When the Trump administration abruptly shuttered the San Ysidro border crossing for five hours on the Sunday after Thanksgiving following a skirmish with a group of migrants, holiday traffic snarled for hours south of San Diego.
Businesses on the U.S. side of the border lost about $5.3 million in sales, local officials said. Tens of thousands of people were temporarily stuck on both sides of the border, creating chaos in nearby areas.
President Trump now is threatening to exponentially increase the scale of that disruption, vowing to indefinitely close the U.S. border with Mexico to show his resolve — and his pique — as tens of thousands of Central American migrants continue to jam legal entry points and unguarded remote areas.
Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday that the president, who has threatened to close the border before, is not bluffing. But White House officials declined to provide details of what, if anything, Trump intends to do.
It is probably impossible to close the entire 2,000-mile-long border. But Trump could shut some or all of the 47 official entry ports, which process more than 1 million people and about $1.7 billion in commerce every day.
Even a limited and temporary closure would be felt from California to Texas. A longer-term closure would devastate local businesses and ripple through regional supply chains, directly affecting the farms and automobile manufacturers whose employees form the core of Trump’s political base.
It would quickly face legal challenges and add to chronic staffing problems for already-stretched U.S. immigration enforcement agencies. It also would require Mexico’s cooperation, which is hardly assured.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a pro-business organization, warned Monday of “severe economic harm on American families, workers, farmers, and manufacturers across the United States” if Trump closes the border.
“I imagine they probably do have the authority to close any particular port of entry temporarily,” said Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2014-17. “Having said that, the political, logistical and economic consequences of doing that are potentially devastating.”….
His threat’s are being taken seriously by his staff, who are working feverishly to talk him out of this….
His actions in this, and immigration in general , is typical ‘go hard Donald’ , and seems to be part of an continuing effort by Trump to push his party members into a hole for next years elections….
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is in a state of panic over PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S plans to close the southern border. We spoke to several senior administration figures who described a White House freaked out about the implications of closing the border — both for the USMCA, the president’s top legislative priority, and because they believe it will result in an immediate spike in the cost of consumer goods.
WE HEAR … There are people in the White House who are trying to cobble together a plan to present to Congress that would seek to tighten immigration laws — a way to beg the president off his close-the-border plan. Of course, you should be very, very skeptical anything would get through Congress, but the people who work for the president are trying to head off what they see as another self-inflicted wound.
EVIDENCE OF THE PANIC … AT 8:33 P.M. last night in London — 3:33 p.m. in D.C. — a U.S. Coast Guard G5 that DHS SECRETARY KIRSTJEN NIELSEN typically uses took off from Stansted Airport just 24 hours after it landed. NIELSEN was in London for meetings, and inside the White House, there was discussion all day Monday of bringing her back to the United States. This plane landed at DCA at 11:36 p.m. Nielsen came back to Washington for this…