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Voices from the border: Residents of Nogales weigh-in on President-Elect Donald Trump

A+young+boy+looks+through+the+bars+separating+the+line+to+cross+the+border+from+the+rest+of+Nogales%2C+Sonora+on+Sunday%2C+Nov.+20%2C+2016.+
Rebecca Noble
A young boy looks through the bars separating the line to cross the border from the rest of Nogales, Sonora on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016.

The comments and campaign promises made by President-elect Donald Trump during his successful run for the Oval Offices didn’t fall on deaf ears in the border town of Nogales, just an hour or so south of Tucson.

Trump’s promise of a bigger border wall, increasing security, to carry-out major deportations and his advocation of cutting trade with Mexico has been worrisome for some living and working in Nogales. They’re not just worrisome, Trump’s promises have become a very real possibility in the aftermath of his election earlier this month.

Trump’s win came with protests breaking out in the U.S, trending hashtags on Twitter—such as “Not my President,”—and a significant impact and reaction from people all over the world.

RELATED: Trump’s economic plans leave the future unclear for Southern Arizona

Individuals either living in Nogales, Mexico or minutes from it, shared their thoughts on the election night results:

*Editor’s Note: The majority of these interviews have been transcribed and translated from Spanish to English by the reporter. This original article is available in Spanish here


Of the people asked, about 10 declined to be interviewed because they either didn’t want their opinion heard or said they did not know enough about politics to share anything. The Mexican immigration security officers also declined to speak to any journalists, saying their job did not allow them to, especially about the election results.

Mexico’s economy is the 15th largest in the world and is projected to become the sixth largest by 2050, according to an Arizona Town Hall report.

Idali Casas, from Nogales, Mexico, has been working in a money exchange store for eight years.

Casas said she thinks most people don’t like Trump and predicts that Mexicans will no longer be crossing the border to buy products and goods because the cost of doing so will not benefit buyers.

The peso and the Mexican stock market have been fluctuating recently, in connection with Trump’s victory.

”I have heard he is a person that is very entitled and has ideas that worry a lot of people, especially Mexicans,” said Brianda Bojorquez, a commuter from Hermosillo, Mexico, to Nogales, who came to shop. “I think any decision he takes won’t only affect the border, but a lot of places.”

More than 100,000 jobs in Arizona depend on the trade with Mexico, according to a 2015 Arizona Town Hall report.


Sylvia Torrecillas from Durango, Mexico, owns her own pharmacy across the border and has been running it for 18 years.

“This is my business,” Torrecillas said. “I lifted it up with sacrifices, not with drug money like [Trump] says.”

Torrecillas said she wanted to clarify that she wasn’t saying 100 percent of Mexicans are hard working, but the majority, about 99 percent according to her, are.

“It is known well that when Mexicans go to the U.S. we go to work, yet he classifies us as rapists and criminals,” Torrecillas said. “I don’t understand why Trump expresses himself so negatively about Latinos because all of us are hard workers.”

Torrecillas said she believes Mexico is rich in many things that people don’t know, like petroleum, gold and minerals.

“Maybe Trump will come and make a deal with our president, Enrique Peña Nieto, but hopefully he is conscious of the people in Mexico being humble hard workers and that we know how to do many things, things he doesn’t want to do so he doesn’t ruin his hands,” she said.

RELATED: UA students recount election reactions from abroad

Torrecillas said Trump needs good people around him and he’ll get those people if he is intelligent.

“He’ll get people who understand and like Latinos. If he doesn’t do that it won’t go well,” she said.

Out of the six Arizona/Mexico borders, Nogales is the busiest, according to the Arizona Town Hall report. The high volume of commercial traffic is due to both the railway crossing the border and the number of freeways leading people from the border to many cities in Arizona.


Pablo Camacho, 21, is a former Nogales High School student who said he crosses the border to visit family every day.

“I don’t know about people having fear, but I know some of my family members are planning to move back to Mexico,” Camacho said.

In 2014, the Migration Policy Institution reported more than 11.7 million Mexican immigrants populate the U.S.


“I hope he doesn’t go through [with] everything he has said in his campaign,” said Conchita Estrada, a U.S. citizen from Mexico who has been employed for 19 years by Brackers Department Store in Nogales. “[I hope] that he’ll change his opinion and be fair. I hope we continue to be two brother countries like we have been all my life. I would love to see that.”

Estrada said she hopes she will see Trump do things for the better of everyone.

“We all love each other; we are all family; we should be united,” Estrada said. “I agree with his want to stop criminals and delinquency.”


Follow Angela Martinez on Twitter.


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