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:


ICE Issues More Detainers in Texas, Withholds Crucial Data

In the past, ICE regularly wasted local resources by not following up on its own detainer requests. Now, that information is secret.

The use of immigration detainers — requests for jails to hold immigrants for an extra 48 hours so they can potentially be deported — has spiked in Texas since President Trump took office, according to data released last week by … Read More

paid sick leave, ken paxton, greg casar

Texas Attorney General Joins Legal Fight Against Paid Sick Days

The move throws state resources behind an attack on a policy that’s set to take effect in Austin in October and that could spread to Dallas and San Antonio.

On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a coalition of business lobbyists and temp agencies in the legal battle to rip guaranteed paid sick days away from workers in the state’s capital. In Monday’s court filing, Paxton seeks to … Read More

dsa, womens march

Red State: Does Socialism Have a Future in Texas?

Democratic Socialists of America members are pushing progressive local policies, organizing disaster relief and running Sanders-style candidates — all in the GOP’s top stronghold.

Democratic Socialists of America members are pushing progressive local policies, organizing disaster relief and running Sanders-style candidates — all in the GOP’s top stronghold. by Gus Bova @bova_gus April 30, 2018 In late January on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, … Read More

border, abbott, national guard

Parsing Governor Abbott’s National Guard Charade

The deployment of troops to the Texas-Mexico border has been a made-for-TV event heavy on posturing and light on justification.

It started with a pair of helicopters taking off last Friday from an airstrip in Austin. On board was the first handful of Texas National Guard troops bound for the Texas-Mexico border, a few hundred miles south. The Texas Military … Read More

trump, march

Who Are the People Still Marching for Trump in Texas?

At a march in Austin, an odd coalition of out-of-staters, white supremacists and the ordinary supporters who maintain his GOP approval ratings.

More than a year into Donald Trump’s scandal-plagued tenure, what sort of person would show up to march in the streets in support of the president? On a Saturday in early March in deep-blue Austin, the answer was a menagerie … Read More


State’s SB 4 Complaint System Filled with Rants of ‘Illegals’ and ‘Thugs’

Lawmakers and attorneys challenging the “sanctuary cities” ban say the complaints show the law has inflamed anti-immigrant prejudice and wasted taxpayer dollars.

Ever since Texas’s “sanctuary cities” ban was first proposed in late 2016, the measure’s Republican backers have painted it as a public safety measure targeting criminals — without racist or anti-immigrant intent. But records obtained by the Observer reveal that … Read More

austin bombings, shaun king, ken paxton
Texas Legislature

How Ken Paxton, Twitter Celebs and National Media Botched Coverage of the Austin Bombings

As details about the bomber continue to emerge, it’s worth examining who kept us grounded in facts during the explosive saga, and who led us astray.

Mark Conditt, suspect in the series of bombings that rocked Texas’ Capital city over the last few weeks, is dead. The 23-year-old’s alleged campaign included at least six explosions that killed two and wounded five. His death — self-inflicted by … Read More

dsa, bernie, timothy faust

Medicare for Y’all: Meet the Socialist Metalhead Stumping for Single-Payer

Timothy Faust is touring the country promoting health care reform with a mix of impassioned f-bombs and unrepentant eggheadedness.

Timothy Faust, a 29-year-old socialist metalhead, isn’t your typical health care policy wonk. Sporting shoulder-length hair, a bandana and a Lone Star flag tattoo on his arm, Faust is neither a medical professional, a lawmaker nor an academic. But the … Read More