Customs broker and Rio Grande Guardian columnist Adrian Gonzalez recommends a recent feature in Rolling Stone magazine. It is titled ‘Why We Need Mexico.’ Its author is Josh Eells.
Gonzalez said of the feature: “Very true and appropriate, the border is safe, there is no crisis and Mexico means prosperity for us. A good read for anyone who wants to know more about McAllen, Texas and its valuable relationship with Reynosa, Mexico.”
Among those quoted in the story are Keith Patridge, president of McAllen Economic Development Corporation, Matt Ruszczak, executive director of Rio South Texas Economic Council, Sgt. Rolando “Rollie” Garcia of San Juan Police Department, Juan Gonzalez, chief of police for San Juan, and Jeff Adickes, recently retired chief of police for Harlingen.
The feature starts like this:
People say the American mall is dying — but if so, someone forgot to tell La Plaza Mall.
La Plaza is the largest shopping center in McAllen, Texas, a mid-size city on the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s the sort of establishment you’d find in any city or suburb — Foot Locker, Bath & Body Works, Baby Gap — the kind of brick-and-mortar retail dinosaur that’s been hemorrhaging money for years. But not La Plaza. This mall recently underwent a $100 million expansion, and on a recent weekday — in the middle of the school year, in the middle of the week — its parking lot was full of cars. Most of them sported Mexican plates.
Another paragraph reads:
Yet somewhat lost in all the sensational immigration news is the fact that McAllen is also a prime example of how American border cities reap great economic benefits from a strong relationship with Mexico. For most of the past century, McAllen was a relatively poor agricultural center, largely dependent on cotton fields and citrus groves. But since the introduction of NAFTA in 1994 — and the resulting boom in maquiladoras, or manufacturing plants, across the river in the city of Reynosa — the region’s economy has been one of the fastest-growing in America, thanks largely to retail and international trade. Trump often says Mexico is leeching off America. But to Americans here in the Rio Grande Valley, as to millions of Americans on the border, Mexico is a boon, not a drag.
Editor’s Note: Click here to read Josh Eells’ feature ‘Why We Need Mexico’ in Rolling Stone magazine.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above story shows an aerial view of the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge.