Reynaldo Leaños Jr.

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.

In Matamoros, Mexico, more than 1,500 asylum-seekers are living in squalid conditions in a tent encampment and Mexican officials want them to move.

Officials recently took a page from the Trump administration and threatened to separate asylum-seekers from their children.

A Mexican child welfare official, holding a clipboard, addressed a crowd of asylum-seekers last week in a sprawling tent encampment near the Gateway International Bridge that connects Matamoros to Brownsville, Texas.

Officials in Matamoros, Mexico, are threatening to separate asylum seekers from their children.

Update: This story has been updated to reflect the location of the shelter. It is at a gymnasium at Alberca Chavez.

 

There are more than 1,500 migrants living in squalid conditions on the streets in Matamoros, Mexico. They’re forced to wait there for their day in U.S. immigration court under the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy.

 

  

 

Julián Castro, a Democratic presidential candidate, visited asylum seekers in Matamoros, Mexico, on Monday.


Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro knew he had to do something when he heard what was happening to LGBTQ and disabled asylum-seekers at the border.

To stem the flow of migrants across the southern border, the Trump administration is sending tens of thousands of asylum-seekers back to Mexico to await their day in U.S. immigration court — including some pregnant women.

It's back-to-school time on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and in the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, migrant children are attending a different kind of classroom.

Volunteers have created a pop-up school on a downtown sidewalk in hopes of giving the kids some sense of stability.

"One, two, three, four ..." Tito, an asylum-seeker from Cuba, counts in Spanish in front of a group of children attending the sidewalk school recently.

He fled his native Cuba because he feared being persecuted for being gay, and he asked that we not use his last name.

More than 30,000 asylum seeking migrants have been returned to Mexico to await their day in immigration court — a process that can take months. This is part of the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy. The program says vulnerable populations may be excluded from the program, but many migrants who are considered vulnerable populations, including LGBTQ asylum seekers, are still being sent back to Mexico.


U.S. officials have sent back to Mexico more than 30,000 asylum-seeking migrants to wait for their immigration court dates. This is part of the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico program. Pregnant women are among some of the people sent back. But one attorney from the Rio Grande Valley pushed back at the policy. She tried to get her client paroled and back into Texas.


Native American activists from across the country came to the Rio Grande Valley on Saturday to protest the treatment of migrants at the U.S. border, including children detention and family separation.


Vice President Mike Pence and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee visited a tent-like temporary detention facility in Donna and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Station in McAllen Friday.

The same day, groups across the country scheduled vigils to protest conditions at migrant detention facilities.

Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress will visit the Rio Grande Valley later this week.

U.S. Border Patrol agents have located four bodies by the Rio Grande in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, near the U.S. border with Mexico. Three of the deceased were children — one toddler and two infants — and the other was a 20-year-old woman.

"It's an incredibly heartbreaking situation, which seems to happen far too often," said Special Agent in Charge Michelle Lee of the San Antonio FBI office.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the death of a migrant minor at the Weslaco Border Patrol station.

Giant tent structures have been erected in Texas to serve as short-term detention facilities to process a huge influx of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The facilities are open Friday in El Paso, Texas, and in the state's Rio Grande Valley next to the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge.

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.