Posted: Jul 30, 2014 4:16 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2014 6:31 PM
EDINBURG - One Rio Grande Valley mayor says the increase in illegal immigrant crossings and the arrival of the National Guard to help deal with the influx is scaring away new businesses.
Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia is concerned and hopes his message will turn things around.
During a conference call with border mayors, Garcia said the illegal immigration surge is having an impact on potential businesses.
He told the media that the deployment of the National Guard will "demonize" Edinburg's local economy and the rest of the Valley.
In fact, he says new companies in the process of moving in to his city are having second thoughts.
The Valley is considered one of the fastest growing regions in the nation.
Edinburg is among the cities seeing a significant increase in development and the mayor says he wants it to stay that way.
Garcia says that's why it's important they keep the government from sending 1,000 National Guard troops to South Texas to help with the influx of illegal immigrants.
"When you bring in the military, it's because things are a disaster," Garcia said. "That is what is going to make our area look like this is the last straw. The military is not trained to enforce laws.
In fact, Garcia says two large companies committed to building in Edinburg are backing down because of the immigration issue and deployment of the National Guard.
He says they have the potential of pumping up to $10 million a year in the local economy.
His message to them is, there's no crisis; it's simply a situation everyone is trying to deal with.
Garcia says the key is to educate businesses.
"We need educate the rest of the United States We're just fine here," Garcia said. "You know we've got a situation we're dealing with. We don't have more diseases, we don't have more crime, we're a great place to invest."
He hopes they will change their minds.
Garcia says the $12 million allocated for the National Guard each month would be better used for local law enforcement.
The money could got to train the officers to deal with the influx of immigrants and it could go for overtime.
Garcia says he's concerned more new businesses considering Edinburg or Valley will be scared away. He recently met with folks from China looking for a place to locate.
So far nothing has developed.