Julian Aguilar, Texas Tribune

Texas Tribune Reporter

Julian Aguilar covered the 81st legislative session for the Rio Grande Guardian. Previously, he reported from the border for the Laredo Morning Times. 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.

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Politics
1:01 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Interactive: Who's Eligible for Deferred Action in Texas

graphic by: Todd Wiseman / Kyle Steed

The Obama administration next week will begin accepting applications for deferred action from what it expects to be hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the country illegally.

The policy, which was announced June 15, grants relief from deportation proceedings to certain immigrants who meet certain guidelines. Two-year work permits will also be issued to qualified applicants.

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Immigration
7:27 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Feds Announce Details on Deferred Action

KUT News

Immigrants brought to the country illegally by their parents will likely not face prosecution or other repercussions — and neither will their families — if they apply for a new federal program that allows them to avoid deportation, federal officials said Friday.

Under a policy shift announced in June, certain illegal immigrants beginning Aug. 15 can apply for what the government calls deferred action. It would release them from deportation proceedings and allow them to apply for work permits. The renewable status will last two years.

But officials also warned that applicants for deferred action who knowingly lie, attempt fraud or do not meet the criteria but apply anyway could be considered immigration-enforcement priorities and turned over to prosecutors for removal proceedings.

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Politics
10:16 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Despite Speculation, Castro Not Eyeing New Role

Photo Illustration courtesy Texas Tribune

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro said Tuesday morning that despite growing speculation about his political future after being named the Democratic National Convention’s keynote speaker, he is content leading the city of San Antonio.

“I am doing exactly what I want to do, and I am excited about the progress that we have made here,” Castro told the Tribune. “When I thought about getting into public service, this was the role that I looked forward to, and it’s exciting to actually see progress in San Antonio. So, I can’t see anything out there that would change my mind.”

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Mexico
2:18 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Will PRI's Return Mark Shift in U.S. Relations?

Todd Wiseman / CIMMYT for Texas Tribune

The likely return to power of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in Mexico has prompted Mexicans and Texans alike to question whether the party’s former alleged practice of making deals with cartel members will be the standard after President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto is sworn on Dec. 1.

But some experts on U.S.-Mexico relations say that what the party is likely to do — focus on the most brutal elements of organized crime — isn’t deal-making or playing favorites, but instead similar to what American law enforcement does: focus resources where they are needed most.

Peña Nieto edged leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador after garnering 38.2 percent of the vote, or 19.2 million ballots, to López Obrador’s 31.6 percent, about 15.9 million. Josefina Vázquez Mota, of current President Felipe Calderón’s National Action Party, finished third with 25.4 percent, about 12.8 million ballots cast, according to the official and final computations released late Monday by the country’s Federal Electoral Institute.

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Mexico
4:54 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

PRI's Peña Nieto Projected Winner of Mexican Election

Edgar Alberto Domínguez Cataño / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

MEXICO CITY — After 12 years of rule under the conservative National Action Party, Mexicans on Sunday appeared to have elected a candidate from the Institutional Revolutionary Party to lead Texas’ largest trade partner and southern neighbor. 

Enrique Peña Nieto, 45, the former governor of the state of Mexico, was projected to best challengers Josefina Vázquez Mota of the National Action Party and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the leftist progressive alliance, made up of the Party of the Democratic Revolution and the Labor Party. Peña Nieto, who would succeed President Felipe Calderón, would be sworn in in December and serve a single six-year term; Mexican law prohibits presidents from serving more than one term.

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Immigration
5:14 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Key Tenet of Arizona Immigration Law Upheld, Others Struck

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a key provision of Arizona’s controversial immigration law that requires police officers to verify the legal status of people they stop or arrest. But it struck down much of the rest of the bill, including a measure that would have make it a crime for unauthorized immigrants to work. 

The long-awaited decision in Arizona v. United States could prompt other states to craft their own versions of Arizona's SB 1070, signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010. But they'd have to do it narrowly, according to Monday's Supreme Court ruling. 

