On a Monday morning in Brownsville, long before the crack of dawn, cars line up to make the slow passage thru the gateway bridge – one of three passages from Mexico into the Unites States.
Most of the traffic is headed into the U.S. And a lot of the traffic is pedestrian: kids crossing over from downtown Matamoros for school, people legally coming in for work and university student going to class.
But Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez doesn’t see these as streams of people leaving Mexico each day for the U.S. He instead says these are the people that are part of his community – the very people who are as much a part of what it means to live and work and go to school in Brownsville as anyone else living in the city.
He says on any given day 3,000 to 4,000 people enter Brownsville.
“A lot of us are related to people in Matamoros,” he says. “A lot of the people from Matamoros have houses here and in Matamoros.”