Reynaldo Leaños Jr. / Texas Public Radio | KERA News

Reynaldo Leaños Jr. / Texas Public Radio

Reynaldo Leanos Jr. covers immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border for Texas Public Radio.

Prior to joining Texas Public Radio, Reynaldo was a freelance journalist in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas and in New York City. His work has appeared in Public Radio International’s The World and Global Nation, NBC News, NPR’s Latino USA, KUT’s Texas Standard and KUT.

He has an undergraduate degree from Texas State University, where he studied journalism and international studies. Leanos also has a master’s degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where he specialized in international reporting.

The future of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, has been uncertain ever since President Trump took office.

Thousands gathered in Brownsville on Saturday to celebrate Charro Days, a multi-day annual event that commemorated the relationship between the border city and Matamoros, its sister city in Mexico.

Drag queens from throughout Texas' Rio Grande Valley gathered last weekend in Brownsville to protest further construction of the border wall and bring attention to LGBTQ migrants who have been detained or are seeking asylum.

In a public park, a performer who goes by Beatrix Lestrange did not have to struggle to catch the attention of protesters gathered for the No Border Wall Protest Drag Show. Lestrange, whose real name is Jose Colon-Uvalles, wore a multicolored dress, a red wig, black pumps and a choker with studs.

Beatrix Lestrange stood before a crowd of protestors near in a Brownsville park, ready to fire them up and ignite this demonstration against the border wall project. Catching their attention was not a problem. Lestrange wore a multicolored dress, a red wig, black pumps and a choker with studs.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has confirmed a 45-year-old Mexican national died Monday morning while in their custody.

Veronica G. Cardenas / Texas Public Radio

Editor's note: KERA radio will air a statewide call-in special from Texas Public Radio on Monday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. It's called "The Reality At The Border" and features voices from the Texas-Mexico border in the wake of President Trump's national emergency declaration. Listen here or on 90.1 FM.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

President Trump's emergency declaration will potentially free up over $6 billion to build hundreds more miles of barriers along the Southern border. One of the places prioritized for construction is the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where the majority of illegal crossings now occur. Residents there have strong views about the barrier, both pro and con.

Tuesday night, President Trump stands before a joint session of Congress, assesses the state of the union and likely makes another case for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has said he'd be willing to shut the government down again if the funding doesn't materialize. 

But money has already been allocated for some border wall projects, including a 6-mile stretch of wall in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

The partial government shutdown is entering its third week and it’s not helping the current backlog of immigration cases across the country.

 


The Trump administration deployed 2,800 troops to the Texas-Mexico border in October to confront a migrant caravan moving north from Central America. And by December, most of those soldiers were sent home, but border cities like McAllen are still dealing with the aftermath of the military presence.