Border Residents Weigh In On Walls And Community | KERA News

Border Residents Weigh In On Walls And Community

Jul 20, 2016

One of the pillars of Donald Trump’s campaign has been his promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. This idea has resonated with many Americans. Today on Think, journalist Alfredo Corchado told Krys Boyd about a recent poll of border residents that measured how they feel about the idea of a wall.

The KERA Interview

Alfredo Corchado on

… why residents don’t favor a wall:

“People are not against security. People want more security. In fact, security was a big, big issue, much more for the Mexicans than the Americans [we talked to]. But, it wasn’t that they’re against building walls, they just want practical solutions and building the wall as one person said, 'That’s really for cowards. You’re not dealing with the issues. You’re not dealing with the problems. You just want to wall each other off.' In this age and time in the world, it’s a bad idea, especially for Mexico and the United States, two countries that are so economically and culturally integrated.”  

… why building a wall is a complex issue:   

“The majority of the people on the U.S. side are of Mexican descent. In some places it's up to 90 percent. But that doesn’t mean that there’s a sense of loyalty to Mexico. I think sometimes on the border you’ll find people on the U.S. side who really want to try to prove that they are Americans ... It’s really about connecting one side to the other side. Twenty years ago the trade between Mexico and the United States was something like 80 billion. Now-a-days it’s over 500 billion. The integration has taken place and it continues to integrate both sides of the border.”     

… the growing relationship between the U.S. and Mexico:   

“One thing that we kept asking people was, ‘How do you see each other.’ And we would use words like racist and business partners. The vast majority see themselves as neighbors and they seem to like each other. One person said, ‘It’s a marriage of convenience. It’s always been a marriage of convenience.’ But something has happened over the last few years. I can’t say we’re falling in love because that would be a stretch. But something else is happening.”