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Residents in this small Texas border town worry if wall will divide home

Posted at 1:50 PM, Jan 16, 2019

Texas resident Polette Rios is anxious. She was hoping to have answers by now regarding a section of the border wall slated to be built in her town.

Rios’ home, which is nestled alongside her the homes of her relatives in Roma, Texas, might soon sit on the Mexico side of a steel barrier.

“It’s sad,” she says. “I mean, I don’t even know what to do…I don’t know if I should continue or stop everything.”

Rios was in the process of renovating her home, but she stalled the project until she learns more about the border wall being built.

“I don’t wanna waste my money on something that, you know, I’m not gonna have,” Rios says.

Officials and residents don’t know exactly where a wall might run through town. They know where it will begin and where it will end, but for those several miles in between all they have to work with are clues, like places marked with an X.

“We’ve been uncertain as to where and what that wall would look like and how it will have an impact on our community,” says Roma’s assistant city manager Freddy Guerra.

Guerra says the border community, which is home to a majority Hispanic population of 12,000 people, is mostly against the wall.

Rios, however, is an outlier. Despite the potential for her home to be bisected by a 30-foot barrier, she still supports the idea of a wall. She says it’s because she’s come across too many migrants too often.

“Maybe every three hours five hours, they’re passing by,” she says. “I mean, they’re trying to get across.”

Rios recalls one time where she had two women, believed to be migrants, in her yard.

“We do not sugarcoat the fact that there is a lot of trafficking that goes through our town,” Guerra says. “There are a lot of illegal immigrants, undocumented people, that cross every day. That’s the reality of our situation.”

Wherever a barrier is built, Rios knows she’ll lose a view, as well as a prime spot for fishing.

But she believes it’s for the best, because she says it’ll bring her peace of mind.