Frequent crossers of U.S.-Mexico border fret over threatened shutdown

Frequent crossers of U.S.-Mexico border fret over threatened shutdown
  • Clock-gray 04:29
  • calendar-gray 31 March 2019

Workers and students who frequently cross the U.S. border with Mexico worried over the weekend about the impact on their lives if President Donald Trump follows through on a threat to shut entry points used by hundreds of thousands of people every day, ONAreports citing Reuters.

Faced with a surge of asylum seekers from Central American countries who travel through Mexico, Trump said on Friday there was a “good likelihood” he would close the border this coming week if Mexico does not stop unauthorized immigrants from reaching the United States.

Shutting the southern frontier completely would disrupt billions of dollars in trade and millions of legal border crossings, including those made by U.S. citizen Andrea Torres.

The 22-year-old student spends weekdays with her aunt in El Paso, where she attends the local campus of the University of Texas, and weekends with her mother in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

On the border bridge linking the two cities, so many students cross every day that authorities have assigned them their own pedestrian lane.

“Right now, it’s better for me to stay in El Paso because I need to finish school,” Torres, who is studying art history, said on Friday as she headed to Juarez for the weekend.

That would mean missing her mom. “It would be really hard,” Torres said. “I’m really close to her.”

Gerardo Pozas, a 38-year-old mechanic, moved to El Paso from Juarez in 1997 to attend high school and later became a U.S. citizen. He has always retained strong ties with his birthplace. He worried what he would do if Trump closed the border.

“My family, my church and my girlfriend are (in Juarez). I wouldn’t be able to go,” Pozas said. “But if I stay there, in Ciudad Juarez, I wouldn’t be able to come to my house.”

Faiq Mahmudov

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