A group of American tourists arrived on Sunday to the border between San Diego (California, USA) and Tijuana (Mexico) to observe the prototypes of the border wall and see “what it is to live on the other side of the border.”
The stop, made days before the president of the United States, Donald Trump was to arrive, was part of a tour organized weeks ago by the company Free Tourist, with the idea that these Americans know what happens on the other side of border. “It’s an opportunity for tourists to get out of their bubble,” said Derrik Chinn, founder of Turista Libre.
From early hours, the group met at the pedestrian crossing of San Ysidro and, after passing through the Mexican customs, climbed aboard a bus that took them to the stretch of the border fence that allows you to look at the eight prototypes.
One by one, the 22 tourists, most of them residents of California, were down, walking slowly along the still slippery terrain to the primary fence that has guarded the border since the 1990s.
The tourists had a staircase that made it easier for them to take photographs of the prototypes, some of which had boxes in front that hindered the full view. “It’s very symbolic that they are leaving their country to see with their own eyes what their government is doing,” said Chinn, originally from Ohio and who has lived in Tijuana for more than ten years.
Sunday was the second round that the company offered, the first was in February, after the high demand that aroused the initiative and that motivated two additional dates, with another more scheduled for May.
Marilyn Rees, a resident of Coronado, California, said she was interested in seeing prototypes as art, although she called their construction “ridiculous.” “There is no way that this wall will be raised,” said the tourist, who lamented that taxpayers’ money is being considered for this purpose.
David Marsden, from Ventura, California, shared with his 13-year-old daughter the experience of seeing the border and getting to know one of the most controversial issues in the United States. “I get angry because it’s a waste of money, it’s a big waste,” he said.
Trump will travel this Tuesday for the first time as president to California and is expected to take advantage of the visit to see the prototypes of his promised wall on the border with Mexico.
The construction of the prototypes was financed with a fund of 20 million dollars, but the proposal of the president to wall the border with Mexico would require a budget of more than 21,000 million dollars, which has not been approved by Congress.
Although the main stop was the area of prototypes, the route for visitors continued through other points on the border between San Diego (California) and Tijuana (Mexico).
Steff Haines is a reporter for The Truth News. After graduating from American River College, Steff got an internship at NPR and worked as a beat reporter for the Los Angeles Kings. Steff was also was a columnist for the Huff Post. Steff mostly covers entertainment and community events in the Truth or Consequences region.