Cry us a Rio Grande River.
South Texas tourism promoters are blaming the “Trump Effect” for an apparent dip in wealthy Mexicans coming across the border to shop till they drop.
Though recent sales figures aren’t yet available for the 2018 “Semana Santa” Easter shopping pilgrimage, Ramiro Cavazos, CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, pointed an accusing finger at immigration policies emanating from the White House.
“Just the hassle of people bothering you, asking for information about whether you’re a citizen or just the negative effect, the intimidation factor, an unpleasant environment that they perceive might be in the U.S. the now last year and a half,” Cavazos told the San Antonio Express-News.
“The Mexican visitor no longer feels welcome,” declared Eduardo Bravo, past president of the Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs.
We’re not aware of any merchants or mall cops demanding to see papers. Nor is there any indication that Border Patrol agents are rifling through the mounds of merchandise being hauled back to Mexico.
In fact, Mexican shopping jaunts are a pretty big deal in Texas, which exempts all sales taxes on items that are taken across the border within 30 days of purchase.
“Manifestos” filed by Mexican buyers allowed more than $48 million in sales taxes to go uncollected from 2012-2017.
Such policies show how Texas and the United States are open for business – legitimate business. If people are going to be offended when the Trump administration carries out reasonable and legitimate enforcement of this nation’s immigration laws, they can do their tax-free shopping elsewhere.