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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty says he has received a petition from Mexican nationals asking why they cannot visit their properties on the island.

Currently, there is a travel ban on Mexican tourists and shoppers visiting the United States. It was imposed for one month in late March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The ban has been renewed each month ever since.

The Trump administration does not want Mexican visitors crossing border land ports of entry and spreading the virus. Mexican visa holders can, however, fly into the Untied States. 

Likewise the López Obrador administration does not want visitors from the United States spreading the virus in Mexico.

McNulty said he has spoken to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn about the matter. He said more than 6,000 Mexican nationals or their supporters have signed the petition.

“I think as a community you want your homeowners and property owners to be able to visit their property. I find that it is very disappointing that we have a large number of property owners in Mexico, or Mexican nationals, that can’t come to the United States to visit their property that they own,” McNulty said.

“Part of American values is that we are a property rights country. It is very difficultly trying to explain to Mexican citizens as to why they cannot come visit their property. We need to get that properly resolved.”

McNulty said it is hard to know for sure how many properties on South Padre Island are owned by Mexican nationals because some could be registered to corporations. 

“But there is a large number and they are very frustrated about not being able to visit their homes,” McNulty said. 

“I received the petition a couple of months ago and we wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking for some help and relief regarding it. It is basically a petition of property owners who want to visit their property on South Padre Island. They are demanding access. It was sent to us, rather than to someone at the national level, but we are still trying to help them out.”

Meanwhile, the Texas Border Coalition is continuing its efforts to have the travel ban on Mexican shoppers and tourists lifted.

Here, in two images, is a copy of a letter TBC sent to DHS acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf:


Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty.


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