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article imageClosing of U.S. - Mexico border impacts lives on both sides

By Karen Graham     Mar 31, 2020 in World
The world’s busiest land border has fallen quiet as restrictions to contain the coronavirus prevent millions of Mexicans from making daily trips north, including many who work in U.S. businesses.
On any given day, over 950,000 Mexicans living along the 1,954-mile (3,144-km) long border between the U.S. and Mexico head north to either work in U.S. businesses, visit family, get medical care or shop.
The actual number of B1/B2 “border crossing cards” given out is unknown, although the U.S. State Department Report of the Visa Office says more than 4 million border cards have been issued since 2015. The cards are valid for 10 years.
When the U.S. southern border closed on March 20, putting restrictions on non-essential travel, those cards were effectively invalidated - dealing another blow to businesses already suffering from shutdowns on the U.S. side of the border, including vital industries like agriculture, according to Reuters.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do without money. I’m just waiting for a miracle,” said 28-year-old Rosario Cruz, a mother of two young children who works for a cleaning company that subcontracts with major retailers in California.
A group of migrants wait to cross Mexico-US border  in Nogales  Sonora state
A group of migrants wait to cross Mexico-US border, in Nogales, Sonora state
Alfredo Estrella, AFP/File
It's not the same for those entering into Mexico
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has taken a dangerous and dismissive attitude toward the COVID-19 epidemic, much like Brazil's Jair Bolsanaro, and Imran Khan in Pakistan. So while President Donald Trump instigated a shutdown of the U.S.,-Mexico border to control the spread of the virus, AMLO ignored it.
Until just recently, AMLO dismissed any thought of social distancing, encouraged Mexicans to go to fiestas, eat in restaurants, and go out shopping. He has continued to attend rallies, kissing people, and shaking hands.
Amidst the reckless behavior of a president who professed to be an anti-corruption candidate, some city- and state-level officials have taken matters into their own hands. Take, for example, Nogales, in Sonora, Mexico - a city along the border with Arizona.
People in Nogales say they’re concerned that travelers from the U.S. could import new cases of the coronavirus into Mexico. Last Wednesday, protesters on the Mexican side of the border blocked the Mexico-bound lanes in the twin border cities of Ambos Nogales for several hours.
More about Covid19, usmexico border, arab spring demonstration, spread of virus, Farm workers
 
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