Closing southern border may be "best decision": White House

Jermaine Castillo
April 3, 2019

He also suggested that the Central American countries whose citizens are surging north through Mexico to reach the USA have been complicit with the smugglers recruiting and transporting people.

Reuters reports that, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, almost half of all imported U.S. vegetables and 40% of imported fruit are grown in Mexico.

As President Donald Trump threatens to close the USA border with Mexico as early as this week, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has cut an overseas trip short to oversee decisions on the border response and is now back in Washington, D.C., a senior DHS official tells ABC News. "They're taking advantage of the United States, and they have been for many years", he said.

"Closing the border would not be a good thing", says Colbert, before citing the US Chamber of Commerce's remarks that closing the border would be an "unmitigated economic debacle".

Approximately $137 billion of food imports cross the United States-Mexico border, so a complete shutdown would have a very severe impact on the economy.

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"If trade was interrupted, US producers would suffer crippling disruptions of their supply chains, American families would see prices spike for food and cars, and USA exporters would be cut off from their third-largest market".

In the first 11 months of 2018, the USA imported 172.4 million liters of tequila from Mexico according to the country's National Chamber of the Tequila Industry.

"If you can close down the border when you're mad at anything, what is the value of a deal?" he said. "And according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, almost 80% of these exports - $207 billion - were shipped to Mexico via truck or rail".

Officials said facilities for handling the migrants - who for the moment can not be sent back after they cross the border and request asylum - are overtaxed and understaffed, creating hazardous conditions.

Asked about the economic impact, the president acknowledged that closing the border would be painful - but that security is more important.

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It has not been made clear when Trump plans to put a closure into effect.

Although Trump is making his argument on security grounds, the reality is that there will be an economic element to a border closure, Wilson said.

"Democrats in Congress are leaving us no choice". It would also prevent thousands of vehicles built in Mexico from landing in US dealer showrooms. "I'm not playing games". Trucks delivering goods would be temporarily barred from traveling between the United States and Mexico. "It's not necessarily where immigrants want to emigrate to".

"Our business would end", said Marta Salas, an employee at an El Paso shop near the border that sells plastic flowers that are used on the Mexican side by families holding quinceañeras, the traditional coming-of-age celebrations.

Which brings us back to avocados.

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