A Texas Border Town Mayor’s Take On Immigration, Trade And The Wall

1/22/2017 NPR

fence at borderPete Saenz is the mayor of Laredo, Texas, a town along the U.S.-Mexico border. He voted for President Trump, but as he tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro, he has a different take on immigration and the wall.


One of President Trump’s central campaign issues was building a wall on the border with Mexico and halting illegal immigration. In a moment, we’re going to speak with a Dreamer, but first we want to talk about the border itself.

Pete Saenz is the mayor of Laredo, which sits on the Texas border with Mexico. He’s an independent, but he voted for Trump and he greeted the now-president when he visited Laredo in 2015. He joins us in San Antonio this morning on his way back to Laredo from the inauguration. Thanks for being with us.

MAYOR PETE SAENZ: Good morning. How are you, Lulu?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Very well, thank you. Let’s start with your views on the wall. Are they in line with the president’s?

SAENZ: No, they’re not. And yes, we’ve been very clear there at the border. Keep in mind, Laredo’s the No. 1 land port for the Western Hemisphere. We do over $200 billion worth of trade there at a border. Just our port alone, you know, we’re second in port value behind Los Angeles. As a customs district, we’re third in the entire nation. So we command a lot on trade there.

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