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

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

Books

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

Books

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

Border

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

Border

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

Border

Prying Eyes: Border Sheriffs to Use Iris-Scanning Tech in Push for ‘Virtual Wall’

New iris-scanning technology used along the U.S.-Mexico border could exacerbate racial profiling.

Before President Trump ever builds his “big, beautiful wall,” there could be a fortified virtual wall at the U.S.-Mexico border bristling with biometric technology. In the coming months, 31 counties along and near the border — including more than a … Read More

Border

Over the Wall

After a decade of living in the shadow of the border wall, people in the Rio Grande Valley are ready to move on. But Donald Trump has other plans.

Over the Wall After a decade of living in the shadow of the border wall, people in the Rio Grande Valley are ready to move on. But Donald Trump has other plans. “Well, OK, I’ll talk to you,” Eloisa Tamez … Read More

Border

After Five Years in Exile, Mexican Journalist Fears He’ll Never Be Able to Go Home

“Every time they murder journalists, my heart hurts because I think of their families,” Miguel Lopez Solana said.

One month ago today, award-winning Mexican journalist Javier Valdez was gunned down in front of RioDoce, the newspaper he’d helped found in 2003 in Culiacán, Sinaloa. Valdez is the sixth reporter to be killed this year in Mexico, where at … Read More

Border

Both Sides of the U.S.-Mexico Border Want to Renegotiate NAFTA

President Donald Trump isn't alone in his desire to renegotiate the trade agreement, but his motives are skewed, critics say.

President Donald J. Trump has made no secret of his dislike for NAFTA, which he’s often pilloried as the “worst deal ever” and a “total disaster.” Many Mexican factory workers would probably agree with Trump on one point: The North … Read More

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