Though justices upheld the “papers, please” provision, several other provisions of the bill were struck down. Those include a section of the law that makes it a crime if an immigrant fails to carry proof of legal status; a provision that makes it a crime for an unauthorized immigrant to work, apply for work or solicit work; and a provision that would have allowed police to stop and arrest anyone whom they believe to be an illegal immigrant.

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Immigration
11:05 am
Fri June 15, 2012

DHS to Grant Relief for Some Young Illegal Immigrants

A boy waves an American flag at an immigration rally held in Dallas on May Day.
Caleb Bryant Miller, Texas Tribune

The Obama administration announced Friday that, effective immediately, it will begin issuing work permits and grant relief from deportation to certain illegal immigrants brought to the country before they were 16 years old and are currently younger than 30.

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Politics
5:02 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Texas Democrats Elect Their First Hispanic Chairman

June 9th, 2012: Newly elected Chair of the Texas Democratic Party Gilberto Hinojosa.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for Texas Tribune

Texas Democrats, trying to compete in a state that overwhelmingly favors Republican candidates for executive, legislative and judicial offices, elected their first Hispanic chairman Saturday.

In a reflection of the state’s burgeoning Hispanic growth and the party’s longtime success with Latinos, delegates overwhelmingly elected Gilberto Hinojosa as the next party chairman. He will replace outgoing chairman Boyd Richie, who announced in April 2011 that he would not seek another term after six years on the job.

Hinojosa successfully breathed some life into the sparse crowd on the convention floor with a fiery speech before the delegates cast an overwhelming majority of votes in his favor.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

For Texas GOP, A New Position On Immigration Reform

The group Hispanic Republicans of Texas at a news conference Nov. 3, 2010.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for Texas Tribune

Late Friday night, Texas Republicans approved an unprecedented change to their official party platform: a call for a national guest-worker program.

The more moderate language is a welcoming gesture to Hispanics who have avoided the GOP because of what they view as its hardline position on immigration issues. 

"It takes away a tool that Democrats have used for years to drive a wedge between conservative Hispanics and Republicans," said TexasGOPvote.com's Bob Price, who is also a delegate at the Republican Party's state convention.

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Politics
11:15 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Castros, Parker on the Future of Texas Democrats

Joaquin (left) and Julian (right) Castro.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

A charismatic personality isn't going to end the Texas Democratic Party long electoral drought, three prominent local officeholders said Friday. But bickering Republicans and a renewed effort to build their party and their bench of candidates will help bring Texas Democrats back into statewide office.

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Politics
10:15 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Outgoing Texas Democratic Chairman Highlights Victories

Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26.
Spencer Selvidge, Texas Tribune

HOUSTON — Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie said Thursday during his final convention as the party’s leader that despite his disappointment in being unable to propel a candidate to victory in a statewide race during his six-year tenure, the party should still reflect on the significant milestones it has accomplished.

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Immigration
4:25 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Perry Urges Obama to Address Surge in Immigrant Minors

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman / Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Citing an unprecedented level of unaccompanied illegal-immigrant minors breaching the U.S.-Mexico border, Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter Friday asking the Obama administration to address the “humanitarian crisis.”

Calling the issue a byproduct of Obama’s failed effort to secure the border, Perry cites recent media reports that indicate 5,200 unaccompanied and illegal-immigrant minors crossed in to the country during the first six months of the 2012 fiscal year, including 1,300 in March alone. It is unclear from the letter how many minors crossed into Texas.

“To be clear, Texas has been working diligently to protect the immediate health and safety of our citizens and the unaccompanied minors now in our state. However, by failing to take immediate action to return these minors to their countries of origin and prevent and discourage others from coming here, the federal government is perpetuating the problem,” Perry wrote.

