body of an alleged gang member following a shootout in Ayagualo, El Salvador, in May 2016 that police say began when one of their patrols was ambushed.

Gang Wars, Poverty Driving Central Americans Over U.S. Border

The challenge of securing the southern U.S. border is changing dramatically as fewer Mexicans cross illegally, but more Central Americans arrive seeking refuge from the terror and chaos of their home countries.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, right, hosts Tamaulipas Gov.-elect Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca on Wednesday at the Texas Department of Agriculture’s office in Austin to discuss agriculture issues along the Texas/Tamaulipas border, economic development in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, immigration and border security.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, right, hosts Tamaulipas Gov.-elect Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca on Wednesday at the Texas Department of Agriculture’s office in Austin to discuss agriculture issues along the Texas/Tamaulipas border, economic development in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, immigration and border security.

Texas-Born Mexican Politician Pledges to Work with Lone Star State Leaders

During a trip to Austin Wednesday, Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca, the governor-elect of Tamaulipas, got a head start on improving the relationship between Mexico and Texas.