President Trump Threatens To Close Southern Border
Friday, March 29, 2019
Credit: Associated Press
President Donald Trump threatened on Friday to close the U.S.-Mexico border as soon as next week, although he did not state how that would affect San Diego's ports of entry.
Trump called on Congress to tighten the country's immigration laws, calling them the weakest in the world. He also gave the Mexican government an ultimatum, threatening to close the border if Mexico did not fully stop immigrants from entering the U.S. illegally.
"This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and 'talk,'" Trump said in a Twitter post. "Besides, we lose so much money with them, especially when you add in drug trafficking etc., that the Border (sic) closing would be a good thing!"
Earlier this week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan suggested that resources for federal immigration authorities have become strained as border crossings have spiked in recent months.
CBP officials expect to catch more immigrants attempting to cross the border illegally this month than at any point since 2008. An official from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also suggested that closing ports of entry is "on the table," according to a CNN report.
Trump hinted at a possible news conference in San Diego in the next several weeks during a Wednesday night interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
"Believe it or not, they were begging us to build in San Diego, begging us to build (a) wall," Trump said. "And we're just in the process of completing a major stretch of many miles of wall and we're going to have a news conference there just to show people ... it's really good stuff."
Trump has threatened to close the border before, often attempting to strong-arm congressional Democrats into backing his signature immigration policies, such as building a wall on the southern border. However, he has yet to follow through on his various threats.
California's state and local politicians have stressed the economic importance of cross-border commerce when discussing possible closures. CBP officials closed the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the busiest land border crossing in the country, for roughly six hours in November when a group of Central American asylum-seeking immigrants attempted to cross the border.
The closure resulted in an estimated loss of $5.3 million in commerce in San Ysidro alone. About $255 billion in gross regional product in San Diego and Imperial counties is dependent on cross-border commerce each year.
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