"Razor wire is meant to hurt people": Nogales Mayor opposes new Border Patrol proposal
Razor sharp blades attached to coiled metal. It's the Border Patrol's latest plan for securing stretches of the border fence in Nogales.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - A 20-foot fence isn't cutting it. Now what Border Patrol wants to add to it will guarantee a sharp cut.
"Razor wire is meant to hurt people," said Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino.
The wire has razor blades attached that can cause serious damage. Garino says Border Patrol wants to set up the razor wire 10 feet up along the border fence on the U.S. side. It's why he and so many others are concerned.
"We helped bring down the Berlin Wall and now we're building a monument to it in our own country," said council member John Doyle.
Under BP's proposal, razor wire would go up at stretches of the fence outside downtown Nogales. Local leaders say for starters that's dangerous.
"I imagine mangled bodies on that thing," said Doyle. "People would bleed to death."
They also worry the plan would mangle business with the country just south of the border.
"To use it with the country you trade with, it's just not a good perception," said Garino.
Garino says BP told him the wire deters crossers from jumping over and cuts back on injuries immigrants face from the 20 foot fall. Guadalupe Nunez lives right next to where the proposed wire would go up. 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked him what he thought about the proposal. He tells KGUN9 people still cross right outside his home. And for those who won't know the wire is there, injuries will be worse. He believes it won't stop people from hopping over there or somewhere else.
"I think there's better ways of dealing with it," said Doyle.
Razor wire's been in place between San Diego and Tijuana now for five years. Now Nogales waits to see if it's next.
9OYS reached out to Border Patrol for comment Friday. The agency told us the "specifics of the plan were unavailable at this time." Garino says he and his staff are set to meet with Border Patrol officials early next week. The hope is that dialogue goes well and Border Patrol changes course.
Stay with KGUN9 as this story develops.