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The country’s southern border will close to all nonessential travel and trade in an effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Trump administration announced Friday morning. Read more»

Migrants camp at the base of Paso del Norte International Bridge in Ciudad Juárez.

It was business as usual Monday on the Migrant Protection Protocols docket in federal immigration courts, and groups that work in them are raising concerns about the risk to migrants and court staff. Read more»

Border Patrol officer Juan David Ortiz, accused of murdering four people and abducting a fifth.

Juan David Ortiz, an intelligence supervisor for the Border Patrol, was arrested in the pre-dawn hours Sept. 15 after local and state law enforcement say he allegedly murdered four Laredo-area sex workers. Read more»

Construction site on the Mexico side of the new Brownsville rail bridge.

After more than a year of wrangling between local leaders and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over who should pay to move an X-ray machine, the first new rail bridge in more than a century connecting Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley is expected to open in February. Read more»

An international bridge connecting Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

Nine months into a federal pilot program created to reduce wait times at international ports of entry, operators of bridges on the Texas-Mexico border say it appears to be accomplishing that goal. But they also say it’s difficult to measure whether cars, trucks and pedestrians are moving faster across the border. Read more»

Mexican communal militia members keep guard in Michoacan state.

Armed residents are taking on the feared Zetas cartel in Tamaulipas state. One desperate town’s mayor applauds them. The vigilantes are rising after the Mexican government failed to stop the country from becoming a world kidnap capital, with more than 1,600 reported abductions in 2013. There have been more than 70,000 cartel-related killings since 2006. Read more»

A bridge to Mexico that is near the busy downtown Laredo shopping area is shown on Nov. 5, 2011.

Many residents of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, have reacted with silence to the death of a former mayor, who was allegedly kidnapped. It’s yet another signal that while violence has ebbed in the city, a climate of fear still exists. Read more»

New Federal Inspection Station encompassing Mexican and US Customs at Laredo International Airport, Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

Call it one of the most heralded binational agreements between the United States and Mexico you have probably never heard of. For more than a year, a Mexican customs inspection station has been open at the Laredo International Airport, the only airport in the U.S. where Mexican agents preclear cargo headed south of the border. Read more»

Two women carry goods as they walk to the Paso del Norte International Bridge between the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez border on Jan. 10, 2014, in El Paso.

As part of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s economic reforms in Mexico, the federal value-added tax in regions within about 12.5 miles of the border was raised this year to 16 percent from 11 percent, matching the rest of the country. As a result, economists and local government officials in Texas are eyeing millions in additional dollars being spent by Mexican residents who are willing to cross the Rio Grande to save on items from toilet paper to electronics. Read more»

The edge of Texas at the Rio Grande near Boquillas Canyon

When the Rio Grande is swollen with rain, as it was recently in Laredo, it’s hard to tell that more than 5 million gallons of raw sewage spill into its waters every day. But kayak through the little creeks on the side of the river bordering Mexico, and the odor is unmistakable. Read more»

Former Webb County, Tex., Sheriff Rick Flores was ousted in 2008 by Martin Cuellar, a former DPS lieutenant and brother of Congressman Henry Cuellar. After a brief stint in Arizona, Flores is back — seeking to reclaim the seat as an independent. Read more»

Austin, the City of Laredo and Dallas County are expressing dismay over Arizona's SB 1070 in an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, which will begin hearing the case April 25. Read more» 1

There are signals that cartels south of the border aren’t looking at methamphetamine as merely a backup source for revenue anymore, analysts say. Read more»

Perfume displayed in the window of one of Vikram Datta's stores in downtown Laredo on Nov. 5.

A federal judge Friday sentenced a Texas perfume vendor with Arizona connections to nearly 20 years in prison for his involvement in a money-laundering scheme that prosecutors said aided the Sinaloa cartel. Read more»

A canine is used to sniff for narcotics at a Texas port of entry.

The Texas Border Coalition, a group of elected officials and private-sector leaders, released a scathing report last week that says no matter how much the government spends on border security, the current "ad hoc" strategy doesn’t hinder cartels from moving their products. Read more» 1

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