AP NEWS

Donald Trump vows ‘closing’ border to punish Mexico for illegal immigration

March 29, 2019

President Trump threatened Friday he will be “closing the border, or large sections” next week in response to what Homeland Security officials say is a complete breakdown of border security.

Mr. Trump lashed out at Mexico, accusing that country of failing to stop the tens of thousands of Central Americans traversing its territory, and said the border cut-off he envisions will punish America’s southern neighbor.

“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug[sic] our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week,” he said on Twitter.

He added: “We lose so much money with them, especially when you add in drug trafficking etc.), that the Border closing would be a good thing!”

It’s not clear what the president meant by closing the border. He’s threatened such a move before.

In his tweets Friday Mr. Trump also demanded Congress move to pass new laws to reduce the incentives drawing illegal immigrants to the U.S.

Border officials say they’re on pace to nab more than 100,000 illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in March. That’s the highest number since 2017 but officials say this is even worse.

In the last decade the crossers were mostly single adults from Mexico, who could be quickly returned.

This new flow is mostly Central American families or children traveling alone. They are almost impossible to remove quickly, and are instead released into communities where they disappear, then don’t show up for their eventual deportations.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says that of nearly 6,000 immigration cases over the last six months, only 8 percent of the migrants involved showed up for their hearings.