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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

Photo by KUT

Like parents threatening to withhold allowance from a misbehaving child, proponents of the Republican-backed sanctuary cities bill are warning local authorities across the state: Comply with the bill or face the fiscal consequences.

Photo by Todd Wiseman

U.S. law enforcement officers in Hidalgo County today received heavy weapons fire from Mexico, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The exchange happened when law enforcement officers participating in a multi-agency Texas Ranger Recon operation attempted to interdict a load of drugs. Three law enforcement patrol boats were notified of a suspicious vehicle and two recovery boats on the U.S. side of the border. They were fired on when they arrived at the scene.

Photo by Liang Shi/KUT News

Republican lawmakers in Texas, unfazed by state governments across the country opting out of a controversial immigration enforcement program, are instead seeking to expand it here.

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry has added controversial immigration and homeland security measures to the agenda for the special legislative session that began last week.

Perry added abolishing “sanctuary cities,” the common term for entities that prohibit law enforcement from inquiring about immigration status, to the special session "call" — the list of items he’s asking lawmakers to address. The item was the only one of six "emergency items," so designated by Perry, that didn’t make it the governor’s desk during the regular session that ended last month. The governor has also asked lawmakers to address matters relating to the federal government’s Secure Communities program, which is administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The initiative compares the fingerprints of those arrested to a federal database to determine if the individual is eligible for deportation under current immigration laws. Additionaly, the call includes matters relating to “the issuance of driver’s licenses and personal identification certificates.”

Photo by KUT

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last week upholding an Arizona law that punishes employers who hire illegal immigrants may give Texas lawmakers some newfound momentum to file immigration-related legislation with the hope that the governor adds the topic to the special session now underway.

Photo by Mose Buchele/KUT News

Legislation that would grant the state authority to erect southbound checkpoints near the Texas-Mexico border was successfully revived today after lawmakers attached it as an amendment to a bill concerning record sharing by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune

Sanctuary cities legislation was revived today and will be sent to the Texas Senate for consideration.

Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune

In a last-ditch effort to tweak one of their most despised bills of the session, House Democrats tried — and failed — to adopt several amendments today to the “sanctuary cities” bill initially passed by the House late Monday.

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