KRWG

Mallory Falk

Multimedia Reporter (Texas Public Radio stations)

Mallory Falk currently serves as a reporter for Texas public radio stations and her work continues to be heard on KRWG.  She was based here from June, 2018 through June, 2019 as a Report for America corps member. She covers a wide range of issues in the region, including immigration, education, healthcare, economic development, and the environment. Mallory previously served as education reporter at WWNO, New Orleans Public Radio, where her coverage won multiple awards. Her stories have aired on regional and national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, and Texas Standard.

When a Salvadoran woman grabbed her 4-year-old daughter and fled their home country in February, the coronavirus wasn't yet a global pandemic.

By the time they reached the U.S.-Mexico border a month later, that had changed. She crossed the Rio Grande, planning to ask for asylum. But Border Patrol agents took her and her daughter right back to Mexico, despite her pleas.

Copyright 2020 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

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When U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar delivers the Spanish-language rebuttal to President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday, she'll do so from a community health center in her hometown of El Paso, Texas.

The first-term Democrat was thrust into the spotlight last year, as her city became a testing ground for Trump administration immigration policies and the site of the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern U.S. history.

For several nights this month, searchlights have been illuminating the sky on the U.S.-Mexico border between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. They don't have anything to do with stepped-up border enforcement. Instead, they're part of a binational art installation that aims to connect people on both sides of the Rio Grande.

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The Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed in a shooting back in August reopens today. The store has been renovated, and a memorial is under construction at the site. Mallory Falk of member station KERA has this story.

Copyright 2019 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

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Earlier this month, Margie Reckard, 63, was gunned down along with 21 others in the El Paso, Texas, massacre that authorities believe was driven by racial hatred. Two weeks later, strangers amassed by the hundreds to honor Reckard and surround her widower, Antonio Basco.

On Monday, nearly 60,000 public school students in El Paso, Texas, will start the school year amid an air of mourning, fear and resilience.

The first day of school in El Paso's largest district comes more than a week after a mass shooting at a local Walmart left 22 people dead. According to a police affidavit, the suspect charged in the attack later said he had intentionally targeted "Mexicans."

In El Paso, emotions are still raw after a mass shooting at a Walmart left 22 people dead — many of them Mexican and Mexican-American.

Updated on Aug. 7 at 2 p.m. CST

Community members gathered for a vigil in El Paso on Monday night to honor the youngest victim of the mass shooting at a Walmart store on Saturday.

Mallory Falk / KRWG Public Media

A new elementary school is opening in Las Cruces this fall. Called Raíces del Saber Xinachtli Community School, the dual language charter school will teach students about indigenous culture.

 

 


Mallory Falk / KRWG Public Media

In the last year, a record number of families have arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum. Border Patrol says their holding cells are full. So they’ve started releasing some families directly to cities along or even hours from the border.

 

Cities like Las Cruces and Deming are sheltering hundreds of migrants a day, setting up cots everywhere from an empty airplane hangar to an old Army Reserve Center.

 


Mallory Falk / KRWG

A new, half-mile long section of border wall sits at the corner where New Mexico, Texas and Mexico meet. This is the first crowdfunded border barrier, built with private donations on private land. The team behind it recently put on a show for reporters, saying this is just the beginning.

 

 


Initial sections of fencing for a privately funded border wall were installed last weekend in Sunland Park, N.M., as the result of a crowdfunding effort that went live in December.

On Thursday, the leaders of the project showed off the nearly completed section of wall, running across rough terrain next to where the official border barrier ends. Project leaders said they have mapped out at least 10 other spots along the border where they could build more wall.

We Build The Wall

Construction has started on a new section of border wall in Sunland Park. This isn't a government project. This stretch of wall is privately funded, and it's being built on private land. Now, city officials are halting construction.


Mallory Falk / KRWG Public Media

Every year, the immigrant advocacy group Hope Border Institute releases a report documenting what it calls the militarization of the border in El Paso and southern New Mexico. Researchers observe immigration court hearings, interview detained migrants, and survey immigration lawyers; they collect data and report on new trends. But this year’s report had a slightly different focus.

