Standing there overlooking El Paso and Cuidad Juarez gave me a very clear perspective of the issues we’re facing. ~ Allen West
As Written By Allen B. West:
Greetings from El Paso, Texas and I gotta tell y’all, it feels more like December 1st, weather-wise, than May 1st. Regardless, it was a beautiful sunny day and I could see the entire city. I arrived Sunday at about 1pm MT and got checked in at the El Paso Marriott. The Kyle Petty Charity Ride group was inbound from Phoenix, Arizona by way of I-10 through New Mexico and were scheduled to arrive at approximately 6:30pm to Barnett Harley Davidson — and let me tell ya, that is one heck of a Harley-Davidson store!
So I had a few hours before my ride colleagues arrived. I’d met two veterans previously on the “Ride 2 Recover” bike ride that went from Houston to Ft Worth and highlights road cycling as a therapy for our wounded warriors. I served as a motorcycle escort for the ride on its final day from Cleburne to Ft. Worth. In meeting these two vets, one a Marine, the other a Soldier, I informed them I was coming to El Paso and so they met up with me and took me on an El Paso orientation ride.
We went up to the point that overlooks El Paso, population approximately 750,000, and clearly provides a vantage point to see over into Ciudad Juarez, population approximately 1.5 million, in Chihuahua County, Mexico. From that point you get an understanding of exactly how close these two cities are, and I mean doggone close. You can see the Rio Grande canal that separates the two cities, between the United States and Mexico.
While there, I was given a grassroots explanation of the issues with having these two cities so very close. First of all, there are U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints located on either side of El Paso along Interstate 10. It’s certainly a security cordon around the city. However, from the briefing I received, there are several things happening in the city that should cause concern.
First of all, there are students who reside in Ciudad Juarez crossing and attending schools who are using the addresses of others, potentially relatives, in order to gain access to the public schooling. Now, I have no issue with a child getting a good quality education but that should be for American children. And if this is the case, then how do you extract revenues for the funding of the local public schools?
We all know a certain percentage of local municipality and state taxes are “supposed” to fund education, so how do the parents of a child that isn’t a legal resident pay for that public education? I suppose the folks who live at the false address are paying, then again, what if they’re residing in El Paso illegally?
Another point that was brought to my attention — that I’ll have to research — is the issue of sales tax refunds for those who cross over into El Paso and purchase goods. I guess folks will say it’s a boost to the local economy, but if true, why are they getting a sales tax refund? I don’t think the shops in El Paso are “duty free.”
Lastly, they told me that usually, there is an atmospheric layer that hangs over Cuidad Juarez that’s clearly distinguishable from El Paso. I guess we do care about our air quality in the United States, regardless of what liberal progressives claim. And as I stood there on that vantage point, my mind just wondered, how many residents of Cuidad Juarez are actually working in El Paso, or at least on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande?
Let me be very clear, I’m all about “legal” immigration but when the ……