IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. – If you think big cities keep the flow of traffic at a stand-still, protesters plan to make all ports of entry between the U.S. and Mexico a parking lot. Leonardo Alvarez, who is in the used car industry, says protesters will block the ports for a third time in the last six months. They want an answer from the Mexican government.
“The reason why we are going to close the ports for the Mexican people not to come into the U.S. is so that nobody can come and consume and the American people are going to say, ‘What’s going on?'” said Alvarez.
Organizers say if you plan to travel between the two countries on Thursday, plan ahead as they plan to block every port of entry indefinitely in hopes this sparks a reaction to the recent ban on American cars imported into Mexico. Alvarez says he and his colleagues have been hit with the financial side-effects that came with the recent drop of U.S. cars coming south of the border.
He estimates the industry has lost about $500 million since the ban went into effect September 2014.
“We have about 25,000 cars that are being held at these parking lots in the U.S. side and they are accumulating $3 per day, per car.” said Alvarez.
Alvarez says they want the U.S. government involved because Mexican officials are violating the north American free trade agreement (NAFTA). However, not everyone is on board with the protest, Maria Asedas works at a local business in Calexico, she wants protesters to look at other solutions. She says businesses at the border will feel the pinch in their pocket.
“We depend a lot on Mexico because 90% of our clients come from there and closing the port of entry for us is terrible because it means our sales will drop a lot.”
The protest is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. this Thurday.