MCALLEN, Texas — President Trump’s visit to the southern border divided a community in south Texas.
While some welcomed him with support, others protested his policies.
Greeted by his supporters, President Trump arrived to McAllen on day 20 of the partial government shutdown over funding for a border wall.
It's an issue that not only has the president and congressional democrats at odds, but his critics and his supporters as well.
“I actually believe from a spiritual perspective that President Trump has an assignment on behalf of the United States of America,” said Mission resident and realtor Reagan Loughry.
Loughry hopes the President’s visit with local officials will help bring everyone a step closer to ending the gridlock in the country.
“My heart is here to say ‘yes I’m pro-President Trump’,” she said. “Whatever brings our borders more security, less porousness, and keeps our finances taken care of first, I’m for that.”
For 69-year-old Fred Cavazos who lives in neighboring Mission, talk of a wall means something else.
“Everybody is losing property," said Cavazos.
A border wall project set to start in February with funds appropriated by Congress last year, will leave Cavazos’ 64-acre ranch and all the 30 lots he rents along the edge of the Rio Grande, in a makeshift ‘no man’s land.’
“We’ve lived here all of our lives. It’s how we make a living,” said Cavazos.
Cavazos doubts any gates to grant him access to his properties will be conveniently located and fears his tenants will eventually leave. He said he has nowhere else to go.
Cavazo’s sisters help him manage the properties they’ve inherited. They prefer to see more manpower securing the border than a wall.
“This land was sacrificed, worked for by my grandma,” said Cavazos’ sister Lillie. “She fought for this land and paid for it little by little, selling tortillas, selling whatever.”
Loughry said she understands there’s no easy solution to such a divisive issue.
“That’s hard,” she said. “Especially if some[one] has been there for decades... My desire is that they be fairly and properly compensated.”
But as history has taught the Cavazos family – who have lost property to eminent domain times before – proper compensation is something that people living along the border will have to fight for if a wall is to cut through their land.
“What else can you do?” said Cavazos. “They’re forcing us to do this.”