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:


The Eyes Above Texas

by and | Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 12:01 pm CST

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


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


‘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


Santa Ana’s Last Stand?

Wildlife biologist Ken Merritt lost his job trying to save the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge a decade ago. Now the “jewel” of the national wildlife refuge system is under threat again.

Ken Merritt, 65, knows what it’s like to stand between a threatened wildlife habitat and a border wall. In 2007, the Bush administration wanted to construct an 18-foot wall through the federally protected wildlife refuges in the lower Rio Grande … Read More


The Rising Storm

A new book on climate and migration predicts a future of "guards, guns and gates" unless we act soon.

In Todd Miller’s prescient new book, Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security, the Tucson journalist and author travels the globe to document how climate disasters are uprooting people from their homes. Miller visits the Philippines in the … Read More


Stalking Horse

Inside a rookie FBI agent’s quest to take down a brutal drug cartel’s American horse-racing empire.

Stalking Horse Inside a rookie FBI agent’s quest to take down a brutal drug cartel’s American horse-racing empire. In her new book, Bloodlines: The True Story of a Drug Cartel, the FBI, and the Battle for a Horse-Racing Dynasty, staff writer … Read More


National Butterfly Center Founder: Trump’s Border Wall Prep ‘Trampling on Private Property Rights’

Staff discovered workers with chainsaws on the center's private sanctuary clearing the way for Trump’s border wall in South Texas.

On July 20, Jeffrey Glassberg discovered that the Trump administration planned to build a wall through the National Butterfly Center in South Texas — a 100-acre sanctuary for the monarch butterfly and other threatened species. The founder of the center … Read More


Trump Administration Preparing Texas Wildlife Refuge for First Border Wall Segment

If the levee wall is constructed, it will essentially destroy the refuge, a federal official told the Observer.

For at least six months, private contractors and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have been quietly preparing to build the first piece of President Trump’s border wall through the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in South Texas. The federally … Read More