Rio Grande Valley | Texas Public Radio

Rio Grande Valley

DJ Beige performs at Red Bull Radio for The Bunker in Detroit, MI, USA on May 21, 2019.
Jeremy Deputat | Red Bull Content Pool

Millions of Americans have had their economic livelihoods upended by COVID-19. 

As positive cases continue to rise in Texas, more cities and counties are taking measures, like restricting mass gatherings and closing businesses to slow the spread of the virus. 


Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. De’Jon Williams

Thousands of military troops remain deployed at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the Trump administration’s effort to prevent illegal crossings. Some of them are active duty service members, but many are part of the National Guard — from states as far away as Iowa and Kentucky. 

It's an unusual deployment, with troops quartered in hotels and families allowed to visit.

Audio Pending...

Henry Cuellar (TX-28) faces his first serious primary challenge from Jessica Cisneros.
Courtesy

Fifteen-year incumbent Henry Cuellar aims to retain control of Texas' 28th congressional district in a heated race against his first Democratic primary challenger, Jessica Cisneros.


A sick 18-month-old girl (center) was sent to Guatemala along with her mom and sister after being denied asylum into the U.S.
Provided

A Honduran mother and her two young daughters reached the Texas-Mexico border in December — and just this week — were deported to Guatemala.

Verónica G. Cárdenas for Texas Public Radio

The installation of steel rebar at a site south of Donna in the Rio Grande Valley marks the first border wall construction in Texas since President Trump took office.

Courtesy of Brownsville Historical Association, Brownsville TX

Hateful language directed at people of color has a long, dirty history in the U.S. and along the border.

Mexicans and Mexican Texans living along the border in the 1800s were frequently described as greasers, monsters, demons, bandits, and criminals -- not just by Anglo Americans newly settled on the border but also by journalists who were telling faraway readers about the supposed lawlessness and backwardness of the borderlands. Just being Mexican could get you killed. That’s a fear many Hispanics have today, especially after the Aug. 3 mass shooting in El Paso.


There’s a rich, but often unexplored, piece of Texas history along the state’s southern and southwestern corridors. Settlers arrived in the Rio Grande Valley hundreds of years ago, and the people of color — who called the region home long before the newcomers — became targets of racism. The discrimination these populations endured is still having an effect on minority communities today.

Omar S. Valerio-Jiménez explores this piece of Texas history in the book “River of Hope: Forging Identity and Nation in the Rio Grande Borderlands.”


Judy Perry Martinez
Courtesy of the American Bar Association

The new president of the American Bar Association recently completed a tour of the Rio Grande Valley. 

Judy Perry Martinez visited detention facilities, spoke with asylum seekers across the border in Mexico, and observed immigration court proceedings. Texas Public Radio’s Reynaldo Leaños Jr. sat down with her at an immigration office in Harlingen, where she talked about her second visit to the border in the last two years.


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.

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