NOGALES, Ariz. (KVOA) - With Joe Biden projected to be the next President, the future of the Trump Administration’s border wall and further militarization of the border is in question.
For those in support of President Trump and his border policy, often controversial, it's certainly something they are worried about. While migrant advocacy groups are hopeful to see an ease of tensions at the border.
In Nogales, Arizona it's just another day of looking upon a border barrier laced with razor wire. A line in the sand separating it from its namesake in Mexico. Some would celebrate it as a means of national security, others would call it needless oppression. Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino hasn’t found a name for it but he’s confident it’s here to stay no matter who is President.
“Honestly I don’t think anyone is going to tear it down for any reason," Mayor Garino said.
The Mayor pointed to the fact that the barrier or "wall" as it stands today was put in during the Obama Administration, while the razor wire was put up by national guard troops under President Trump. If nothing else he said he hopes a President Biden would take down that razor wire.
“It looks horrible, it doesn’t look right," Mayor Garino expressed.
News 4 Tucson met Gregory Droeger in Nogales, he has lived in the border town for 35 years. He’s a local attorney, the border is literally outside his office window and he's quick to share his love for his community.
“I love it here, I love Nogales, I love Santa Cruz County, we think it’s one of the safest places to live in Southern Arizona," Droeger said.
And he’s not wrong, according to the latest data from the FBI, Nogales saw a steady drop in crime from a peak in 2015. As of 2018 the town was well below the Arizona and National violent crime rates. Droeger is optimistic for a Biden administration, hoping it brings relief to what he says was four years of his community "unfairly" being described as a warzone.
“Typically, we see a Blackhawk some congressman from Iowa looking down “oh my God how horrible”, things being pointed out on the ground, it’s all just theater," Droeger explained with frustration.
Jessica Bolter with the Migration Policy Institute said President-elect Biden will have to play a careful "balancing act", not showing ignorance to border security while also not re-investing in the controversial policies of President Trump he spoke out against.
“And also making sure the shift doesn’t come so drastically another border crisis emerges," Bolter said.
News 4 Tucson spoke with several people who live in Nogales who did not agree to go on camera for an interview. Most said they were indifferent and are not expecting much of anything to change in terms of the conditions at and surrounding the border and border policy. We spoke with just one man who strongly believed more needs to be done to secure the border.
It's an issue people clearly are split on and only time will tell what a change in administration will mean for the people living along the border.