Life along the border for Valley residents

Joel Saenz owns Sue-Ann TMs Western Wear in La Joya. Despite his home being known for human and drug smuggling, Joel said he would not even know what was going on unless he heard it somewhere else.

"According to the media it's bad...but we haven't seen it in person," said Saenz.

Saenz said, despite the activity, he feels safe.

"I'm not worried about it, said Saenz.

Another person not worried about the violence in Mexico spilling over, McAllen TMs mayor.

What he does worry about is the reputation the Valley is gaining for being unsafe.

"When we're trying to recruit companies or corporations to this area, to create jobs, they always ask the question ~why would we want to go to a violent place?

Cortez said there is some truth to what is being reported. He said there is a problem with human and drug smuggling.

But said these problems are no different than other growing cities in the nation.

The only difference, he said, the Valley TMs close proximity to the border might lead to some embellishments.

"I think that's where people need to recognize the difference, said Cortez. I think we have a better chance of solving those problems if all cities in the Valley work together to find a solution."