Trump repeats threat to close the US southern border – a move that if he acts on would anger Mexico and business groups.
President Donald Trump has threatened to close the southern border of the United States or large sections of it next week if Mexico does not halt undocumented immigrants from reaching the border “immediately”.
“It could mean all trade” with Mexico, Trump said on Friday when questioned by reporters in Florida. “We will close it for a long time. I am not kidding around.”
Earlier on Friday, Trump had tweeted, “If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week. This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and ‘talk.'”
Trump has previously threatened to close the border – including at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday night – but this time was different as he gave a timetable.
It is remembered In December, Trump threatened to seal the US-Mexico border “entirely” if Congress did not approve billions of dollars in funding for a wall. Instead, he allowed the government to shut down for a record 35 days.
If he follows through on Friday’s threat, it would likely anger Mexican leaders and business owners and groups on both sides of the border.
The White House did not immediately respond to questions from the Associated Press news agency about whether Trump’s possible action would apply to commercial and air travel, but a substantial closure could have an especially heavy effect on cross-border communities from San Diego to South Texas, as well as supermarkets, factories, and other businesses across the country that rely on trade from Mexico.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter on Friday that Mexico does not act on the basis of threats.
“Mexico does not act on the basis of threats. We are a great neighbor,” Ebrard tweeted. “[Ask] the million and a half Americans who chose our country as their home, the largest community of [Americans] outside the US. For them we are also the best neighbor they could have.”
Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America said he did not take Trump’s threat very seriously.
“I can think of nobody in the US government, including White House staff, who would go along with closing all ports of entry, which would cost US businesses billions of dollars,”