No bad immigration news in a single town on the Mexican border equaled headline news in Thursday’s New York Times. Jose A. Del Real’s dispatch from the California-Mexico border, “A Wall? To a Border Town, More Like a Headache” was the latest attempt by the Times tried to suggest that one quiet border town hostile to Trump and his wall idea could be extrapolated into a conclusion that there is no problem at the Mexican border and that any idea otherwise is merely Trump “political theater.”
The barbed wire overhead evokes danger and violence, but Maritza Hurtado cannot take it seriously. When the sharp coils were placed on top of the old border fence several months ago, running right along the main boulevard, she chalked it up to political propaganda from a White House that does not understand life along the Southwest frontier.
“This is not a war zone,” Ms. Hurtado said from her tax and immigration consulting office in downtown Calexico, from which she can peer into Mexico. “I’ve had a business here for 30 years and we’ve never needed the barbed wire. Why now? To me, it feels as if I’m enclosed.”
For nearly a year, President Trump has pointed with pride to a renovation project replacing two miles of border fencing in Calexico. He hailed it as “the start of our Southern Border WALL!” -- to the great consternation of many of the town’s residents, who are wary of becoming the public face of a hard-line immigration policy that most here do not agree with. The attention the president’s tweet brought was surreal, in part because the construction replaced an unsightly stretch of steel fencing that was already there.
Lost amid the battle over credit and semantics was how Calexico residents themselves felt about becoming characters in Trump-era political theater. For many, a sense of apprehension turned to anger when the military installed barbed wire on top of older border fencing, which runs through downtown.
“This community is basically being used for political purposes,” said Ms. Hurtado, who served as the town’s mayor until December....
The high volume of legal traffic does not mean that illegal border crossings do not happen here. The risk those migrants pose, however, and the characterization of the numbers who jump the fence is enormously overstated, Ms. Carrillo said.
After admitting that the area was Hillary country:
And even some of those who lean conservative have reservations about the president’s talk on immigration.
Deal concluded with this zinger:
“We do not have a crisis on the border. We are not in fear of being invaded like he said,” [John] Renison said. “What’s really laughable is you think you’re going to stop illegal immigration by constructing walls and fences.”
Walls may not “stop” illegal immigration down to zero (no one expects them too) but it would surely lower .
Deal was part of a Times reporting team earlier this month that also found nothing going on in a border town in New Mexico and extrapolated to wonder what all the fuss was about, under the front-page headline, “No Crisis Here, Say Neighbors Close to Mexico -- Citing Other Problems ‘That Need Fixing.’”