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      Despite reports, officials say Roma is thriving not dying

      Despite claims that residents are fleeing the City of Roma because of spillover violence from Mexico, city officials tell Action 4 News the city is in fact growing.

      The evidence of growth can be seen throughout the city, from new businesses to new homes.

      Roma is at a 90 percent capacity as far as housing and we are desperately encouraging developers to develop more subdivisions, Roma Mayor Freddy Guerra said.

      The most recent demographic data shows that Roma TMs population is decreasing sitting at about 10,000 residents. But Mayor Guerra said the population is actually closer to 13,000.

      It TMs completely opposite of the allegations that Roma is a dying community, Guerra said. We are thriving, we are growing and we just don TMt have enough space to grow.

      The city recently got a name when a local media outlet reported drug violence has caused many to abandon their homes, something officials say isn TMt true.

      They say the only place with abandoned homes in the city are historic homes, which have been abandoned for decades.

      Roma Police Chief Jose Garcia admits the city does experience border crimes like drug trafficking and human smuggling.

      We identify with other communities that have the same problem all over the border, Chief Garcia said.

      He points to uniform crime reporting (UCR) statistics that show a steady decrease in violent crimes.

      As far as spillover violence, I can honestly say that we don TMt have that here in Roma, Chief Garcia said.

      Residents said they are offended by allegations that the city is failing because of violence across the border.

      Do we have violence across the border yes we do, but it TMs there, municipal judge Ricardo Perez said. People live up and down both sides of the river, they live there because they are comfortable, because they feel safe.