Tough border stance may see ripple effect

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A report released by the University of Arizona 's Eller College of Management shows cross border trade and tourism remains healthy with some increases and a few decreases but on par for a good year.

But it takes a while for policy decisions to trickle into the economy and for the impact to be felt.

Art Benevidez met and married a woman from Mexico City last year.

They have been to Mexico City to visit her family four times since, but the last time, proved different.

"They told us if she went back to Mexico City she would not be able to come back into the United States," he said.

So they started work on getting a green card, which would have been the start on the road to citizenship.

"They told us it would be three and a half months," Benevidez said. "So far its been five and a half months."

He says he checks back with the Mexican Consulate to make sure her paperwork is up to date and whether there has been any progress. The wait has been extended now to nearly ten months "and it could be a year," he said.

He's afraid a traffic stop or accident could result in his wife being deported without him

"I love my wife and I want her to live here with me," he said. "I don't want to be separated from my wife."

He said if she's deported he "will move to Mexico."

As a hairdresser he feels he can get a job "in a heartbeat."

Roberto Vasquez travels from Hermosillo to Tucson several times a year on business.

"Sometimes the line is very long," he said. "This time, only five or six cars."

Often, he will bring his family, including his four children, to Tucson to "buy things and to visit some nice places."

He works for a mining company which believes the recent tariff policy will have an effect on business.

"A bad effect, yes," he said. The company is looking for other places and other companies to do business with, which would cut his trips to Tucson and business in the U.S.

These types of statistics are not showing up in the data yet. According to the Mexican Consul in Tucson, Ricardo Pineda, business is "definitely up."

That is in part because the states of Sonora and Arizona have a strong relationship.

"Both governments have been working together to send the right message," he said.

The latest report from the Department of Homeland Security also shows the number of immigrants arrested coming across the border dropped 16 percent last month from 40,000 to just more than 34,000.

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