We in El Paso, Texas, are a neighborhood that transcends the border. Whereas some are involved about our proximity to Mexico, we select to rejoice it. Whereas others embrace constructing a wall, we remind them a fence already exists.

Our neighborhood has constantly been ranked as one of many most secure in the USA. Although President Donald Trump, in his latest State of the Union tackle, claimed that the border fence is the rationale for these accolades, it’s not the complete image. 

Our metropolis police’s community-relations efforts and the cooperation between our legislation enforcement companies contributed to creating our metropolis a protected place to reside and work earlier than border fencing was put in place. In truth, between 1996 and 2006, the variety of reported violent crimes fell by greater than 34 p.c. 

Building on the border fencing in El Paso didn’t begin till 2008 and it was accomplished by mid-2009. The barrier between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico, has appeared to behave as a deterrent for nonviolent crime, however it’s our neighborhood’s funding in our public security and the dedication of our legislation enforcement companies that proceed to maintain us protected.

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A bicultural, binational neighborhood

It stays my precedence because the mayor of El Paso to make sure that we shield our residents and neighborhood. We’re the sixth largest metropolis in Texas and the 20th largest metropolis in the USA. We’re additionally the nexus of three states (New Mexico, Texas and the Mexican state of Chihuahua), two nations and a area surpassing 2.5 million in inhabitants. We’ve got a extremely binational, bilingual, bicultural workforce and a inhabitants with a median age of 33.

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As a binational area, we’re greater than 400 years previous. Our metropolis surrounds a mountain, with a state park inside our metropolis limits. Right this moment, we’re a world metroplex seamlessly mixing U.S. and Mexican traditions and cultures. Households reside and work on each side of the border, and our sense of neighborhood is powerful.

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The skyline of El Paso, Texas, and Juárez, Mexico, is seen Jan. 19, 2019, in El Paso.

We’re the 11th largest U.S. land port and have a number of land bridges that accommodate 20,000 authorized pedestrians coming north day by day and practically 25 million individuals who cross in an vehicle or on foot yearly. The cross-border commerce between our states is as necessary because the cross-border neighborhood. 

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Opposite to what you would possibly hear or understand, our metropolis’s relationship with Mexico has ushered in an period of financial development and regional participation. Right this moment, dozens of Fortune 500 firms reside in Juarez, the Mexican metropolis on the opposite facet of our border fence, for manufacturing meeting. The maquiladora program, through which firms from international nations like the USA function factories in Mexico, has been a fantastic profit to El Paso. U.S. uncooked supplies are despatched to Mexico for manufacturing meeting and returned to the USA. Duties are paid on the labor worth added.

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As a substitute of seeking to vilify our neighborhood, I implore coverage advisers from the federal authorities to go to El Paso. Discuss with our residents, eat at our eating places, stroll our streets — you may see that our metropolis affords a very protected and worldwide expertise. When President Trump visits our metropolis Monday, he’ll see for himself.

Dee Margo, a Republican, is the mayor of El Paso, Texas. Observe him on Twitter at @mayor_margo.

You possibly can learn numerous opinions from our Board of Contributors and different writers on the Opinion entrance web page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our day by day Opinion publication. To reply to a column, submit a remark to [email protected]

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: El Paso mayor: Regardless of Trump’s State of the Union declare, our relationships with Mexico thrive

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