Nogales residents talk razor wire ahead of president’s rally in El Paso

Nogales residents talk razor wire ahead of president’s rally in El Paso

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - While the President of the United States prepares for a rally in El Paso, Texas, some folks living in another border town already know what to expect.

Manuel Quijada doesn't listen to the rhetoric out of Washington D.C. He doesn't pay much attention either to the razor wire that was installed in the border fence literally across the street from his home.

Quijada's seen plenty in the 32 years he's lived there. He's witnessed some jumpers climb the fence and take off in less than 15 seconds. Despite the occasional sense of criminal activity, Quijada has always felt safe.

“No problems with anyone...police, immigration, no one," he said. "Everything’s okay”

Okay for him, but Quijada does worry about future generations. He figures, regardless of an international border, Nogales has petty crime and drug offenders like any small town.

“The boys who walk the streets for work, they’re after the easy money," he said. "It’s not easy. It’s dangerous.”

All the images and news of additional concertina wire is dangerous for business, according to Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority Chairman Guillermo Valencia.

“It puts fears in people’s minds, and that’s not a good take for our community,” he said. Valencia said the money and attention paid to the wall would be better spent in classrooms, the port or even more manpower to bulk up border security. He worries the look of all the wire makes for an unwelcoming message, similar to what the state experienced following the passage of SB 1070.

He doesn't have the totals for pedestrian crossings into Nogales, but Valencia is sure all of Arizona will experience less international shoppers if nothing changes.

“People in Pima county will feel it, Maricopa will feel it,” he said. "It’s not just a Santa Cruz county problem.”

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