 

 

KRWG Public Media

Water is a scarce resource in southern New Mexico. The Rio Grande often runs dry, forcing residents to pump fresh groundwater. But there’s another potential water source in the region: brackish groundwater. Researchers are studying how to transform this salty water into fresh, drinkable water - without breaking the bank or harming the environment.

 

KRWG Public Media

To state the obvious, our region is dry. There just isn’t a lot of water here, and the water that does exist is shared among multiple states and countries. New Mexico, Texas, and Chihuahua all rely on the same dwindling water sources. To share these water sources, communication is key.

 


Dr. Eugene Marciniak recently examined about a dozen patients at a Catholic retreat center in Las Cruces, N.M. He set up shop at a corner table in the cafeteria and called families over one by one: a mother with belly pain, a child with a low-grade fever, a teen girl with a cracked and possibly infected tooth. They had just been released from government custody and were staying at the center for a night or two before joining relatives in other parts of the United States.

Mallory Falk / KRWG

As a growing number of migrant families cross the U.S.-Mexico border, seeking asylum, immigration officials say their holding facilities are at capacity. Border Patrol has started releasing some families directly, instead of handing them over to be processed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This new policy took effect in Las Cruces last Friday. City officials say as of Wednesday afternoon, they’ve accepted more than 800 asylum seekers.

 


Mallory Falk / KRWG

Large numbers of migrant families continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Many arrive in need of medical care; some become sick while they’re held in government custody. In southern New Mexico, volunteer doctors and nurses are stepping up to treat these newly-arrived patients.

 


President Trump has backed off his threats to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border. But uncertainty and disruptions along the border have created anxiety for many residents.

Hundreds of Customs and Border Protection officials have been reassigned from their usual posts at ports of entry, to help with the migrant families crossing the border in growing numbers. That's led to longer and more unpredictable wait times at the international bridges, and mounting stress for everyone from business owners to university students.

Mallory Falk / KRWG

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham recently signed a bill supporting community schools. The idea is simple. Children can’t focus on academics if they’re hungry or dealing with trauma. So a community school offers wrap-around services, like counseling and a food pantry. There’s been a push to expand the model across New Mexico - including in Las Cruces, which is already home to one community school.

Joe Widmer / KRWG


Former Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke formally kicked off his presidential campaign in his hometown of El Paso over the weekend.

O’Rourke spoke to a raucous crowd downtown, just blocks away from the border with Mexico. He started by praising his hometown, saying El Paso represents America at its best.

“We are safe because we are a city of immigrants and asylum seekers,” O’Rourke said. “We have learned not to fear our differences, but to respect and embrace them.”

 

Mallory Falk / KRWG

The opioid epidemic has touched the entire country. That includes New Mexico, which has one of the nation’s highest rates of overdose deaths. Now some local healthcare providers are learning how to treat opioid addiction with medication.

 

 

 


Mallory Falk / KRWG

At a recent naturalization ceremony in Las Cruces, more than 200 local immigrants became U.S. citizens. After taking an oath of allegiance, several newly-minted citizens shared their stories with KRWG.

Mallory Falk / KRWG

When the Santa Fe Pacific Pipeline burst in southern New Mexico late last year, it wasn't the first time a pipeline ruptured in the state. Across the country, hundreds of pipelines transporting liquid and gas fail each year, sometimes causing significant damage and even claiming lives. So what is the process for regulating these pipelines?


Mallory Falk / KRWG

When a Kinder Morgan gasoline pipeline burst in southern New Mexico last December, more than 10,000 barrels of gas spilled into a drainage ditch. Cleanup efforts are still underway, and both ground and surface water are at risk.


Mallory Falk / KRWG

When a gasoline pipeline burst late last year in southern New Mexico, local officials wanted to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. But the county and state don’t have much authority over the line.


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