Threat to close border puts El Paso on edge

Threat to close border puts El Paso on edge

Threat to close border puts El Paso on edge

President Trump's threat to shut down the southern border raised fears Monday of dire economic consequences in the USA and an upheaval of daily life in a corner of the country that relies on the global flow of not just goods and services but also students, families and workers.

It's unclear whether Trump will follow through on his threat, but Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz - who's also chairman-elect of the Texas Border Coalition, a collective of border mayors, county judges and more who advocate for border communities at the Texas Legislature - is preparing in case it happens.

Trump has threatened to close the border this week as a way to stem illegal immigration. A complete shutdown would disrupt millions of legal border crossings in addition to asylum seekers, as well as billions of dollars in trade, about $137 billion of which is in food imports.

The President says there is a very good likelihood the border will get closed off.

Trump has been briefed several times since a year ago about the economic consequences of shutting U.S. ports of entry at the southern border but has continued to contemplate the idea of closing sections or the border in its entirety.

One administration official warned that the effects of doing so could be "catastrophic" and a White House official told CNN that "we could be in a whole world of hurt" if the President decides to close the border.

"The crisis at our border is worsening, and DHS will do everything in its power to end it", said Secretary Nielsen.

The US and Mexico are estimated to trade about US$1.7bn in good every day according to the US Chamber of Commerce, which a border shutdown would be "an unmitigated economic debacle" that would put 5m American jobs in jeopardy.

Trump's own administration has said that about 50 percent show up.

"They say they're going to stop them".

But shutting down the border would do more than cut into the country's guacamole supply.

If President Trump decides to shut down the border with Mexico this week, would it affect your access to avocados?

El Paso's business leaders said they share the mayor's frustration. Wait times at Brownsville, Texas, were 180 minutes Monday, double the wait a year ago.

To try to address the problem, the administration in late January started returning some migrants to Mexico to wait our their USA court dates in Mexican border cities. In February he declared a national emergency as a means to obtain funding for the wall after Congress denied the request. Trump is scheduled to make a border trip to Calexico, California, on Friday. Trump said it officially stopped coming on Monday.

Alternatively, the US Department of Homeland Security officials revealed that 100,000 illegal immigrants troop into the country monthly and as such, it is already affecting the system and it can't get worse than it already is.

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