BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Senator John Cornyn sat down with education, business, and political leaders from the Rio Grande Valley at the Port of Brownsville to discuss the region’s growth and future outlook.
One thing that Valley politicians like Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino made an emphasis on was the ban on non-essential travel from Mexico.
“To us, from our perspective, we’re the only part of the country – from a business standpoint, from a trade standpoint – that has not been allowed to reopen because of COVID,” Trevino said.
So far the counties and cities in the Rio Grande Valley have had no luck getting the ban on people who cross over into the U.S. to shop and spend money in border town stores lifted by the federal government.
“So, we continue to ask for your support from that endeavor,” Trevino said.
Cornyn agreed that the ban was hurting local economies but didn’t offer an immediate solution that would appease both local business owners and a federal government struggling to limit the spread of COVID-19 as hospitalizations remain high.
Instead, Cornyn suggested people continue to get vaccinated to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow the bridges to reopen.
“We have to manage this situation better in order to prevent the collateral damage which is our legitimate trade and travel,” Cornyn said.
Cornyn said the whole situation had been mismanaged, and that it was bad that legal travelers were being turned away “when in fact we have migrants just pouring across the border.”
Another key topic of discussion was the advancement in education that has happened in the Rio Grande Valley this century. At one point when talking about how the region was going to continue grow going forward, Cornyn said “education is the key.”
Senator Cornyn focused on the advancement of STEM education in the valley and highlighted the increasing number of jobs in those fields that were coming to the area, mentioning SpaceX specifically. Jobs that pay well, and were hiring local.
The Senator had toured SpaceX’s Boca Chica Beach launch facility earlier and said that “75%” of the jobs SpaceX was hiring were local workers.
“It’s very exciting,” he said. “People don’t have to leave home to get the skills or get the job. They can stay right here and be a part of the community they grew up in.”
Several times throughout the event, Cornyn said the best course of action people could take to help stop the pandemic was getting a COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, he ended his press conference by calling it one of his two main points he wanted people to take away from the event. The other being the growth in local job opportunities.