TUCSON — For 40 years Christine Courtland has lived three blocks from the border, raising three children in her Nogales home.
She is appalled by the concertina wire she sees every day up and down what she calls, this steel wall.
“What’s happening on the wall in Nogales is repulsive, unsafe, dangerous, ugly,” Courtland said. “This is a welcoming town but not with this cloud hanging over us.”
Just down the road to the east, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels praises President Donald Trump’s efforts to secure the border.
“For 25 years we’ve endured this, so to see our nation’s leader to say hey let’s secure our rural parts of the border where needed, I’m all for supporting that, 100 percent.”
Dannels is on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, a group that helps shape policy on border security.
“Our nation’s borders are vulnerable in today’s world and to have congress and our president in such debate is sad because every decision they make should be focused on the well being and the safety of our communities,” Dannels said.
From her perch near the border, Courtland argues we are at a breaking point.
“Our Statue Of Liberty is crying,” she said. “I don’t want her to do that. I want our United States of America to be back.”
Arizona Democratic Senator Kirsten Sinema released a statement Thursday saying:
“Shutdowns are always wrong. Today’s agreement invests in Arizona priorities and strengthens our border security. Our bipartisan group worked to end the shutdown, and I’ll keep reaching across the aisle to fix a broken Washington and deliver for Arizona.”
Arizona Republican Senator Martha McSally released the following statement:
“I voted today for a bipartisan funding bill that keeps our government open and provides a down payment on resources necessary to secure our southern border. While much more funding is required to get the job done, this is a step forward and will put more boots on the ground, place physical barriers in key high-risk areas, and improve infrastructure at our ports of entry. I will keep advocating for border security and keeping our communities safe.”
Southern Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva said:
“I cannot vote for legislation that rewards the unhinged behavior of the President and his racially-charged policies, and I vehemently condemn Trump’s unconstitutional power grab with his intent to declare a national emergency. Whether shutting down the government for his wall or an emergency declaration, Trump continues to manufacture a crisis at the Southern border and reinforce it with fear-mongering and outright lies.
Secretary Nielsen has served as his willing foot-soldier in terrorizing immigrant families throughout this ‘crisis,’ and has repeatedly lied to Congress and the American people about the actions and policies of DHS. Instead of facing any semblance of accountability or oversight, DHS is receiving blank checks from the government to reinforce their assault on immigrant communities.
These policies emanate from the top, and Donald Trump’s presidency has been one long, assault on immigrant families and asylum seekers. He viciously separated children from their families without plans to reunite them, co-opted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement into a deportation force, and has attempted to ban individuals from even seeking asylum. He militarized border communities with unnecessary troop deployments and is waiving bedrock environmental laws to build his monument to his racist policies. His reelection campaign begins and ends with demonizing immigrants and people of color. Rewarding this behavior with even a cent to continue militarizing our borders and targeting innocent families sets a dangerous precedent-something I cannot help facilitate.
A political disagreement over a campaign promise is not a national emergency, and Congress must exhaust every possible avenue to stop the President’s unconstitutional actions. While I acknowledge and respect the work of my Democratic colleagues in the conference committee who attempted to make an untenable situation less painful, border communities and immigrant families should not have to bear the brunt of the President’s lies.”