Melissa del Bosque

Melissa del Bosque joined the Texas Observer staff in 2008. She specializes in reporting on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. Her work has been featured in various national and international media outlets, including the Guardian, PBS, NPR and Marie Claire. Melissa is a 2016-17 Lannan Fellow at The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. You can contact her at [email protected]

By Melissa del Bosque:

Border

After Observer Story, Congressman Questions DEA’s Secretive Surveillance Partnership with Texas National Guard

“I want to know why a federal law enforcement agency is working with a military unit,” Congressman Joaquin Castro said in an interview.

Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro is asking the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to explain its role in the use of controversial cellphone spying devices on surveillance aircraft owned by the Texas National Guard, after the Observer first reported on the partnership … Read More

Border

After Observer Report, Watchdog Requests Investigation into Border Wall Gag Order

“Whistleblowers are the nation’s first line of defense,” says watchdog group.

A nonprofit watchdog group is demanding an investigation into whether U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials violated federal law by instructing federal employees and contractors not to speak to the press or public about the construction of Trump’s border … Read More

Border

The Documents Behind Trump’s Texas Border Wall Plans

The records give the most in-depth picture to date of where and how the Trump administration plans to build the president’s “big, beautiful wall.”

Last week the Observer revealed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers documents that show where the Trump administration plans to build 33 miles of border wall in South Texas. Churches, cemeteries, hundreds of homeowners, retirees at an RV park and three … Read More

Border

Human Rights Lawyer on How Government is Complicit in Mexico’s Drug War

Through corruption and intimidation, many Coahuila state authorities coordinated with the Zetas and let them operate with impunity.

More than a decade into a violent conflict that seems nowhere near being resolved, Mexico is a country haunted by the missing. The Mexican government estimates that more than 32,000 people have disappeared in the last decade — a statistic … Read More

Border

Records Show Where Trump Plans to Build Texas Border Wall

The 15 segments of wall would tear through three wildlife areas in the Rio Grande Valley and put more homes and other structures in jeopardy than previously known, the documents show.

Documents obtained by the Observer offer new insights into the Trump administration’s plans for a border wall in portions of the Rio Grande Valley. A map produced in May by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows where the administration … Read More

Border

Documents: Texas National Guard Installed Cellphone Spying Devices on Surveillance Planes

“There are really big privacy and constitutional due-process concerns with the use of this technology,” a state lawmaker said.

The Texas National Guard last year spent more than $373,000 to install controversial cellphone eavesdropping devices in secretive surveillance aircraft.   Maryland-based Digital Receiver Technology Inc., or DRT, installed two of its DRT 1301C “portable receiver systems” in National Guard … Read More

immigrants, migrants, refugees
Political Intelligence, Political Intelligence, The Issue

The Olive-Green Ceiling: Why Are So Few Women in the Border Patrol?

Women make up less than 5 percent of the Border Patrol's workforce, dead last among federal law enforcement agencies.

During his first week in office, one of President Trump’s first moves was to sign an executive order calling for the hiring of 5,000 more Border Patrol agents. But not only has Congress so far declined to fund the new … Read More

Border

National Butterfly Center to Sue Over Construction of Trump’s Border Wall

In a letter sent Wednesday, the center alleges that the Department of Homeland Security has violated private property rights and the Endangered Species Act.

Eugenio del Bosque Gomez/Flickr: Gage Skidmore The National Butterfly Center in South Texas sent a certified letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Wednesday stating its intent to sue over the construction of a border wall on its private … Read More

Border

‘Los Zetas Inc.’ Author on Why Mexico’s Drug War Isn’t About Drugs

The Zetas and groups like them have morphed into transnational corporations with interests in everything from coal mining and the extraction of oil and gas to cornering the market on avocados.

For more than a decade, Mexico has been embroiled in a drug war that has resulted in unprecedented violence. In 2016 alone, nearly 23,000 homicides were reported across the country — more than in any nation other than Syria. While … Read More

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