Gus Bova

Gus Bova reports on immigration, the U.S.-Mexico border and grassroots movements for the Observer. He formerly worked at a shelter for asylum-seekers and refugees. You can contact him at [email protected]

By Gus Bova:


Democrats Finally Play Hardball on the Border Wall

by | Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 1:25 pm CST

With Proposed Tariffs on Mexico, Trump Attacks Texas

Trump’s 5 percent tax on Mexican goods over Central American immigration would hit Texas harder than any other state.

On Thursday, President Trump announced on Twitter that he plans to impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods coming into the United States from Mexico, effective June 10. The tariff, he warned, would gradually increase until Mexico halts the … Read More


Sunk Costs

The border wall is more expensive than you think.

When the federal government builds a border wall, the taxpayer foots two bills. First, there’s the cost to get the thing built, a figure proclaimed in presidential budget requests and press accounts. And second, there’s a slew of concealed costs … Read More


Unearthing Resistance

As Trump’s wall threatens a pair of historic cemeteries, an unlikely network of powerful Rio Grande Valley families has coalesced to oppose it.

Unearthing Resistance As Trump’s wall threatens a pair of historic cemeteries, an unlikely network of powerful Rio Grande Valley families has coalesced to oppose it. – by Gus Bova May 8, 2019 Hollis Rutledge’s second-story office in downtown Mission is … Read More

border wall, flooding, trump, roma

The Flood Next Time

In the floodplain of the Rio Grande, Trump's wall threatens to inundate communities on both sides of the border.

by Gus Bova May 6, 2019  In July 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice shelled out $12,000 for a 1.71-acre strip of land along the Rio Grande’s north bank in the Texas border town of Roma. Designated RGC-1066, the … Read More


Henry Cuellar and the Art of the Deal

The Laredo congressman publicly opposes the border wall, but keeps voting to fund it in his own district. Is he a savvy compromiser, or is he compromised?

Three things are true. Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, does not like the border wall. Congressman Henry Cuellar has voted twice to fund the border wall in his own district. Congressman Henry Cuellar thinks his constituents should see that as a … Read More

border engineer

Engineer Who Helped Build the Wall Details Its Weaknesses

As you might have guessed, the U.S.-Mexico border wall is not very hard to get around.

Joseph Jarvis knows the U.S.-Mexico border wall more intimately than most. A 71-year-old contractor who works in engineering and construction, Jarvis oversaw the fabrication and installation of a short stretch of border wall near Brownsville in 2011, along with a … Read More


‘Repository of Shame’: Will Texas Start Publicly Identifying Wage Thieves?

Wage theft is a quiet crisis in the Lone Star State. A bill that would publicly expose bad actors may have a chance at the Legislature.

Every year, the Texas Workforce Commission identifies thousands of employers who’ve engaged in wage theft, an offense that can range from outright denial of wages to misclassifying employees as independent contractors. The state labor commission tells errant bosses to make … Read More


Documents: CBP Ignored Federal Biologists’ Input on Border Wall

Border security officials visited wildlife preserves in Starr County, then blew off the recommendations of the scientists they brought along.

In December 2017, a group of Customs and Border Protection officials met with federal wildlife biologists in McAllen for what CBP billed as a collaborative meeting. Ostensibly, CBP planned to gather scientific input on two stretches of border wall set … Read More


The Interview: Mass Resistance

Rebel priest Roy Snipes discusses his fight to save a historic chapel from Trump’s wall.

On a foggy February morning, just south of the border town of Mission, the parking lot behind the La Lomita chapel is full. It’s the eighth week of a novena — a nine-week period of prayer — and parishioners have … Read More