EL PASO (KDBC) — Hundreds of bridge crossers received a warm welcome today; Congressman Beto O'Rourke handed out water bottles and talked to many visitors about their concerns and suggestions
"I wish I could be here every day because we have six million crossings every year on our international bridges in El Paso and Juarez and that really is the economic life blood the cultural life blood the life blood of our families and our communities and so we really want to stress on how important these folks are to us" O’Rourke said.
According to the Central Business Association more than 80% percent of downtown sales come from Mexican national's pockets, the organization's president says welcoming visitors and shoppers really makes a difference.
"it really just a gesture of thanks for the community for all the people who come from Juarez or the state of Chihuahua to visit, El Paso is a welcoming city we want people to feel that this is their home and feel comfortable shopping eating" CBA’s president George Salom said.
And it does make a difference, Juarez residents and shoppers say they were surprised to see the congressman.
"We come here to shop so we need certain help this motivates us this and receiving water is good" Juarez resident Alfonso Davila said.
"It's really good because when we are received well we feel better and specially receiving water after the line at the bridge" resident Geronimo Alvarado added.
O’Rourke says his commitment to reducing wait times continues as he hopes to see more people visiting El Paso.
"We cross the bridges ourselves so we realize how important they are I also hope we can improve the attitude that as a community we show to the people who use these bridges and really let them know they're valuable to us" the congressman concluded.