Just as the pandemic ravages the United States of America; cross-border movement continues to be a cause of concern for those on both sides of the frontier. Currently, several towns in northern Mexico are calling for stringent measures to check the inflow of tourists in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

“We invite US tourists not to visit Mexico,” said Sonoyta’s mayor, José Ramos Arzate, in a statement. “We agreed on this to safeguard the health of our community in the face of an accelerated rate of Covid-19 contagion in the neighboring state of Arizona,” added Arzate.

Residents of Sonoyta on the Arizona border took matters into their own hands last weekend and resorted to obstructing the entry of U.S. tourists by blocking the road leading to Puerto Peñasco with their vehicles. They’re likely to repeat the same process this weekend as well. The US government deported migrants back to Mexico and those infected with the virus at the onset of the pandemic.

“It’s so important to implement the necessary measures to protect the health of Sonorans. And one of them at this time has to be reducing the border crossings from the United States to Mexico,” said Sonora’s health secretary, Enrique Clausen, earlier this month.

While the data on the COVID-19 outbreak indicates an unprecedented surge in the U.S, President Trump has time and again deflected blame towards Mexico, claiming that Tijuana was “heavily infected with COVID.”

Steady plans are afoot to ensure that a meeting with Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador comes through at the White House. The meeting between Trump and Obrador is largely perceived as an event to raise a toast for the recently implemented USMCA, along with talks on the pandemic.

Despite Mexico grappling under a grave health crisis, it is believed that Obrador is equally guilty – of downplaying the severity of the pandemic and undermining the need to wear a mask while outdoors.

The US ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau reiterated the need for people to resist the urge to travel, for the sake of survival. In a US Independence Day message, Landau stated: “In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the land border every day and 90% of them are US citizens or green-card holders. If this traffic doesn’t slow, there will be an increase, not a decrease, in travel restrictions.”

"The ban on H-1B visas, which are often used to fill very niche positions that are not easily found in the American workforce, will ultimately prove to be counterproductive and is an example of using a nuclear bomb to address a bar fight," said Leon Fresco, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration who now represents H-1B workers. Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

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