Reynaldo Leaños Jr. | Texas Public Radio

Reynaldo Leaños Jr.

Border and Immigration Reporter

Reynaldo Leanos Jr. covers immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border for Texas Public Radio.

Prior to joining Texas Public Radio, Reynaldo was a freelance journalist in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas and in New York City. His work has appeared in Public Radio International’s The World and Global Nation, NBC News, NPR’s Latino USA, KUT’s Texas Standard and KUT.

He has an undergraduate degree from Texas State University, where he studied journalism and international studies. Leanos also has a master’s degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where he specialized in international reporting.

Ways to Connect

Reynaldo Leanos Jr. | Texas Public Radio

The massacre in El Paso sent shockwaves across the country, and especially throughout the Rio Grande Valley. People in McAllen held a vigil on Wednesday to honor their fellow border city hundreds of miles away. At the event they expressed defiance and sadness. But they also expressed fear — fear that what happened in El Paso could someday happen to them.


Reynaldo Leaños Jr. | Texas Public Radio

Native American activists from across the country came to the Rio Grande Valley on Saturday to protest the treatment of migrants at the U.S. border, including children detention and family separation.


A young girl at a migrant shelter in Nuevo Laredo.
Reynaldo Leaños Jr. | Texas Public Radio

A group of women sit on a white wooden bench at Casa Del Migrante Amar in Nuevo Laredo, chatting and eating fruit on a blistering hot summer day.

More than 100 migrants are at the shelter. Some are from Central America and others come from across Latin America.

One of the women, Magda, fled Venezuela’s oppressive regime. On her way to Nuevo Laredo, she heard stories about the area being dangerous. The day after she arrived, she was robbed. 

Reynaldo Leaños Jr. | Texas Public Radio

Vice President Mike Pence and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee visited a tent-like temporary detention facility in Donna and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Station in McAllen Friday.

The same day, groups across the country scheduled vigils to protest conditions at migrant detention facilities.

PHOTO BY KRIS ARCIAGA

Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress will visit the Rio Grande Valley later this week.

Office of Inspector General

Federal government inspectors released a report pointing to dangerous overcrowding at Border Patrol facilities in the Rio Grande Valley, a region where a majority of the migrant crossings are taking place.

Verónica G. Cárdenas for Texas Public Radio

Residents in the Rio Grande Valley gathered at vigils in McAllen and Brownsville on Sunday evening to remember the lives of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria.

The Salvadoran father and daughter drowned as they tried to cross the river between Matamoros and Brownsville last Sunday. Valeria’s mother, Tania Vanessa Avalos, watched as her family was swept away.

U.S. Border Patrol agents have located four bodies by the Rio Grande in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, near the U.S. border with Mexico. Three of the deceased were children — one toddler and two infants — and the other was a 20-year-old woman.

"It's an incredibly heartbreaking situation, which seems to happen far too often," said Special Agent in Charge Michelle Lee of the San Antonio FBI office.

Provided

Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, has been in office since 2005. The wide 28th District of Texas includes parts of San Antonio, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. He hasn’t had a serious challenger in the last decade, until now.


Veronica G. Cardenas for Texas Public Radio

A Honduran woman sat with her young son outside the Holding Institute, a community center in Laredo that cares for migrants, as the sun began to set. It was a special moment of serenity in a place that also offers migrants some stability and safety.

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