Gus Bova

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

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

The first panels of levee border wall are seen at a construction site along the U.S.-Mexico border, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Donna, Texas. The new section, with 18-foot tall steel bollards atop a concrete wall, will stretch approximately 8 miles. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

2020: The Year Trump’s Wall Rises or Falls

The president may be incompetent and behind schedule, but he’s done damage already. And a lot more could be on the way.

2020 could be the year that Trump’s border wall finally rises or falls.  After nearly three years in office, Donald Trump is months behind schedule on his signature campaign promise—and he’s fending off criticism from both the right and left … Read More

Tents toward the back of the lot at the governor's camp.
Human Rights

Greg Abbott’s ‘Indefinite,’ Imperfect Homeless Camp

Scenes from Abbottville.

Just off Highway 183 in southeast Austin, twin rows of weathered, garage-like structures line a mostly vacant 7-acre paved lot. The property, a former maintenance yard for state-owned vehicles, lies between a mobile home park and a heavy equipment dealership. … Read More

Detainees walk toward a fenced recreation area during a media tour at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in Tacoma, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

A World Without Immigrant Prisons

Law professor and author César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández wants you to believe it’s possible.

“I imagine a future that looks more like United States history than United States present. I imagine a future in which immigration prisons do not exist.” Those provocative lines come from the conclusion of Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with … Read More


‘We Build the Wall’ Lands in South Texas, Vilifies Priest and Butterfly Refuge

Accusing a priest of supporting human trafficking and a nature center of butterfly-smuggling is one way to make friends when you’re the new kid in town.

A nonprofit dedicated to carrying out President Donald Trump’s vision of a border wall has arrived in South Texas. The group, We Build the Wall, plans to use private funds to erect a 3-mile stretch of 18-foot steel fence on … Read More

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is seen before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled "The Secure and Protect Act: a Legislative Fix to the Crisis at the Southwest Border," on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of Department of Homeland Security, testified. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

John Cornyn’s Weaselly Immigration Record

How to say one thing and do another.

On a June afternoon in 2007, U.S. Senator John Cornyn sounded eminently reasonable. In a floor speech, the rangy, snow-haired Texan said that of all the legislative issues he’d wrangled with during his four and a half years in the … Read More

Human Rights

Governor Launches Camp, Backs ‘Mega-Tent’ for Austin’s Homeless, Surprising Advocates

The governor and Austin’s business community announced plans for a temporary campsite and a future “mega-tent” shelter for the city's homeless community. They’re working separately from local homeless service providers.

After a months-long campaign of smearing Austin’s homeless as violent and disease-ridden, Governor Greg Abbott announced Thursday he was designating 5 acres of state-owned land in southeast Austin as an authorized homeless encampment. The same day, with Abbott’s support, the … Read More

William walks away from his campsite.
Human Rights

Governor Clears Out Camps. Austin’s Homeless Remain Homeless.

Greg Abbott began clearing out the camps under Austin’s highways Monday, over the objections of the homeless and their advocates.

On Monday afternoon, state troopers, officials from the state transportation department, and cleaning contractors descended on a homeless encampment beneath Texas State Highway 71 in South Austin. For the next four hours, the crew loaded crates and bags with cans, … Read More