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News for Southeastern Arizona, provided by the University of Arizona School of Journalism

Bordering neighbors impact local economy

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Mexican visitors influence Tucson’s economy. Year round, shoppers come from Sonora, Mexico, to the United States to seek deals and spend money. On average, they spend about $1 billion in Tucson alone, which has a big impact on the local economy. About 22 million Mexico visitors come to Arizona each year with the main purpose to shop, studies show. The number spikes around holidays, such as Black Friday after Thanksgiving and Easter, and back-to-school season, said Felipe Garcia, executive vice president for Visit Tucson. When those holidays hit, parking lots are filled with Sonora license plates, and shoppers spend on average $1,000-$5,000. “The Mexican shopper is particularly a big spender here in our community,”  said Juan Padres, economic development and international trade specialist for the City of Tucson. “We’re the largest metro city closest to the Arizona-Sonora border, so...

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Future of immigration and discrimination

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President Donald Trump has reopened the closet for racial expression in America. With Arizona’s close proximity to the border, however, racial issues among immigrants is nothing new. In the last 10 months, the Trump administration has proposed a list of anti-immigration laws including, the wall between Mexico and United States, the removal of DACA, pardoning Joe Arpaio, and trying to ban people from eight countries from entering the U.S. This set many people off and changed the outlook of racism today. While his input on immigrants is much stronger than previous officials, anti-immigration policies are familiar for those in America. “It’s pervasive. The anti-migrant fence has to have a long history in Arizona,” said Liane Hernandez, community outreach and education director for YWCA Southern Arizona. “While Trump’s statements have been shocking, because he’s the president of the United States,...

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Vacancies threaten shopping malls’ future

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Empty malls from department store closures means a challenge for investors nationwide. Shoppers in Tucson are seeing more big box stores such as Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney and Macy’s closing down, and some local malls are suffering as a result. Brigham Stevens, an analyst for Tucson-based investors, Bourn Companies LLC, which bought the Foothills Mall last December from Schottenstein Property Group, said the group hopes to provide a community center with additional uses other than just retail. Tucson’s Foothills Mall currently looks like a ghost town, but Bourn wants to redevelop it into something that will attract people to the area once again. “We see the trends all across malls, and how they’re under performing and so we don’t see the ideal solution of trying to lease-up the vacancies with additional retailers,” Stevens said. He said his company is focusing heavily...

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