JIM SHARPE

Trying to keep ‘Arizona’s Beach’ from becoming ‘Muerta Playa’

Jan 4, 2024, 4:00 PM

Now that it’s been reopened after a month of being closed, I think it’s worth looking back to explore what the closure of the Lukeville Port of Entry accomplished.

My conclusion? Not much.

Closing the main legal route between Phoenix and Mexico’s Gulf of California didn’t accomplish a reduction in illegal immigration. Sources tell ABC News that an estimated 302,000 migrant arrests occurred in December — that would be the highest monthly total ever recorded. 

I saw what seemed like endless hours of video showing hundreds of people slipping through the fence near Lukeville — waiting for Border Patrol to process them. And, then, in almost every case, release them while they await an immigration court date that will likely take place in the 2030s — because we are so overwhelmed.

Truly caring about the migrants would mean that President Joe Biden should end his highly welcoming attitude — because it’s forcing migrants to deal with the narco-terrorist cartels that control almost all of the human smuggling.

Maybe closing Lukeville accomplished a passing grade for Biden on some warped, far-left, ideological acid test — trying to win the votes of people who already support his reelection.

But I do know one thing that the Lukeville closure accomplished: it lowered the standard of living of our Mexican neighbors.

Arizona might’ve lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to Mexican shoppers and tourists unable to get here in December. But that’s nothing compared to what Puerto Peñasco — commonly known as Rocky Point — had to endure.

Hector Vazquez, the director of the Las Palomas Resort in Rocky Point, told me on Arizona’s Morning News that his town lost $20 million in real estate and about $14 million in tourism dollars during December. 

A $34 million loss may not sound like much compared to what Arizona lost out on — until you consider that Puerto Peñasco is a town of less than 70,000 — with an average monthly salary of about $400.  

That $34 million hit — hits them really hard.

No wonder Señor Vazquez sounded almost desperate on Arizona’s Morning News making the pitch to get you to come to Rocky Point. 

“We are open. We will be open and welcome to our casa — again.”

Since Puerto Peñasco is called Arizona’s Beach, maybe he’s onto something: “Mi playa es su playa.” But if you plan to head to “su playa,” do it soon. They need the help now — and who knows when Biden will come up with another “great idea” that keeps legal travel and trade from flowing across the border. 

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Trying to keep ‘Arizona’s Beach’ from becoming ‘Muerta Playa’