Calexico and Mexicali residents talk hopes and dreams ahead of Trump border visit

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 5, 2019 - Duration: 01:21s

Calexico and Mexicali residents talk hopes and dreams ahead of Trump border visit

U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to shut down the border with Mexico has sparked fears in a California border town.

Reuters visited Calexico ahead of a visit by the president to get residents’ take on the current political situation.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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Calexico and Mexicali residents talk hopes and dreams ahead of Trump border visit

(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) As U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to travel to Calexico, California, on Friday (April 5) to view a border wall project, residents of the border town voiced hopes and concerns ahead of his visit.

On Thursday (April 4), Trump backed away from a threat to immediately shut down the southern U.S. border with Mexico but raised a new specter of eventually slapping tariffs on car imports from Mexico unless it does more to stop illegal migrants and drugs.

Taxi driver Alejandro Lopez works in Calexico but lives in Mexicali.

He said we would face financial hardships if the border were to close.

"It will have an effect because I come here for work.

So my income will drop and I won't be able to pay my rent or bills.

And not just me but a lot of my colleagues, too.

If the border closes, it will make things difficult." Trump prompted panic in the U.S. business community last Friday (March 29) by saying he would likely close the border this week to deal with a surge of migrants from Central America, but has since walked back the threat.

Many people cross the border in both directions daily to go to work and visit family.

Andrea Martinez has been living in Mexicali for 14 years since her husband was deported.

She works as a baker in Calexico and crosses the border every day.

"Well they deported my husband in 2005 for not having a physical address, that's been already 14 years now.

I have two children with him and basically, I want my family together, you know?

What everybody wants in life, you know?

And I want to keep us together." Trump made stopping illegal immigration a centerpiece of his 2016 run for the White House, pledging to build a wall on the border to stop migrants.

When Congress refused to give him the money to pay for the wall, he declared a national emergency to divert funds from other projects.

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