Life On The U.S.-Mexico Frontier Dramatically Altered By Partial Border Shutdown
Added 03-28-20 07:07:02am EST - “The coronavirus outbreak led President Trump to close U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico last week. At the southern border, the closure is affecting life on both the U.S. and Mexico sides.” - Npr.org
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Gateway to the Americas Bridge connecting Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, has been nearly empty. On a normal day, about 10,000 people cross from Nuevo Laredo into Laredo. This week, it's barely a trickle. John Burnett/NPR hide caption
Gateway to the Americas Bridge connecting Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, has been nearly empty. On a normal day, about 10,000 people cross from Nuevo Laredo into Laredo. This week, it's barely a trickle.
The streets of downtown Laredo, Texas, are deserted. For decades, this dense retail district has catered to Mexican shoppers coming across the bridge from Nuevo Laredo. But these days, stores like Cindy's Electronics, Classic Perfumes, and Casa Raul Mens' Clothes are shuttered.
"Now our business has dropped 80 to 90%," says Natividad Dominguez, leaning on a glass case full of empanadas, turnovers and donuts at Pano's Bakery. "People would come across the bridge and pick up a donut. But no more. It's affecting us a lot."
The unprecedented partial closure of the entire U.S.-Mexico border has crippled commerce near the bridge as the pandemic stokes fear on both sides. The Trump administration shut down all nonessential crossings on the southern and northern borders last week, including shoppers, visitors, tourists and migrants, to check the spread of coronavirus.
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