‘Remove the razor wire,’ some Arizona border-town residents plead

Mark Adams of Frontera de Cristo says a colleague doesn’t want to cross the border because of the “psychological impact.”/ Courtesy of Mark Adams

 

By Perla Trevizo | Arizona Daily Star

It’s been nearly three months since troops first showed up at the Southern Arizona border, placing razor wire atop the fence and blocking some port lanes in anticipation of Central American caravans that instead went to the California line.

As more troops are being deployed to the border, locals here are calling for the razor wire to be removed, saying it hurts businesses and sends the wrong message.

“In Nogales we are used to seeing the federal government make decisions about our surroundings,” said Evan Kory, whose family owns Kory’s and La Cinderella stores in downtown Nogales. “But the razor wire was way more aggressive than anything we had seen, which scared me. It felt like it was out of our hands as a border community. You feel powerless, like your voices aren’t heard.”

About 3,500 additional active-duty service members will be sent to the border as part of a new request from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that extends their mission through the end of the fiscal year. There are about 2,300 troops currently deployed, down from 5,900.

In Arizona, there are about 650 troops assisting Customs and Border Protection, down from the 1,500 originally deployed in the beginning of November. That’s in addition to hundreds of National Guard troops activated since April.

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