Juan Castillo

Viewpoints editor

Viewpoints Editor Juan Castillo has been writing and editing for Texas newspapers and radio for more than 30 years. He has reported on race, minorities, immigration and border security, the census, religion and other topics. More recently, his writing for the American-Statesman has focused on demographic transformations in Austin and beyond. Previously, Castillo was the Statesman’s nation and world editor. In  2002 and 2003, he was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. Earlier this year he was honored for excellence in feature writing by the national Society for Features Journalism.

Latest from Juan Castillo

Latinos had income gains, but not all the news is rosy
 Bladimira Martinez takes notes while her daughter and business associate, Yessenia Ramirez, conducts business in Pflugerville
               last month. Martinez recently started her own cleaning company after years of working for others at or near minimum wage.
               NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN The headlines have been heartening...

Posted: 9 days ago

Bladimira Martinez takes notes while her daughter and business associate, Yessenia Ramirez, conducts business in Pflugerville last month. Martinez recently started her own cleaning company after years of working for others at or near minimum wage. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN The headlines have been heartening...
Castillo: The beat goes on at ACL — with changes after Vegas carnage
 Time was when the rockin’ rite of passage known here simply as ACL brought with it mundane concerns, like getting your hands on a pricey ticket, fighting choked traffic to get there, and putting up with extreme heat or dust once you got in. Braving the elements took on new meaning in 2009, when heavy rain turned Dillo Dirt on the Zilker...

Posted: 17 days ago

Time was when the rockin’ rite of passage known here simply as ACL brought with it mundane concerns, like getting your hands on a pricey ticket, fighting choked traffic to get there, and putting up with extreme heat or dust once you got in. Braving the elements took on new meaning in 2009, when heavy rain turned Dillo Dirt on the Zilker...
Castillo: Bastrop revives Texas’ undertold story of ‘Mexican’ schools
 Texas didn’t always treat all schoolchildren as equals. It treated some differently based on the color of their skin or the language they spoke. The justice system would make things right, but it’s a chapter in the historical saga of Texas that doesn’t get told as often as more romanticized ones. Draw your own conclusions...

3:44 PM Friday, Sep. 22, 2017

Texas didn’t always treat all schoolchildren as equals. It treated some differently based on the color of their skin or the language they spoke. The justice system would make things right, but it’s a chapter in the historical saga of Texas that doesn’t get told as often as more romanticized ones. Draw your own conclusions...
Castillo: A quiet vigilance against hate takes on an added urgency
 The racially-fueled violence that engulfed Charlottesville, Va., and transfixed the nation in August now is yesterday’s news. Such is the short shelf life of the 24-hour news cycle: One day we are riveted by incomprehensible images of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members marching on a college town, spitting racial epithets and anti-Semitic...

9:52 PM Friday, Sep. 15, 2017

The racially-fueled violence that engulfed Charlottesville, Va., and transfixed the nation in August now is yesterday’s news. Such is the short shelf life of the 24-hour news cycle: One day we are riveted by incomprehensible images of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members marching on a college town, spitting racial epithets and anti-Semitic...
Castillo: Using DACA youths as political pawn betrays America’s values
 So, this is what passes now for showing “great heart” in America. “We are going to show great heart,” President Trump assured the nation in February when asked about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “We are going to deal with DACA with heart.” More like heart-breaking. Trump unveiled...

5:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 09, 2017

So, this is what passes now for showing “great heart” in America. “We are going to show great heart,” President Trump assured the nation in February when asked about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “We are going to deal with DACA with heart.” More like heart-breaking. Trump unveiled...
Castillo: A border wall by any means remains Trump’s obsession
 President Trump’s obsession with a “big, beautiful wall” has reached new heights of absurdity. Once, he fumed with Mexico because our neighbor wouldn’t pay for his border wall, though he had promised as much — over and over and over again. Now, the president is steamed because the American taxpayer won&rsquo...

5:00 AM Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017

President Trump’s obsession with a “big, beautiful wall” has reached new heights of absurdity. Once, he fumed with Mexico because our neighbor wouldn’t pay for his border wall, though he had promised as much — over and over and over again. Now, the president is steamed because the American taxpayer won&rsquo...
Castillo: Trump calls out evil — but was the damage already done?
 Elections have real-life consequences. That is why every four years, we make decisions about who will lead our country by gleaning everything we can from the candidates’ words, their records and policy positions, and yes, sadly, even their tweets. Our votes affect every manner of our lives, our children’s lives and perhaps even...

4:23 PM Monday, Aug. 14, 2017

Elections have real-life consequences. That is why every four years, we make decisions about who will lead our country by gleaning everything we can from the candidates’ words, their records and policy positions, and yes, sadly, even their tweets. Our votes affect every manner of our lives, our children’s lives and perhaps even...
Castillo: Cornyn’s border plan less Trumpian, more Texas-friendly
 U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is chipping holes in President Trump’s vision of a massive border wall. A wall spanning the length of the U.S.-Mexico border is a signature piece of Trump’s domestic agenda. It’s of such magnitude to him politically that he fumed with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and pleaded with him...

4:37 PM Tuesday, Aug. 08, 2017

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is chipping holes in President Trump’s vision of a massive border wall. A wall spanning the length of the U.S.-Mexico border is a signature piece of Trump’s domestic agenda. It’s of such magnitude to him politically that he fumed with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and pleaded with him...
From Cornyn, a border security plan less Trumpian, more Texas-friendly
 Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn points to a poster with an image of barrier on the Texas-Mexico border as he announces his
               border security plan Thursday on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo) For President Trump, a border wall is a signature piece of his domestic agenda, of such magnitude to him politically that
            he fumed...

10:02 PM Friday, Aug. 04, 2017

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn points to a poster with an image of barrier on the Texas-Mexico border as he announces his border security plan Thursday on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo) For President Trump, a border wall is a signature piece of his domestic agenda, of such magnitude to him politically that he fumed...
Castillo: U.S. policy stole 8 lives in a truck. Why the dying won’t end
 Jammed into the back of a locked, pitch-black moving furnace without water or food, eight immigrants began a journey to what they thought would be a better life in America. Instead, inside that hellish trap they drew their final breaths. Two more would die in a San Antonio hospital. Dozens more were injured, and the city’s fire chief...

6:05 AM Friday, Jul. 28, 2017

Jammed into the back of a locked, pitch-black moving furnace without water or food, eight immigrants began a journey to what they thought would be a better life in America. Instead, inside that hellish trap they drew their final breaths. Two more would die in a San Antonio hospital. Dozens more were injured, and the city’s fire chief...
Castillo: Teachers deserve applause — and a raise plan with real funding
 At a spelling bee at Zavala Elementary School in McAllen long ago, I stood in front of our hushed fifth-grade classroom, all eyes on me. My stomach bounced around in my throat, but I was cocky, too. After all, I consistently scored in the top 1 percent nationally in spelling aptitude tests then. But a spelling bee was new territory for me...

5:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 15, 2017

At a spelling bee at Zavala Elementary School in McAllen long ago, I stood in front of our hushed fifth-grade classroom, all eyes on me. My stomach bounced around in my throat, but I was cocky, too. After all, I consistently scored in the top 1 percent nationally in spelling aptitude tests then. But a spelling bee was new territory for me...