'Wall or no wall we need to take politics out of border protection' says Texas border town Mayor Jim Darling

If you want to portray a crisis how better than to add a little drama to it.

And so at 9pm - in the heart of US prime time viewing - President Donald John Trump - [made his first televised presidential address](http://Trump urges wall funding to fix border ‘crisis’ in TV address).

Straight from the Oval Office, with the urgency of a man who needed to get his message into the living rooms of America, the 45th President lost no time in warning of the peril the nation faces.

This is the kind of address usually reserved for times of war or attack such as the hours following 9/11.

However President Trump’s focus was on a very different kind of threat, one so grave he believes it risks undermining the safety and security of every American.

This was an address all about what he described as the unfolding humanitarian crisis on the Southern border.

On that border however, in the city of McAllen at the most Southerly tip of Texas, talk of a humanitarian crisis is swiftly rejected.

Yes thousands of undocumented migrants are crossing here seeking asylum.

Others are deemed unsuitable for that process and detained whilst a third group, the people traffickers and drug dealers are pedalling their trade.

But a humanitarian crisis, absolutely not says the mayor. The crisis is the other side of the border and potentially of America’s making.

President Trump will be welcomed by the Mayor of McAllen, Jim Darling (left), on Thursday. Credit: ITV News

Mayor Jim Darling has lived in this city for decades and seen the change in migration but sees no future in walls.

The existing fence isn’t keeping people out so there’s little chance of a concrete structure doing any better.

For him the solution is on both sides of the border.

"It’s complicated," he tells me. "Wall or no wall we need to take politics out of border protection.

"We need to fill the vacancies in the border force, we need to invest in technology, we need to clear the fields by the border so people can’t hide, we need social workers to process the families and free up the border force and we need to tackle the problem on the other side too."

Major Jim Darling and ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy. Credit: ITV News

By that the former Vietnam veteran means addressing US foreign policy. "We need to take away the want.

"We need to tackle the problems in the countries these people are coming from.

"We spend billions tackling problems further afield we should be looking to the problems by our backyard. That would make the biggest difference."

By doing that his hope is the cartels who control the flow of migrants could be contained.

The families they ship through the border would not need to leave and without them clogging the system the focus could be on the criminals the President speaks of.

It’s clear his view differs significantly from President Trump’s and with a crime rate which has fallen for 30 years he says he has the statistics to back up his belief that not all migration is a bad thing.

He’ll be on the tarmac to greet the President when he visits onThursday - will he get to make his points?

"I’ll probably just shake his hand and welcome him - but I hope he really does get to see the reality on the ground. And the truth of it.

"This is the safest city in Texas and the seventh safest in America. The crisis is not here," he said.