As a small rural town in Arizona, Springerville has what it needs in terms of material amenities for its residents. There’s a general store, a small regional hospital, a supermarket, retail shops, hotels and restaurants, and parks for recreational vehicles during the tourist season.
The town’s closest neighbor is Eagar (population 4,800). The nearest city is Show Low (population 11,732), about 50 miles southwest across vast golden hills and open range.
“The one thing I pride myself on with this little community is we band together,” Springerville’s Mayor Shelly Reidhead told The Epoch Times. “We love each other, and we take care of each other.
“I hope that holds when it hits the fan.”
Although Springerville sits 300 miles from the U.S.–Mexico border, the illegal immigration crisis almost landed on its doorstep last year.
This year, Ms. Reidhead fears another showdown with her state officials if the border crisis grows much worse.
“I’ve been dreading 2024 because I know what we’re in for [with the presidential election]. It’s not going to be a pretty year.”
In May 2023, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and her staff pushed the idea of busing illegal aliens to Springerville and housing them in the 189,000-square-foot dome stadium, the Round Valley Ensphere.