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

Is an ICE detainer legal? Texas AG and immigration attorneys disagree

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies how his faith is getting him through his recent legal woes during a speech to a gathering at the Republican Party of Texas gathering in Dallas May 14, 2016.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies how his faith is getting him through his recent legal woes during a speech to a gathering at the Republican Party of Texas gathering in Dallas May 14, 2016.

After Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton insisted in a letter last week that Texas' anti-"sanctuary cities" bill would survive a legal challenge, immigration attorneys are trying to convince members of the Legislature that he's wrong.

 

Texas Senate approves anti-"sanctuary" legislation, sending bill to House

State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, answers questions regarding Senate Bill 4, better known as the anti-"sanctuary cities" bill, on Feb. 7, 2017 in the state Capitol in Austin.
State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, answers questions regarding Senate Bill 4, better known as the anti-"sanctuary cities" bill, on Feb. 7, 2017 in the state Capitol in Austin.

The Republican-controlled Texas Senate gave its final stamp of approval on Wednesday to a controversial bill that would gut funding from local and state entities that don’t enforce immigration laws.

Hours before Senate vote, Texas Attorney General calls controversial immigration bill legal

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spoke at a May 25, 2016, news conference announcing a lawsuit filed against the federal government over rules for transgender bathrooms in public schools.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spoke at a May 25, 2016, news conference announcing a lawsuit filed against the federal government over rules for transgender bathrooms in public schools.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton attempted to ease concerns over whether a measure that would punish "sanctuary cities" and campuses could be successfully challenged in court.

Senate committee advances anti-sanctuary cities bill

Critics of Senate Bill 4, a bill banning sanctuary cities, protest at the Texas Capitol as the bill is scheduled to be debated before the Senate State Affairs committee on Feb. 2, 2017.
Critics of Senate Bill 4, a bill banning sanctuary cities, protest at the Texas Capitol as the bill is scheduled to be debated before the Senate State Affairs committee on Feb. 2, 2017.

After hearing more than 16 hours of testimony, the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 along party lines early Friday morning to advance a bill that would punish local government entities and college campuses that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials or enforce immigration laws.

Trump suggests large tax on Mexican imports to pay for border wall

Des Moines, Iowa USA January 28, 2016: New York businessman Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to next week's caucuses.
Des Moines, Iowa USA January 28, 2016: New York businessman Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to next week's caucuses.

The Trump administration announced Thursday it intended to implement a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for a coming border wall. An official appeared to walk back the statement later that afternoon.

In addition to border wall, Trump's executive action targets detention space

Des Moines, Iowa USA January 28, 2016: New York businessman Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to next week's caucuses.
Des Moines, Iowa USA January 28, 2016: New York businessman Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to next week's caucuses.

The White House announced Wednesday that in addition to moving to build a barrier on the southern border, it will act to build more detention space for undocumented immigrants in the area.

While bracing for action from Trump, Democrats also vow to fight state bills on sanctuary cities

Group gathered from all around Texas and marched to the Governor's Mansion to show their support fro DACA and DAPA
Group gathered from all around Texas and marched to the Governor's Mansion to show their support fro DACA and DAPA

Texas House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they’d keep fighting efforts by state Republicans to crack down on cities viewed as sanctuary cities even as a related executive order from President Trump was expected later in the day.

Lawmakers likely to wage in-state tuition policy fight again this year

Former and current lawmakers gather at the Texas Capitol showing their support for HB 1403 which passed in 2001 ensuring that all Texas would have access to in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status.
Former and current lawmakers gather at the Texas Capitol showing their support for HB 1403 which passed in 2001 ensuring that all Texas would have access to in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status.

Will Texas legislators repeal in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants? One Republican lawmaker is determined to make it happen.

Six years later, fight over anti-sanctuary cities bill has changed

Protesters hold signs reading "No Arizona Hate in Texas" — a reference to a recently passed law in that state — during a 2011 demonstration against "sanctuary city" legislation in Austin.
Protesters hold signs reading "No Arizona Hate in Texas" — a reference to a recently passed law in that state — during a 2011 demonstration against "sanctuary city" legislation in Austin.

Bills targeting "sanctuary cities" failed to pass the Texas Legislature in 2011 and 2015, but similar efforts this session have better chances of making it to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.