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:

John Bucy, Tony Dale

Can John Bucy Break the GOP Hold on Williamson County?

The race for Texas House District 136 is light on fireworks. The Republican incumbent, Tony Dale, is a relative moderate disliked by the state’s far-right crusaders. An energy consultant (the most Texas Lege-y job ever), he likes to emphasize uncontroversial … Read More


Dolores Huerta is Still Knocking on Doors and Registering Voters at 88

The iconic labor activist talks about the Latino vote, Howard Zinn and the ‘year of the woman.’

At 88, Dolores Huerta is still making you look bad. In 1962, Huerta and César Chávez co-founded the organization that would become the United Farm Workers, then led the legendary grape strike and boycott that resulted in the first farmworker … Read More


U.S. and Mexican Officials Collaborating to Stop Asylum-Seekers, Attorneys Allege

A new petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights “highlights the reality of the U.S. working hand in glove with the Mexicans to completely shut down bridges.”

Elsa, a Guatemalan living in Southern Mexico, knew something was wrong. Her husband began traveling a lot without explanation, and physically abusing her and their two kids. When she eventually figured out that he’d gone to work for a cartel, … Read More


Will Matt Rinaldi Pay for Calling ICE on Latino Protesters?

The North Texas Republican has made enemies during his time in the Freedom Caucus, including police unions and his GOP predecessor. Democrats look to capitalize in November.

On the final day of last year’s legislative session, hundreds of mostly Hispanic protesters filed into the Capitol gallery overlooking the Texas House floor. Dressed all in red, they draped large banners over the gallery railing and drowned out the … Read More


The Border Patrol Serial Killer Is Part of a Long, Troubled History

A rash of violent crimes by Border Patrol agents in the Laredo area is nothing new for the agency sometimes dubbed the "green monster."

On Monday, five weeks into her official tenure as chief of Border Patrol, Carla Provost traveled from Washington, D.C., to Laredo to discuss a confessed serial killer within her ranks. Juan David Ortiz, a 10-year Border Patrol veteran and supervisor … Read More

waco, sex assault, civil rights, undocumented
Criminal Justice

Waco Immigrant Mom Sues Private Prison Corporation over Alleged Sexual Abuse

A civil suit calls for Estela Fajardo to be paid between $200,000 and $1 million for alleged mistreatment at the Jack Harwell Detention Center.

Estela Fajardo, an immigrant mom and business owner, is suing a private prison corporation and a prison guard over sexual abuse she alleges occurred at Waco’s Jack Harwell Detention Center over four months beginning late last year. Thanks to a … Read More


‘Landmark’ Wage Theft Conviction Overturned by Texas Appeals Court

The first conviction obtained under a 2011 state wage theft law has vanished. An El Paso construction worker won’t see a dime of what he’s owed.

Esteban Rangel just wanted justice. A 45-year-old from Ciudad Juárez, Rangel has worked construction in El Paso since he was 17. In that time, he’s seen scores of immigrant workers cheated by employers — always without consequence. “Workers who aren’t … Read More


How Texas Cops Turn Mental Health Crises into Deportations

Two recent cases in Central Texas illustrate how police aggression and the “sanctuary cities” ban have built a nasty pipeline to deportation.

Two recent cases in Central Texas illustrate how police aggression and the “sanctuary cities” ban have built a nasty pipeline to deportation. – by Gus Bova August 30, 2018 Janelie Rodriguez’s family had already decided: If she had another bad … Read More