The migrant surge at the U.S.-Mexico border will be front and center again Wednesday in South Texas.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) will be joined by former President Donald Trump to drum up money and support to build a wall along the Texas-Mexico border.
In the border town of Granjeno, just outside of McAllen, the country's immigration crisis is at Joe Flores’ doorstep just about every day.
“I’ve seen up to 20 of them,” he said referring to undocumented migrants walking by his house. “Every night. Every night. There’s no stop. That’s why we have our dogs.”
Flores said he welcomes Trump’s visit and Abbott’s vow to finish the border wall.
“Now that they stopped the wall and Trump is out, this guy [President Joe Biden] comes in with a new game and he thinks he’s up here, but he’s made it worse,” Flores said. “He opened up a can of worms, really is what he did.”
It is a sentiment not everyone in the Rio Grande Valley shares.
“We feel like we’ve said it over and over again, we don’t want a wall,” community activist Norma Herrera said. “To have politicians continue to pander to their base, to use this issue politically, to sort of exploit what’s happening here along the border for their own political purposes and then to use our taxpayer money as residents of the state of Texas to do that, it’s really awful news honestly.”
Migrant rights and anti-wall groups plan to hold their own town hall on Wednesday morning and have a message for Trump.
“You’re out,” Herrera said. “You’re fired and I think he should stay fired. He should stay away. He shouldn’t be trying to rile up his base.”
Caught in the middle of the debate over illegal immigration are families seeking asylum in the U.S.
Jose Canales and his 4-year-old son spent the morning at the McAllen International Airport awaiting their flight to New York's LaGuardia Airport.
Canales said they are reuniting with his brother in New York after leaving Honduras.
The skittish young father held a folder in his hands with a note explaining he does not speak English and for someone to point him in the right direction of his flight.
Canales said there simply were no jobs in his home country that allow him to support his family.
He acknowledged the U.S. sends billions of dollars to Central American countries in an effort to stabilize the region and help create jobs for residents.
“La corrupcion en el gobierno,” he said is to blame. “Corruption in government.”
He said he hoped his son would grow up in a better place and buy a house one day.
Abbott has pledged to fund the Texas border wall using money from the state’s prison system and by crowdsourcing.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the governor’s office reports it has raised more than $656,000.
Activists and legal experts expect the governor’s plan will be met with legal challenges.
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