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Tale of 2 towns named Anthony highlights struggle between Texas, New Mexico over virus restrictions

ANTHONY, Texas/New Mexico -- It's a tale of two towns mere miles apart that highlights the struggle over Covid-19 restrictions.

In Anthony, Texas, restaurants are getting ready to open at 100% capacity next Wednesday with no mask mandate as a result of the decision of the governor.

Just blocks up the street is Anthony, New Mexico, where indoor dining isn’t allowed due to the Dona Ana County being in that state's restrictive coronavirus red zone. 

The conundrum of two adjoining towns in different states, each trying to run businesses with very different restrictions at play.

Residents who live in Anthony, New Mexico, can simply walk a couple of blocks into Texas and have a meal seated in a restaurant, which in turn is leaving many New Mexico restaurant owners worried.

"The governor of Texas is going to open at 100%,” said Diana Murillo-Trujillo Mayor of Anthony, New Mexico. “We’ve gotta wait and wait, and of course residents want to go over there and sit down and have a comfortable meal in a restaurant. It's going to be very difficult for us."

America Chavez, the manager of The Rose Garden, a restaurant on the Texas side of Anthony, said: "They tell us it's good to be able to come and sit down inside a restaurant, not have to be outside or do takeout."

The problem with so many people from New Mexico dining in Texas is the money that they are taking away from the Land of Enchantment. 

Ernesto's Mexican Food has been running for 23 years. Patsy Mendoza told ABC-7 this is the toughest it’s ever been. She estimates their sales are down about 60 to 70% from this same time last year.

So how long can her's and other restaurants in New Mexico survive like this?

“I don't know, it all depends on her [New Mexico's governor],” Mendoza said. “If she let's us open at least 25%, then I think we can go on. But if we continue like this, who knows."

"Why not allow at least 50%,” Murillo-Trujillo said. “So our businesses don't go out of business and I mean honestly, it's not just Anthony, it's Chaparral, Sunland Park. Everybody is trying to survive."

New Mexico / News / Video

Rachel Phillips

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