BROWNSVILLE, RGV – Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, Congressman Filemon Vela and Sergio Sanchez, program director of KURV 710 News Talk, are all featured in a New York Times lead story on whether the border region is in crisis.

The story, by reporters Manny Fernandez and Linda Qui, starts off in Brownsville, Texas.

Sanchez, a former chairman of Hidalgo County Republican Party, has a sharply different view on the matter to Martinez and Vela, both Democrats. 

“The crisis is real,” Sanchez said. “The crisis is immediately south of the border, and it bleeds over to our side. Mexico is literally a lawless land and they need to come to grips with that. The crisis has been going on for decades. It’s been a fact that the border is porous, and has been porous through too many administrations.”

Mayor Martinez disagrees.

“There is not a crisis in the city of Brownsville with regards to safety and security,” Martinez told the New York Times. “There’s no gunfire. Most of the people that are migrating are from Central America. It’s not like they’re coming over here to try to take anybody’s job. They’re trying to just save their own lives. We’re doing fine, quite frankly.”

Vela, also a Brownsville native, agreed with Martinez.

“Everybody was, and I think probably to a large extent still is, going about their way,” Vela said. “If you were in the city of Brownsville, and you wanted to witness anything related to this whole story, you’d have to break into one of the Southwest Key facilities to even know that there’s anything going on,” he added, referring to the nonprofit that runs a migrant children’s detention facility at a former Walmart.

The story provides statistics that show that undocumented immigration has been going down and that undocumented immigrants are a net positive for the economy.

Click here to read the New York Times story.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news clip shows Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez and Matamoros Mayor Jesús de la Garza Díaz del Guante at a Mr. Amigo event. Mr. Amigo (pictured seated) was singer and actor Pedro Fernández.