Visiting the Rio Grande Valley amid President Trump’s first visit

The Rio Grande Valley is a community of communities, located just north of the U.S.-Mexico border and bursting with life. The residents here are primarily Hispanic, Democratic and RGV born-and-bred. Ahead of President Trump’s first visit to the area since he took office, and amid his continued push for $5.7 billion border wall fortifications and an ongoing federal government shutdown, I visited the area to get to know it and its population. Continue reading →

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In Hidalgo, Texas, a life of normalcy and defying misconception with the border in their backyards

This story was first published on KENS5.com. View the original post here. 

HIDALGO, Texas – The eyes of a country turned to McAllen, Texas, on Thursday, a borderland city in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley where President Donald Trump arrived for a few hours to visit with local authorities amid hundreds of protesters and supporters. The main topic on the agenda during his brief visit: Border security, and pushing for his divisive wall proposal.

To those who live there and also those reading about the visit from across the country, it is indeed a border community. But if it’s the entry into the United States, Hidalgo is the doormat.

About seven miles south of McAllen, this much smaller community is home to some of the southernmost U.S. residents in Texas. Gas is as low as $1.65 (at least it was on the day after the president’s visit), and you can see the steel bollards and slats driving down most of its main streets. Continue reading →

President’s visit shows divide among Rio Grande Valley residents

This story was first published on KENS5.com. Click here to see the original post.

MCALLEN, Texas — Hidalgo County, encompassing the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas along the edge of the US-Mexico border, is a primarily blue region, but you wouldn’t know it if you were in McAllen on Thursday.

On the morning that President Donald Trump was expected to arrive in the Rio Grande Valley for the first time since he took office to discuss his divisive border wall propositions, dozens of protesters and supporters convened just across the street to make their voices heard, beginning at around 9:30 a.m.

By 11:00, the dueling rallies soon numbered in the hundreds, potentially thousands, as each corner of Wichita and 10th Street was packed with passionate community members. Continue reading →

GALLERY: Hundreds turn out to welcome, protest Trump in first visit to Rio Grande Valley

In deeply blue Hidalgo County, where home is in southern Texas right across the border from Reynosa, Mexico, hundreds turned out to both support and protest President Donald Trump and his border fortification proposals during his first visit to the Rio Grande Valley since he took office.

Trump was only in town for a few hours on Thursday, January 10, during which time he met with local Border Patrol officials and leaders as a large portion of the community made their voices heard.

 

Even supporters of the president’s policy were surprised at the turnout on their side of the debate. Despite the heated issue at the center, the dueling rallies for the most part remained respectful of one another, despite the occasional verbal sparring matches.

 

Continue reading →

Near US-Mexico border, confusion at Trump’s ‘crisis’ label

This story was first published on KENS5.com. Click here for the original post. 

MCALLEN, Texas — Passing the historic Cine El Rey in the heart of McAllen, Texas on Wednesday, you wouldn’t have noticed the marquee advertising that evening’s live comedy attractions, nor the next movie showings.

Instead, Owner Bert Guerra posted the message: “WELCOME TO MCALLEN, 7TH SAFEST CITY IN AMERICA.”

That welcome isn’t just for tourists. President Donald Trump is expected to make his first visit to the Rio Grande Valley on Thursday to address what he has referred to in recent weeks as a humanitarian crisis unfolding along the border. But talking to Guerra and others who live in McAllen, the surrounding communities, and the regions of northern Mexico that sit just a few miles south, people here in the community say that if there’s indeed a crisis, they haven’t experienced it. Continue reading →

GALLERY: The border communities of the Rio Grande Valley, where Mexico is in their backyards

Across the border from Reynosa, Mexico, resides the Rio Grande Valley, home to some of the southernmost resides in Texas. Several towns and cities – McAllen, Hidalgo, Mission, San Juan just to name a few – make up this community of communities, where immigration of both the legal and illegal variety is a way of life.

Continue reading →