Border Patrol proposes adding razor wire next to border fence

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Nogales' mayor and city council are preparing a resolution against the latest attempts to change the fence between the Arizona border city and Mexico.

The Border Patrol is proposing placing concertina wire--razor wire--next to the border fence on the U.S. side.

Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino says he has been told by the Border Patrol that it's meant to keep people from jumping off the fence and hurting themselves.

Garino says several people attempted to cross into the U.S. illegally have broken their ankles or legs.

However, he says razor wire will only mean different injuries.

He says Mexico is Arizona's number one trading partner and the number two trading partner for the entire country.

The Nogales ports of entry are among the busiest in the nation, with billions of dollars in commerce crossing into the U.S.

Garino says, concertina wire would be an eyesore and another black eye on his city that depends heavily on shoppers and tourists who come across the border from Mexico.

He says Mexican tourists spend $7.3 million a day in Arizona.

The Border Patrol declined an on-camera interview, but sent this comment via email:

"Tucson Sector Border Patrol is considering a number of measures to deter illegal entries. These proposals are currently under review and no specifics are available at this time.

We are consulting with community leaders to evaluate the economic, environmental, political, and social implications our proposals may have on the communities we serve. As part of that process, we discussed some proposals with local leaders. All concerns and feedback are welcomed and will be included as part of the assessment process.

We will continue to work with the Nogales community toward our common goal of a safe and secure border environment that will ensure a high quality of life for Arizona's communities."

Mayor Garino says no one has spoken with him about the economic, environmental or other implications of the proposal.

He says he will have meetings with Border Patrol representatives in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, he says he and the Nogales City Council will vote on a resolution opposing the razor wire to be sure the Border Patrol knows their opinion.

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