El Paso mayor: Despite Trump's State of the Union claim, our relations with Mexico thrive




El Paso mayor: Despite Trump's State of the Union claim, our relations with Mexico thrive
El Paso mayor: Despite Trump's State of the Union claim, our relations with Mexico thrive  

We in El Paso, Texas, are a community that transcends the border. While some are concerned about our proximity to Mexico, we choose to celebrate it. While others embrace building a wall, we remind them a fence already exists.

Our community has consistently been ranked as one of the safest in the United States. Though President Donald Trump, in his recent State of the Union address, claimed that the border fence is the reason for these accolades, it is not the full picture.

Our city police's community-relations efforts and the cooperation between our law enforcement agencies contributed to making our city a safe place to live and work before border fencing was put in place. In fact, between 1996 and 2006, the number of reported violent crimes fell by more than 34 percent.

Construction on the border fencing in El Paso did not start until 2008 and it was completed by mid-2009. The barrier between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico, has appeared to act as a deterrent for nonviolent crime, but it is our community's investment in our public safety and the dedication of our law enforcement agencies that continue to keep us safe.

A bicultural, binational community

It remains my priority as the mayor of El Paso to ensure that we protect our citizens and community. We are the sixth largest city in Texas and the 20th largest city in the United States. We are also the nexus of three states (New Mexico, Texas and the Mexican state of Chihuahua), two countries and a region surpassing 2.5 million in population. We have a highly binational, bilingual, bicultural workforce and a population with a median age of 33.

From the El Paso Times: State of the Union: Facts show Trump wrong to say El Paso dangerous city until fence

As a binational region, we are more than 400 years old. Our city surrounds a mountain, with a state park within our city limits. Today, we are a global metroplex seamlessly blending U.S. and Mexican traditions and cultures. Families live and work on both sides of the border, and our sense of community is strong.

We are the 11th largest U.S. land port and have multiple land bridges that accommodate 20,000 legal pedestrians coming north daily and nearly 25 million people who cross in an automobile or on foot annually. The cross-border commerce between our states is as important as the cross-border community.

Read more commentary:

Despite State of the Union rhetoric, immigrants contribute to US and deserve protection

Trump's SOTU health care talk is a smokescreen to make us forget his miserable record

Trump should have channeled Reagan, not Nixon, in his State of the Union address

Contrary to what you might hear or perceive, our city's relationship with Mexico has ushered in an era of economic growth and regional participation. Today, dozens of Fortune 500 companies reside in Juarez, the Mexican city on the other side of our border fence, for manufacturing assembly. The maquiladora program, in which companies from foreign countries like the United Statesoperate factories in Mexico, has been a great benefit to El Paso. U.S. raw materials are sent to Mexico for manufacturing assembly and returned to the United States. Duties are paid on the labor value added.

Instead of looking to vilify our community, I implore policy advisers from the federal government to visit El Paso. Talk with our residents, eat at our restaurants, walk our streets - you'll see that our city offers a truly safe and international experience. When President Trump visits our city Monday, he will see for himself.

Dee Margo, a Republican, is the mayor of El Paso, Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @mayor_margo.

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: El Paso mayor: Despite Trump's State of the Union claim, our relations with Mexico thrive

COMMENTS

More Related News

The Latest: Trump claims he was
The Latest: Trump claims he was 'not happy' with chant

President Donald Trump says he "was not happy" when his supporters at a rally Wednesday night in North Carolina chanted "send her back" in reference to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. Trump said this weekend that Omar and other progressive Democratic lawmakers of color should leave the country and "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" over their criticism of his administration.

President Trump says US Navy ship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz
President Trump says US Navy ship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz
  • World
  • 2019-07-18 20:52:00Z

"The Boxer took defense action against the drone which had closed into a very close distance, approximately a thousand yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew," Trump said at the White House. "This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters," he continued.

Closer to War: U.S. Troops Aboard Amphibious Assault Ship Force Down Iranian Drone
Closer to War: U.S. Troops Aboard Amphibious Assault Ship Force Down Iranian Drone
  • World
  • 2019-07-18 20:42:00Z

U.S. troops aboard an amphibious assault ship on July 18, 2019 forced down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. president Donald Trump announced.The downing comes just a few weeks after Iranian forces downed an American drone in the same area. The mutual shoot-downs could escalate the already tense situation in the Persian Gulf region.Trump said the unmanned aerial vehicle threatened USS Boxer.Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told The New York Times that Boxer was in international waters at the time of the incident. The drone "closed within a threatening range" before Boxer took action.U.S. Marines embarked on Boxer used radio-jamming gear to bring down the drone, CNN...

Samantha Bee Shocked Kellyanne Conway Somehow Even
Samantha Bee Shocked Kellyanne Conway Somehow Even 'More Racist' Than Trump

TBSSamantha Bee didn't have time to cover all of President Trump's recent "racisms," instead choosing to zero in on his demand that four freshmen Congresswomen of color go back to the countries "from which they came." "Sadly, the only thing that should surprise anyone is that he wrote 'from which they came' to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition," the Full Frontal host joked. "Way to go, Shakespeare, now return your head to the orifice from which it came." "Of course, it wasn't long before spokes-golem Kellyanne Conway leapt to his defense by somehow sounding more racist than her boss," Bee continued before playing the clip of the White House counselor literally responding to a...

'Unfit to be president': House to consider articles of impeachment against Trump

The House voted to kill a measure seeking to impeach President Donald Trump - the first vote on such a measure since Democrats took the majority and since the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.