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Politics
2:09 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Texas Keeps Close Eye on Mexico's Presidential Race

Photo illustration by Ben Hasson for the Texas Tribune

Texas economists are confident that the financial upheavals long associated with Mexican elections are a thing of the past. Still, they are closely watching what this summer's presidential contest means for the peso and, in turn, Texas' symbiotic business ties to Mexico.

Texas politicians are paying close attention, too — to whether the trade, security and energy policies of President Felipe Calderón’s successor will affect illegal immigration or the state’s robust trade relationship with Mexico.

Three Texas customs districts, Laredo, El Paso and Houston, rank among Mexico’s top four trading partners. Collectively, they accounted for roughly $235 billion in trade between Texas and Mexico from January to September 2011, according to United States Census data analyzed by WorldCity, which tracks global trade patterns. The figures show an increase over 2010 despite the American recession and unprecedented violence in Mexico because of warring drug cartels.

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Politics
1:05 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Latinos Upset with Obama But Still Back Him Over GOP

President Obama speaks to a crowd at the University of Texas on Aug. 9, 2010.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Despite Latinos' mounting disapproval for President Obama over his administration’s immigration policies, a majority of the demographic would still prefer to see him in the White House over his Republican challengers.

study conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center found that 59 percent of Latinos disapprove of his handling of illegal immigrants in this country while 27 percent approve. The center estimates that about 81 percent of the 11.2 million illegal immigrants in the country are of Hispanic descent, although the group accounted for 97 percent of the immigrants deported in 2010.

“Deportations have reached record levels under President Obama, rising to an annual average of nearly 400,000 since 2009, about 30 percent higher than the annual average during the second term of the Bush administration and about double the annual average during George W. Bush’s first term,” according to the report.

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Immigration
4:20 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

More Helicopters, Fewer Troops to Patrol Border

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman and Matthew High with the Texas Tribune

Surveillance helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft will take the place of about 900 U.S. National Guard troops on the southern border as early as next year, according to information released today by the federal government.

The White House announced last week that it planned to reduce the number of troops to concentrate instead on an aerial strategy, something the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said today would enhance its relationship with the U.S. Department of Defense. Only 300 active troops will remain on the border.

The decision, however, sparked a party-line split among members of Texas’ delegation in Washington. U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, criticized the move as irresponsible and assailed the president on immigration policy.

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Texas
1:31 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Texas Voter ID Law in Jeopardy?

Photo by Simrat Sharma KUT News

The U.S. Department of Justice informed the Texas Secretary of State’s office that it has yet to provide the federal government sufficient information about the contentious voter ID law — which could affect the bill's scheduled implementation date of Jan. 1.

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immigration
1:46 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

ICE Removes Record Number of Immigrants in FY 2011

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Immigration and Customs Enforcementannounced this week it deported more immigrants during the 2011 fiscal year than it did in any year since the agency's 2003 inception. The total includes more than 216,700 people convicted of felonies and misdemeanors.

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2012 Presidential Election
12:20 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Perry's Remarks on Mexico Are Praised, Dismissed

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman / Bob Daemmrich

Was it the latest in a string of campaign-trail mistakes, the gaffe of an inexperienced candidate outside the friendly confines of Texas, or a legitimate conversation starter for an issue now too large to ignore?

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Texas
3:57 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

Proof of Legal Status Now Required for State IDs

Photo by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Many Democrats are crowing that the 82nd Legislature will go down as one in which, despite the "emergency" push for sanctuary cities legislation, nothing emerged from the Capitol that waill substantially alter the way immigration laws are enforced.

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Politics
11:59 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Perry and Latinos Coexist Uneasily in Politics

Protesters march down Congress Avenue toward the Capitol during an immigration rally on February 22, 2010
Jacob Villanueva/Texas Tribune

It was an awkward moment for the swashbuckling, gun-toting governor of Texas. Fresh off the heels of several raucous welcomes before adoring groups of conservatives across the country, Gov. Rick Perry found himself staring into a crowd more intent on dessert than the speech he was delivering, and in his home state no less.

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