Border towns struggle to afford the surge

Tim Micklin sells thick woolen blankets and large specialty flags out of the back of a white van in Gila Bend. He's parked on a dirt road next to the only Chevron gas station in town, and his wares are surprisingly popular in the hot desert climate. His most frequent requests are for a Baby Yoda blanket and an "F Biden" flag.

Micklin, a 64-year-old veteran, was born and raised in Arizona. His family immigrated to the United States right before the Bolshevik Revolution. He has a Latina wife, a son who teaches Spanish, and a brother-in-law who comes across the border every year for seasonal work.

He cracks jokes and teases his customers but becomes serious when talk turns to Gila Bend's growing immigration problem. "Biden failed to call this a crisis, but this is a crisis," he said. "I'm telling you, it is a crisis."

Like others the Washington Examiner spoke to, Micklin has a complex view of the immigration crisis in border towns such as Gila Bend. He is at times sympathetic, frustrated, and angry about it. He believes the decisions made in Washington, D.C., are placing a huge burden and siphoning resources in towns that have none to spare.

Texas National Guard by Sgt. Mark Otte is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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