President Donald Trump on Thursday again threatened to close the southern border if the Mexican government doesn’t do more to provide border security.
“If we find that it’s uncontrollable, if we find it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control,” the president said to reporters during his Thanksgiving vacation at his Florida palace, Mar-a-Lago.
He then added that he would shut down “the whole border … I mean, the whole border.”
Trump said he wants Mexico to do much more to secure the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border from San Diego, California to Brownsville, Texas.
“We are either going to have a border, or we’re not,” he remarked. “When they lose control of the border on the Mexico side, we just close the border.”
Once again, Trump is making grand pronouncements to get media attention but has not considered the ramifications of his threatened actions. Closing the Mexican border would cause massive economic damage throughout the country and especially in the border states.
According to a U.S. State Department estimate nearly $2 billion in goods and services legally cross the border each day. On top of that hundreds of thousands of people also legally cross the Mexican border every day.
Trump’s threats yesterday followed an unhinged tweet storm last month where he threatened to close the border if the governments of Mexico and Central America did not control the migrant caravan heading toward the United States.
Trump also said on Thursday that there could be a government shutdown next month. He said he could hold up a funding deal with Congress if they don’t authorize money for a wall on the Mexican border.
“Could there be a shutdown? There certainly could and it will be about border security, of which the wall is a part,” Trump commented while talking to reporters.
Congress has a deadline in December to fund parts of the federal government and avoid a possible showdown.
Democrats have never said they would agree to meet Trump’s wall demands, and the Republicans currently in charge of Congress can’t agree among themselves.
Most people know that when Donald Trump issues threats like closing the border or shutting down the government he is just blowing hot air. Still, his irresponsible statements to reporters yesterday are sure to cause headaches and heartburn among Republican members of Congress who actually are running the U.S. government.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.