Border Security Raising Concerns for Trade Merchants
PHARR - Border security and trade in the Rio Grande Valley are on the edge of change with the new administration.
The U.S. and Mexico have always had a complex relationship. As political tensions rise between, many still work to help keep the economy stable.
Mexican resident Hector Cardenas works for a trucking company in San Juan. He crosses the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge every day.
“We go in at 7 a.m. and we get out when we finish the job,” he said. “I only transfer and come and drop off merchandise, and go back to the company we work with.”
Cardenas said his profession is about more than trade.
“I like to drive and mostly it’s the job I have to help my family. I enjoy my job, but it can be stressful because of the long lines,” he said.
The Pharr International Bridge is the seventh busiest port in the nation. More than 40,000 drivers crossed it during January alone.
“Up to now, I haven’t had any issues. There have been some cases but it is secure,” Cardenas said.
A main topic for many senators across the state is border security. Senator John Cornyn and two others visited the Valley on Monday.
Cornyn said the state should not bear the burden of border security.
“What several of us have talked about here, in terms of restoring the public’s confidence, that the federal government is actually doing its job, and doesn’t require the state of Texas or state taxpayers to do what should be the federal government’s job,” he said.
Cornyn said a healthy economy starts with a strong border.
“Enforcing the law is not the end of the story; it’s the beginning of the story. It’s a precondition to letting us do the other things that are important, but at the same time not making mistakes that will damage what is really the best economy in the country right now,” he said.
Cardenas agreed the border needs to be secure so he can do the job of moving goods from Mexico to the U.S.
Cornyn added Congress is ready to respond to President Trump’s request to come up with a border security plan.