Proposed border fee could hurt local economy

Calexico

Proposed border fee could hurt local economy

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CALEXICO, Calif. (13 On Your Side) - Starting next year, you could have to pay a fee to re-enter the United States from Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security is considering a proposal to charge a border crossing fee to raise money to pay for more border security.

City officials say if the federal government charges a border crossing fee, it would devastate the local economy and deter people from coming across to shop and spend money.

The Department of Homeland Security is studying the idea to possibly charge a fee for everyone who crosses into the Unites States.

The money would go to increase border protection and improve inspection services.

Business Commissioner Morris Reisin says business owners are already struggling to turn a profit and stay open.

Right now about 30,000 people come across the border from Mexicali just about every single day.

Reisen says charging a border crossing fee would keep thousands from coming across, costing business owners a lot more if they're forced to close down, than the federal government would make off the fee.  

"There's no way it's going to happen. They're going to lose 50% of our business," says Reisin, "Might as well close down the border. It's not even worth it. When they're making minimum wage and then you charge them $0.50 or $1 to cross - it doesn't make sense."

The Calexico Chamber of Commerce also tells 13 On Your Side it's not the first time a border crossing fee has been proposed. Each time, city leaders have successfully shot it down.

Once again, they plan to fight the federal government to make sure the border crossing fee does not go into effect next year.