/ Modified jul 16, 2021 1:53 p.m.

Border vaccinations, travel restrictions, A-10 jet’s history

How ongoing travel restrictions between the U.S., Mexico and Canada continue to strain border communities in Arizona.

Along Arizona’s southern border, five ports of entry are offering vaccines to Mexican residents. Earlier this year government leaders and public health officials on both sides of the border began talks about ways to increase vaccination rates in Mexico to ease concerns about transmission rates and in anticipation of when travel restrictions between the two nations expire.

More than 6,000 doses have been administered at Arizona’s ports. Just outside the port of entry in Lukeville, Tony Paniagua traveled to Sonoyta, Mexico where he heard from people waiting in line for their shot.

Communities along the Arizona-Mexico border have seen decreased travel through ports of entry for over a year as travel restrictions between the North American nations remain in place. That has translated into millions of dollars in lost revenue. Prior to the pandemic, Mexican shoppers spent an estimated billion dollars in Arizona each year. Lorraine Rivera traveled to the city of Nogales where she spoke to Mayor Arturo Garino about how his city is coping ongoing port restrictions.

Down the street from empty store fronts in the historic district of Morley Avenue in Nogales, David’s Western Wear is still open for business. The family-owned store has sold custom boots since 1980. It managed to stay afloat during the worst of the pandemic, but times are tough, and the store’s future remains uncertain. Lorraine Rivera visited David’s Western Wear and spoke to owner David Moore about how he plans to keep his doors open.

For years the Department of Defense has tried to retire the A-10 jet but Congress has always denied the request. The newest defense budget proposed for next year is no different. Earlier this year, the DOD announced it would retire an entire combat squadron. Amid turbulent times, Christopher Conover looked into the aircraft’s history and future at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Behind the thousands of airmen and civilians at Davis-Monthan is the DM 50, a nonprofit dedicated toward providing community support in the event of a base realignment or the retirement of an aircraft. DM 50 President Linda Morales discussed the base’s value to the region and her organization’s mission.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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