NOGALES, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Nogales City Council members voted on Wednesday, Feb. 6, on the resolution condemning the U.S. federal government’s installation of concertina wire along the border fence.
The resolution calls for the federal government to take immediate action in removing the wire.
The full text of the resolution follows.
“I fear the day that our first responders have to go to the wire, because somebody fell in there and they need to extricate that person from there," said Garino.
Community members echoed the same concerns Wednesday night.
“It’s just beyond disgusting and they said do something,” one man told City Council, representing his two aunts who couldn’t make it to the meeting.
“It’s a public nuisance, it’s lethal," said Sherrie Nixon. "If someone gets tangled up in that, they could be killed.”
The razor wire, which was added to the 14-foot fence this week, has drawn criticism from the city’s business people, saying it is bad for business.
“It’s ruining our economy on Morley Avenue. It’s destroying it," said councilman Marcelino Varona, Jr.
One businessman, who also serves as the Chair of the Port Authority, thinks the city must fight back against the negative images created by the razor wire.
“Nobody asked us, what do we think of this or what do you think we should be doing to secure the border,” Guillermo Valencia said. “It’s just people 2,000 miles away saying this is what you need.”
Mayor Garino said he met with Border Patrol Wednesday afternoon, along with Nogales Police. The mayor said he was told by Border Patrol the wire would not be removed, and he ended up walking out.
“They were not being good stewards and we are not going to allow this in Nogales," said Garino. "This is the attitude Border Patrol had and I really don’t appreciate that.”
According to the resolution. the City of Nogales has an ordinance in the Development Code that bans the type of fencing in areas other than commercial or industrial storage areas and only at a minimum height of six feet.
“I would urge you to please lawyer up," said Nixon. "They are turning out town into a military base. It’s like the front lines of some kind of war zone.
The mayor said he does not believe statistics provided by the government on the number of “jumpers” or immigrants crossing the border in Nogales. He said the city will be putting in Freedom of Information Act requests for that information.
Mayor Garino said he also plans on taking legal action.