SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - President Donald Trump's plan to secure our borders with a wall along the Mexican border has sparked protests. But it's a campaign promise he says he intends to keep.
The debate over the border wall is personal to Ocean Springs resident Amber Bourgeois. Her great-grandmother immigrated to the U.S. from Syria, and worked hard to have a better life for herself.
"If she wasn't given the opportunity then I wouldn't be here either, I think we should educate immigrants, and help them stay here if that's what they want to do," Bourgeois said.
Meanwhile, people like Gautier resident Carmen Beach say they feel the wall is necessary to keep greater control of the drugs and crime occurring near the border.
"Americans don't want to live there. It's overrun by criminals, gangs, drug cartels, they need more security on the border," Beach said.
Wednesday, President Trump signed what the White House described as "executive orders" that move toward building the wall, boosting border patrol forces and ordering an increase in deportations of undocumented immigrants. The President said planning for the massive project will start immediately. At first, it will be paid for by the U.S., but he promised the U.S. will seek reimbursement from Mexico.
"I don't think it's going to happen," Jackson County resident Canasta Robinson said. "He's going to have to get a lot through Congress. Even though he has the republican house, it won't pass."
Robinson echoes what many around the coast have said: Even though he may not fully agree with all of the president's actions, he'll support his decisions.
"He is president of the United States, he's been elected, and I guess we have to go with it from here on out," Robinson said. "Some things he'll have challenges for, but hopefully he does the right thing."
Mexico's president has repeatedly made it clear, his country will not pay for the wall. Thursday morning, President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted Thursday, "This morning we have informed the White House I will not attend the working meeting planned for next Tuesday."