Closing the Texas-Mexico border would ruin Super Bowl parties and the U.S. economy

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A long line of trucks stalled at the Zaragoza International Bridge, one of two ports of entry in Ciudad Juarez going into the U.S.on April 12, 2022. The truckers blocked both north and south bound commercial lanes in protest after prolonged processing times implemented by Gov. Abbott which they say increased from 2 to 3 hours up to 14 hours. 

If President Joe Biden sealed the border with Mexico, as many Republicans are demanding, their Super Bowl parties would be very sad, as a former president might say.

No avocados or tomatoes for guacamole. No tequila or limes for margaritas. Americans would lose more than $3.45 billion worth of beer if the president closed the crossing at Eagle Pass alone, trade data shows.

Autoworkers couldn’t afford a party due to furloughs caused by shortages of Mexican-made parts. The border towns would lose up to 40% of workers who cross daily. Restaurants and hotels would close, and rich folks would have to clean their own toilets.

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Yet migrants would continue risking life and limb to save their lives and limbs. History shows where there is a will, there is a way to cross the shallow river and cut through the brush and mountains.

Sealing the border is physically impossible, and closing trade would trigger an economic catastrophe.

Mexico is the United States’ largest trading partner, with exports to Mexico totaling $362.7 billion and imports reaching $500.7 billion in 2022, according to the U.S. Trade Representative. Mexico is a significant supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables, many of which come across the Texas border.

Trade is essential to Eagle Pass, where Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas National Guard to prevent federal Customs and Border Protection agents from doing their jobs.

More than $33 billion in rail traffic passed through Eagle Pass and El Paso in fiscal year 2023, representing more than a third of all cross-border trade, Bureau of Transportation Statistics data showed.

At Eagle Pass’ two international bridges, crossings in December totaled 186,000 private vehicles, 12,115 commercial trucks, 950 buses and 111,235 pedestrians, city data shows. Eagle Pass alone engaged $34.67 billion in international trade in January-November 2023. The city, with 29,000 people, is the 10th busiest border crossing in the country. Texas-Mexico trade totaled $515 billion last year.

Too many people imagine border towns as dusty little one-stoplight hamlets where men wearing sombreros wrap themselves in blankets for siesta. Or they believe hatemongers like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who echo 19th century racist tropes about people from south of the border. “This is an invasion from Third World countries. They’re coming here with… Read full article here