Bordering on Insecurity

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. 

 Martin Do Nascimento

Revisit our Border Corruption Series

In the last week, we've published several investigations into what happens when border watchdogs turn criminal — from smuggling drugs and immigrants to getting mixed up with Mexican cartels. Revisit our Bordering on Insecurity project.

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 Martin do Nascimento

Feds Tight-Lipped on Weeding Out Corrupt Border Agents

Whether most — or even a significant fraction of — corrupt federal border agents are caught and punished is an open question. Customs and Border Protection boasts of more stringent screening and monitoring of its agents but releases little data to back up its claims.

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 Martin do Nascimento

Border Corruption Often Has Family Roots

David Cruz joined the U.S. Border Patrol because he wanted to be "part of the best." But family pressures, disillusionment, love and greed drove him to begin taking bribes to help immigrants enter the country illegally.

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 Martin do Nascimento

Cracks in the Wall: When Border Watchdogs Turn Criminal

Rudy Soliz did it for sex. Sergio Lopez Hernandez blamed depression and financial trouble. The crimes differ, but prosecutors say the actions they’re accused of weakened the U.S. borders and ports of entry they were tasked with protecting.

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Love and Money Join Agent, Drug Smuggler

Former U.S. Border Patrol Agent Raquel Esquivel still wears a government-issue green uniform, but now it's a federal prison jumpsuit. She was convicted in 2009 of helping smugglers sneak loads of marijuana across the border.

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 Douglas Young

How Investigators Linked a Headless Body to a Border Patrol Agent

When Franky Palacios Paz was found naked and decapitated floating off South Padre Island, the local sheriff thought the murder would lead investigators back to Mexican drug cartel violence. He didn't expect a U.S. Border Patrol agent to be among those arrested.

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 Martin do Nascimento

Roma, Texas: A Smuggler's Paradise

Multiple inflatable rafts on the water. Emotionally shaken kids in the back of Border Patrol vans. Dope dumped on the river’s edge. The Texas Tribune witnessed all that and more during an afternoon with the U.S. Border Patrol.

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