Audio: El Paso Mayor on Border Security & Government Shutdown

For Dee Margo, the 2008 border fence in El Paso has improved public safety. But border security requires the notably absent counsel of DHS.

Editor's Note: February 6, 2019. After President Donald Trump included comments on how border fencing reduced crime in El Paso, Texas, in his State of the Union address, annual FBI crime data reporting and prior editorial coverage over the last few decades showed that community policing and other efforts reduced the city's crime rates prior to increased border fencing erected in 2008, according to the El Paso Times.

El Paso, Texas, Mayor Dee Margo spoke with National Public Radio this morning about his point of view of both the 2019 Government Shutdown and border security as the elected leader of second largest land port on the Mexico border.

We have been one community, one culture, for 400 years," the Republican mayor said of the El Paso and Juarez, Mexico, region -- a nexus of two countries and three states with more than 2.5+ million people.

He said existing border "fence" along the El Paso River built in 2008 has increased safety by reducing property and other crimes for his city of more than 683,000 inhabitants.

Looking for More Than Political Banter

Margo said what is lacking in the national border security conversation is presentation by the Department of Homeland Security on what the agency believes is needed to maintain border security.

The Texas border presents geographic limitations that prevent putting fencing, his preferred nomenclature, across it's entirety, said Margo. He said he would like to hear from DHS agency staff about exactly what they think is needed.

Margo added that El Paso has more than 13,000 federal employees that relied on and depleted food banks during the shutdown, while non-governmental organizations were strained to deal with the daily influx of migrants requesting asylum.

There's been a lack of intestinal fortitude on both sides of the aisle," on addressing the immigration system for 30 years, he concluded.

Listen to the NPR segment:

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