Douglas Mayor: ‘False Crisis’ Makes Real Border Problems Worse

By Kendal Blust
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 7:07pm
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 9:43am

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concertina wire Douglas border fence
Kendal Blust/KJZZ
Coils of concertina wire on the border fence in Douglas, Arizona, on Feb. 6, 2019.

As tensions are heating up in Nogales over concertina wire strung up across the border fence, the mayor of Douglas, Arizona, says increased border militarization is making life worse for residents in his city.

Concertina wire strung up on the border fence in Douglas late last year by the U.S. military at the request of Customs and Border Protection and shipping containers blocking lines at the port of entry create a “false narrative” about the border region, said Douglas Mayor Robert Uribe. And rather than making communities safer, it’s only making things worse for the city’s struggling economy.

“I think that the real crisis that we face on the border is economically," he said. "To cast this negative cloud over border cities is difficult to overcome. It’s hard to push back on these false narratives when the residents on the border know what’s really going on.”

Uribe said he strongly supports border security, but instead of adding concertina wire, federal officials should invest in a long-overdue commercial port of entry in Douglas — a project he said would help boost security and the economy.

He said he was shocked to see coils of concertina wire being hung from top to bottom on the Arizona side of the border in nearby Nogales, adding it makes no sense from a security standpoint.

"I can't believe it," he said "What's that going to do?"

In response to the additional concertina wire, the Nogales City Council passed a resolution this week demanding that the U.S. government remove the new coils.

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