Trump’s Threats To Shut Down The Border Hurt The People Who Live Near It

Trump is creating chaos and uncertainty at the southern border as he purges his DHS leadership, removes Customs and Border Protection officers from ports of entry, and puts shutting down the border back on the table. As a result, border community economies have slowed and people who commute between the U.S. and Mexico have had to endure hours-long waits. The impact could even become far more widespread, as the effect of the border slow-down ripples across the country.


Trump’s decision to reduce CBP manning at ports of entry is severely impacting commerce at the border, with many afraid of the long-term impact of the slowdown.


Cronkite News: “‘It’s not just the threat of a shutdown,’ said Arizona Chamber of Commerce Glenn Hamer, on the Monday conference call. ‘It’s that right now, we are experiencing a slowdown, and we are experiencing a shutdown in certain services. This isn’t something that is a year out, this is something we are feeling on the ground today.’”


WFAA: “The flow of products [Mexican Intelligent Marketing President David] Benitez distributes is starting to slow, and he doesn’t think Texans realize what could be next. ‘If you want to drink Topo Chico, or if you want to drink Mexican Coke, if you want to eat Takis, if you want to eat Latino Factor cookies, If you want to drink Electrolit, and I can go on, go on, go on for hundreds of items.’ He sees the potential for less product on shelves, higher prices on those products, and, Benitez worries, eventually jobs could be in jeopardy.”


Some workers are concerned that the economic impact of the border slowdown will translate to less pay.


Supply Chain Dive: “Jaime Mejia, an El Paso warehouse worker for customs broker F.C. Felhaber, told Supply Chain Dive only about one-fifth of the typical number of trucks that traverse the border are able to cross from Mexico to the U.S., leading to significantly less product in the facility where he works. This is due to congestion caused by the reassignment of Customs and Border Protection staff on the border. If the retailers don’t receive the merchandise, the warehouse workers are not paid. ‘So all of these are cuts,’ Mejia said, ‘Not personnel cuts, but cuts in our hours — it affects us a lot.’”


San Diego Union-Tribune: “‘I never cross this late. It’s taking way too much time,’ said Rivera. Rivera said for those, like himself, who try to make as many trips across the border in any given day or week, the traffic slowdown was severely impacting business. ‘Normally, I cross about six times a week, but this week I could only cross three times because of the traffic,’ he said. ‘It’s affecting us a lot.’”


Small businesses owners who depend on customers from Mexico are feeling the pinch as fewer shoppers avoid the hours-long wait to cross the border.


Fox News: “Businesses in downtown Brownsville, which get the majority of its customers from Mexico, have already seen changes. ‘We’ve seen less people walking here because now they have to make a long line,’ said Aljandro Chapa, manager of JC Jewelry Custom Repair. Chapa said he and other employees have begun delivering jewelry to their clients in Mexico to avoid having them wait three to four hours on the bridge.”


Students who live in Mexico but study in the U.S. are having their studies disrupted by long wait times at the border.


Dallas News: “About 80 percent of the school’s 312 students live in Mexico, though many are U.S. citizens. Others crossed with I-20 student visas. Tuition is $500 monthly, though many qualify for scholarships, said Ernesto Moreno, the school’s principal… Now some students wake up at 3:45 a.m. to get to the international bridge line by 4:30 a.m. so they can get to classes on time. That’s the case for Alan Chung Ma, 16, born in Leon, Guanajuato, and now a Juarez resident. He wanted to join the swim team, but he can’t make it on time for training. By the time he crosses, he heads for classes that begin at 8:30 a.m.”