Valley's economy stands to be affected if the border is closed
As the partial government shutdown continues, President Trump has now threatened to shut down the Southern border.
In a tweet on Friday morning, the president says, "we build a wall or...we close the Southern border."
According to Trump, the reason he is threatening to shut down the border is because Democrats won’t approve the funds to finish the rest of the border wall. However, the closing of the border could immensely impact the Valley.
"If you are saying you are going to shut down the border, you are talking about international bridges and we own two of them so that is 10 or 12 million dollars a year," says McAllen Mayor, Jim Darling.
Mayor Darling says, President Trump’s threats and rhetoric have hurt McAllen in the past, He says the city had two years of decreased sales tax due to resentment in Mexico and not wanting to shop in McAllen.
Congressman Henry Cuellar tells CBS 4 that not only would closing the border hurt the Rio Grande Valley, but every city along the 2,000 miles stretch.
"Every day you are talking about 1.3, 1.5 billions of dollars of trade between the US and Mexico, that is over a million dollars. A million dollars every single minute of trade between the US and Mexico," said Cuellar in a phone interview.
Luis Villarreal, like many, crosses the border on a daily basis to get to work. He works at a maquila plant in McAllen, and crosses the border daily from Reynosa.
"All of our material comes from this side of the border [US], to get worked back there [Mexico] and it comes back to here [US],” says Villarreal.
Villarreal explains closing the border would affect the trade his company does with the US, Mexico and
Mayor Darling says, McAllen and the rest of the valley is flourishing and Washington needs to realize that.
"I wish that Washington would get realistic and not use us as a political football. The problem is not the border, the problem is in Washington D.C," says Darling.
According to Representative Cuellar, Democrats hope to pass a bill when they take majority on January 3rd, to end the government shutdown.