City officials said the Borderland relies heavily on imports and exports between our city and Mexico. If the border does shut down, it can affect more than just El Paso’s economy.
“It would be a devasting impact on El Paso, it would be devasting to the rest of Texas, and it would be devastating to the nation,” Mayor Dee Margo responded to the President’s threat of possibly shutting down the Mexico border – which still has yet to occur.
“People need to understand we have six of the 28 bridges that cross into Mexico from Texas. We have an annualized basis from the Fiscal Year 2018, $101 billion of trade. Imports and exports going through, that would all be shut down. That would be a killer. We have 115,000 employees tied to the maquila programs north of the border, in our area and in our region. There are 559,000 employees in northern Mexico tied to the maquilas, who would have a devasting impact,” Margo explained.
However some Borderland suppliers like Lonestar Welding told KTSM the work once done with maquilas in Mexico doesn’t exist with them anymore.
“They basically switched over to the Mexican companies that are actually producing the products that they we used to supply,” Owner Jerry Oxner of Lonestar Welding said.
Oxner shared he has other worries instead, “If it does persist and we keep a flow of people coming over it will affect us as far as the tax base will have to be increased in order to take care of all these people. So there will be quite a bit, I’m afraid, in taxes that will be increased in El Paso.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Margo shared if the federal government contintues to slack its efforts with proper immigration reform, the entire nation could see a consequence.
“My hope and prayer is that we do not have this occur,” Mayor Margo shared. “That is what the economic impact that we would have on our community and it would be significant for El Paso, Texas, and critical for the United States.”
Mayor Margo said he has not been contacted by the White House over the potential shut down, but if contacted, he said he would testify on behalf of the city.