The valley is home to thousands of winter texans this time of year... news of the caravan...and military deployment made national headlines..... channel 5's...john paul barajas...spoke to some of our winter visitors...to find out-- if they're concerned... another contract for the border wall construction has been awarded... the additional building of the wall is set for febuary... i spoke to some winter texans to see if whats happening at our border is something that might keep them from coming back winter visitors mean big bucks.
Sot rebecca arizmendi pharr chamber of commerce president "a 5 hundred million dollar impact in our 4 county region" talk of a border wall, barbed wire and less freedom is putting those dollars at risk.
Tempertaures are dropping... native texans are bundling up... winter texans are making their arrival in swim wear... sot robert and elda huff illinois winter texans "i like that swimming pool and that hot tub and the warm weather" robert huff and his wife elda came here from illinois in 1973.
They've returned every year since.
Sot ann whitney winter texan "im a bird watcher so i like seeing the birds and the nature and the natural setting that its in"ann whitney from illinois since 2014... all of them love coming to the valley to get away from harsh winters... i wanted to know if the border wall continuing to be built, troops being sent to our border and the caravan would effect their decision of coming in the future nats the huffs say not much of anything would keep them from coming... i asked what would sot robert and elda huff "our health" "yeah health would be the biggest thing i guess" whitney on the other hand doesn't just come for the warm weather... she comes for the wildlife..
Shes worried the border wall is going to destory it sot ann whitney "it's going to wreck habitat they're going to destroy areas" whitney says shes unsure if she'd return if the natural beauty the valley has to offer is ruined... we spoke to rebecca arizmendi the preisdent of the pharr chamber of commerce about what winter texans mean to the valley she says the numbers have increased ten percent since 2016.
They hope 2018 continues in that trend... arizmendi says without them the valleys economy would suffer sot rebecca arizmendi "a hundred thousand people that will not be here for 6 months of the year you need to think about those numbers and think about what kind of money is being spent down here" arizmendi says the continued controversy here...could put a stop to much needed dollars.
We spoke to a handful of other winter texans who didn't want to come on camera... a large majority say they arent going anywhere else..
A concern for arizmendi is to how to get others who haven't fallen in love with what we have to offer to come with the national spot light on our border in the studio john paul barajas channel 5 news