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Trump lashes out at Central America, Mexico on border

Trump lashes out at Central America, Mexico on border”

U.S. president Donald Trump has threatened to close the border with Mexico to trade if Mexico does not stop immigrants from reaching the United States.

President Trump is threatening to shut down the U.S. Mexico border, or at the very least, "large portions" of it, next week if Mexico doesn't halt all undocumented immigrants from entering the country.

The president then demanded that Mexico must also take drastic action to "stop illegals from entering the US" through the southern border, issuing the country an extremely time sensitive ultimatum.

At the end of December he led a showdown with congressional Democrats over immigration reform, with Democrats refusing to grant the president $5.7 billion to fund a US-Mexico border wall. The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, did not specify which ports the administration was considering closing, saying only that closures were "on the table". "Mexico is tough. They can stop them", said Trump.

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.

Lopez Obrador said Mexico is doing its part to fight immigrant smuggling.

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"May close the Southern Border!" the president wrote.

McAleenan said, "And within that group - thousands of criminals, smugglers, gang members and public safety threats that we're sworn to protect this country from".

But a border shutdown would disrupt tourism and commerce between the United States and Mexico, which totaled $612 billion a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Mexico for many years made a fortune off of the US, far greater than Border Costs. We are a great neighbor", Ebrard posted.

So far, the plan Department of Homeland Security says it will commit to is pulling some officers from legal ports of entry to help with the influx of migrants crossing illegally, a senior department official told reporters on Friday.

March is on track for 100,000 border apprehensions, DHS officials said, which would be the highest monthly number in more than a decade.

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"America shares common cause with the countries of Central America in confronting these challenges", she said in a tweet Thursday, adding that all the countries were working toward the same goal.

An incomplete section of border fencing as seen from the Texas side during Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan's tour of the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.

To manage the crush, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reassigning 750 border inspectors from their usual duties at the ports of entry to help Border Patrol keep pace with arrivals in between ports of entry.

Trump has been promising for more than two years to build a long, impenetrable wall along the border to stop illegal immigration, though Congress has been reluctant to provide the money he needs.

Mr Trump's latest broadside came one day after the United States, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador agreed to conduct joint police operations in Central America to improve border security and tackle illegal immigration.

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