Gus Bova

Gus Bova writes about the Texas-Mexico border, immigration, labor, politics, and occasionally other topics. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @gusbova

In this Feb. 20, 2019, photo a worker carries interior doors to install in a just completed new home in north Dallas. On Wednesday, March 13, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in January. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Construction Workers Labor on, Vulnerable and ‘Essential’

While white collar professionals work remotely, and laid-off service workers seek unemployment, construction laborers are still reporting to job sites.

On Wednesday morning, as America’s COVID-19 death count neared 5,000 and workers flooded state agencies with a record-shattering deluge of unemployment claims, business carried on as usual at the site of a future soccer stadium in North Austin.  Dozens of … Read More

Human Rights

COVID-19 Reveals the Urgent Need to House the Homeless

As state and local governments scramble to provide the homeless access to rooms in order to save them (and us) from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s worth keeping one eye on the future. 

For weeks, advocates and news outlets have been sounding the alarm: The homeless are profoundly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease is a new and urgent problem that demands emergency solutions, but the crisis should also etch into our … Read More

Health Care

The COVID-19 Crisis Points the Way Toward a Better Texas

Once the virus passes, there's no reason to let the powerful return peacefully to business as usual.

The time has come for progressives to exploit a crisis for political gain.  As the novel coronavirus sweeps across America, it isn’t tanking an otherwise healthy country; it’s exposing our society for the wobbly tower of inequity and brutishness it … Read More

paid sick leave
Texas Politics

With Paid Leave Policies, Texas Cities Tried to Prepare for Coronavirus

Too many Texas workers can’t stay home when they’re sick. Two years ago, a movement tried to change that.

As the coronavirus spread across the nation late last week, U.S. Senator John Cornyn had some simple advice: “If you’re sick, stay home.”  Easy, right? Texas’ other Republican senator, Ted Cruz, has already heeded that counsel: He is now tweeting … Read More

Descendants of those buried in the Eli Jackson Cemetery visit the graveyard in November. Activists have since cleared the cemetery of grass and weeds.

Trump’s Wall May Have to Avoid Multiple Historic Cemeteries

In a bid to protect a high-profile South Texas graveyard, Congress appears to have shielded other notable cemeteries too.

The Texas-Mexico border is not a blank slate for the projection of campaign promises. It’s a real place where some 2.5 million Texans live, love, and bury their dead.  In December, Congress passed a funding bill that included $1.375 billion … Read More

Bernie Sanders speaking at a campaign rally in El Paso.
Texas Politics

A Democratic Socialist Damn Near Won the Texas Primary

It took a small army of politicians and pundits to stave Bernie Sanders off.

Let’s take a step back.  Despite all the talk and portents of a Democratic Spring, Texas remains a red state. Just ask anyone who’s run statewide since Forrest Gump was a hot new film. The common wisdom—as every two-bit pundit … Read More

Eddie Lucio Jr.
Texas Politics

State Senator Eddie Lucio Is Headed to a Runoff

The Texas Senate’s most conservative Democrat may not be invincible.

In Brownsville, a Goliath has stumbled. After 29 years in the Texas Senate, Eddie Lucio—the upper chamber’s most conservative Democrat—has been pushed into a runoff. Facing two opponents in his first serious challenge since 1992, the 74-year-old Lucio fell just … Read More

Five striking workers outside the ASARCO copper refinery in Amarillo. From left to right: Thaland Roberts, Pat Montaño, Zack Roberts, Jerry Andrews, Tannen Andrews.

In Amarillo, Copper Workers’ Strike Enters Fourth Month with No End in Sight

Laborers in the Republican-dominated Texas Panhandle find themselves in a protracted fight with one of the world’s largest copper producers.

It’s a February evening in the Texas Panhandle, and it’s cold as hell. Five men stand on the shoulder of Highway 136 northeast of Amarillo, huddled around a fire in a 55-gallon oil drum. Patches of snow linger from a … Read More


A Radical Proposal Calls for a Moratorium on Deportations

The Migrant Justice Platform also offers a simple solution to address the tension between native-born and foreign workers: Protect immigrants’ right to organize.

Immigrant advocates are accustomed to losing. From the failure of comprehensive immigration reform to the construction of hundreds of miles of border wall, the pro-immigrant movement has been let down by national Democrats and moderate Republicans over and over. You … Read More