Cross-border shoppers concerned with President Trump’s border closure threat

El Paso News

For many, the holiday season is a time for gift shopping in the Borderland, but many shoppers from across the border say they may not have a chance to make their purchases.

With President Trump threatening to shut the U.S. and Mexico border down, some businesses and shoppers say it can affect them.

Downtown El Paso shop employees tell KTSM they see an increase of shoppers this time of year. Some shoppers who come from Juarez say they cross a few times a year to shop at local stores in the Borderland to buy things for the holidays and their families because it is cheaper here than in Juarez.

According to store employees, most of the shoppers are from across the border.

“I think it would be a large loss because the truth is we have more people who come from Juarez for their shopping and not just Juarez, but Chihuahua, Durango and a variety of places and in reality it’s more people from over there than here,” store employee Beatriz Ruiz said.

According to UTEP economics professor Tom Fullerton, cross-border shoppers come to El Paso because local shops cater to them and allow payments in Mexican pesos and extend store hours.

Fullerton describes the economic impact local retailers can face if Trump moves forward with shutting the border down.

“If for instance the border was closed down for the entire month of December, that would probably cause retail activity to decline by at least $150 million here in El Paso alone,” Fullerton said.

Some shoppers said they don’t agree with Trump’s possible plan and say the Borderland’s economy could be at stake.

“If it happens then nobody would be able to come from the Juarez community anymore, how would they? Us Mexicans come to the United States to spend our money here and that’s just how it is in my opinion,” a shopper from Ciudad Juarez, Efren Sanchez, said.

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