President Trump threatens to close border with Mexico next week

President Donald Trump - AP image

President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to close the nation's southern border, or large sections of it, next week if Mexico does not halt illegal immigration at once.

Posted: Mar 29, 2019 11:56 AM
Updated: Mar 29, 2019 2:20 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to close America's southern border or large sections of it next week, a potentially drastic step affecting the economies of both the U.S. and Mexico, if Mexico does not halt illegal immigration "immediately."

"It could mean all trade" with Mexico, Trump said when questioned by reporters in Florida. "We will close it for a long time. I am not kidding around."

Trump has previously threatened to close the border — including at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Thursday night — but this time was different as he gave a timetable. The White House did not immediately respond to questions about whether his possible action would apply to commercial and air travel, but a substantial closure could have an especially heavy impact 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.

"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," Trump said in a tweet. "This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and 'talk.'"

Trump's declaration came a day after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his country was doing its part to fight migrant smuggling. Criminal networks charge thousands of dollars a person to move migrants through Mexico, increasingly toward remote sections of the U.S.-Mexico border in large groups.

"We are going to do everything we can to help," Lopez Obrador said. "We don't in any way want a confrontation with the U.S. government."

A senior Homeland Security official on Friday suggested Trump was referring to the ongoing surge of mostly Central American families crossing the border from Mexico. Many people who cross the border illegally ultimately request asylum under U.S. law, which does not require asylum seekers to enter at an official crossing.

The official said the U.S. might close designated ports of entry to re-deploy staff to help process parents and children.

Ports of entry are official crossing points that are used by residents and commercial vehicles. The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, did not specify which ports the administration was considering closing, but said only that closures were "on the table."

Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday that 750 border inspectors would be reassigned to deal with the growing number of migrant families, and the DHS official said Friday that the department was seeking volunteers from other agencies to help.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have fought over whether there actually is a "crisis" at the border, particularly amid Trump's push for a border wall, which he claims will solve immigration problems, though a wall wouldn't keep out families who cross the border at official points so they can surrender and be detained.

The president called on Congress to immediately change what he said were weak U.S. immigration laws, which he blamed on Democrats. The Department of Homeland Security wants the authority to detain families for longer and more quickly deport children from Central America who arrive at the border on their own. The department argues those policy changes would stop families from trying to enter the U.S.

reaking point had arrived.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 139444

Reported Deaths: 2440
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34988995
Ramsey14471364
Dakota10132138
Anoka9160153
Washington623372
Stearns608248
Scott354934
Olmsted335930
St. Louis314271
Wright265315
Clay246443
Nobles231918
Blue Earth20857
Carver18677
Kandiyohi17835
Sherburne176322
Rice168310
Mower153918
Winona129619
Chisago11142
Crow Wing108322
Benton10099
Lyon10076
Waseca9419
Beltrami9278
Otter Tail9217
Todd8726
Morrison8029
Steele7873
Polk7864
Itasca77117
Nicollet75618
Douglas7344
Freeborn7004
Le Sueur6516
Goodhue63311
Martin61918
McLeod6154
Becker6044
Isanti5835
Watonwan5814
Pine5630
Carlton4832
Chippewa4693
Mille Lacs43216
Hubbard4233
Cass4055
Dodge4050
Wabasha4050
Pipestone36117
Rock3555
Meeker3483
Brown3353
Roseau3000
Redwood29411
Yellow Medicine2946
Murray2913
Cottonwood2900
Fillmore2650
Renville26313
Sibley2623
Wadena2573
Faribault2440
Kanabec23010
Houston2201
Jackson2191
Swift2122
Pennington2091
Unassigned19553
Lincoln1910
Aitkin1882
Stevens1861
Koochiching1765
Pope1650
Big Stone1531
Lac qui Parle1453
Wilkin1424
Marshall1371
Lake1290
Clearwater1281
Mahnomen1282
Norman1280
Grant1024
Red Lake822
Traverse580
Kittson500
Lake of the Woods451
Cook180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119931

Reported Deaths: 1677
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19440289
Woodbury735998
Johnson596531
Black Hawk5862102
Linn5823132
Dubuque538358
Scott474442
Story408218
Dallas352547
Pottawattamie333245
Sioux249817
Buena Vista227912
Marshall209036
Webster192315
Plymouth170331
Wapello157362
Clinton151627
Muscatine151258
Des Moines147310
Cerro Gordo146127
Crawford137014
Warren12947
Carroll118913
Jasper115034
Henry10955
Marion104811
Tama98637
Lee98311
Delaware81713
Dickinson7769
Wright7481
Boone7369
Mahaska72824
Bremer7029
Harrison68415
Washington67711
Jackson6623
Benton6222
Lyon5598
Clay5474
Louisa53415
Winnebago50619
Winneshiek4969
Cedar4947
Hardin4887
Kossuth4850
Hamilton4794
Buchanan4755
Poweshiek47211
Jones4704
Clayton4613
Floyd45211
Emmet44620
Iowa4299
Page4190
Guthrie41315
Mills4133
Cass4123
Cherokee4112
Sac4074
Butler3963
Franklin39318
Shelby3932
Fayette3924
Allamakee3879
Madison3713
Chickasaw3691
Clarke3573
Humboldt3503
Hancock3394
Grundy3326
Palo Alto3262
Calhoun3234
Osceola2930
Mitchell2881
Howard2819
Monroe26411
Union2635
Taylor2522
Jefferson2471
Monona2472
Pocahontas2382
Appanoose2343
Fremont2121
Lucas2106
Ida2082
Adair1911
Greene1890
Montgomery1877
Davis1854
Van Buren1842
Keokuk1711
Decatur1600
Audubon1561
Worth1460
Wayne1343
Ringgold922
Adams841
Unassigned90
Rochester
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 26°
Mason City
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 26°
Albert Lea
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 26°
Austin
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Charles City
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 32°
Tracking a breezy weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events