Rio Grande Valley | Texas Public Radio

Rio Grande Valley

Reynaldo Leanos Jr. | Texas Public Radio

A large white tent-like structure sits next to the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley on the U.S.-Mexico border.

In recent months, the Department of Homeland Security has been dealing with an influx of unaccompanied minors and family units from Central America arriving at the southern border.

DHS recently announced the agency will expand its border detention facilities in Texas with the opening of two new tent-like structures, which were completed this week.

Hildalgo County

The mayor of a small Texas border town was arrested and charged with election fraud and illegal voting on Thursday.

Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

President Donald Trump has long touted the need for a U.S. southern border wall. The years-long debate has drawn comments from both sides of the aisle, as well as from the communities who call the international border home. But there’s more to the vast and diverse region than meets the eye.

Reynaldo Leanos Jr. | Texas Public Radio

More than 76,000 people were apprehended or surrendered on the Southern border in February and administration officials project that number would surpass 100,000 for March.

The highest number of crossings are taking place in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.


Verónica G. Cárdenas | Texas Public Radio

Hugh Fitzsimons is a rancher and writer. He raises bison at the Shape Ranch in the southwestern part of Dimmit County, about 10 miles away from the Mexican border. He considers his ranch a world apart from the two nations divided by the Rio Grande.


Reynaldo Leanos Jr. / Texas Public Radio

Protesters gathered outside of U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar’s local office in Mission, Texas, on Wednesday to condemn his involvement in bipartisan negotiations over a deal that includes funding to enhance border in the Rio Grande Valley.

Before sunrise and illuminated by lantern light, the faithful gathered to pray, as they have many times before, at La Lomita chapel in Mission, Texas.

The chapel is made of simple white adobe, and Roy Rogers' song "Blue Shadows On The Trail" plays from a battery-operated radio in the chilly pre-dawn gloom as Rev. Roy Snipes makes his way down the aisle to preside over the Mass.

Reynaldo Leanos Jr./Texas Public Radio

Tuesday night, President Trump stands before a joint session of Congress, assesses the state of the union and likely makes another case for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has said he'd be willing to shut the government down again if the funding doesn't materialize. 

But money has already been allocated for some border wall projects, including a 6-mile stretch of wall in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

Donna, TX is the site of a military encampment for troops supporting the Border Patrol. 11/10/18
Carson Frame / Texas Public Radio

Signs of a troop presence in the Rio Grande Valley are not hard to find, especially near ports of entry.

The Pentagon said 2,800 troops have deployed to Texas as part of a total force of at least 5,200 that President Trump ordered to the southern border in late October in response to a caravan of migrants headed north from Central America.


Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

We begin with a story about a daughter trying to learn more about her father, who traveled the world, trying to escape what he believed were CIA mind-control experiments (0:17). Then, 11 communities in Cameron County are working to improve the health of its residents while spurring economic and transportation growth through a series of interconnected hiking, biking and paddling trails (14:54).


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