Trump threatens to close Mexico border, seeks Congress action

Asked about the potential economic impact, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said closing the border is "not our first choice", but she added that the president's top priority is to protect lives.

Since Politico is quoting "sources" we have no way of knowing if the White House staff is in a "panic" or not but it sounds to me like Secretary Nielsen is simply doing her job and making sure policy decisions are put into place.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Tuesday that backups were delaying commercial traffic at the US-Mexico border at several crossings.

He added that although he agrees with Trump that there is a "border crisis", he would hope that the USA would not close the border.

The U.S. auto industry imports $59.4 billion worth of parts from Mexico while exporting $32.5 billion worth of parts to assembly plants in Mexico.

Nielsen told Cabinet members that Homeland Security is establishing an "emergency operations cell" as is done during a hurricane with daily video teleconferences and operational updates, the source said.

In brief remarks, Trump on Tuesday again threatened to close the border but would not definitively say whether he would do so, and he has not divulged his plans even to some of his closest aides.

"We're going to have a strong border or we're going to have a closed border", he told reporters as he met NATO's secretary general.

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"I think the answer is we can and people are looking at different options, particularly if you can keep those freight lanes, those truck lanes open". When the Otay Mesa, California, entry port closed for the night Monday, 150 trucks were still waiting to get into the U.S. He said the government had not drastically changed its migration strategy following the shutdown threats.

The official, who was speaking on background, said Nielsen left her European trip early because she wants to personally oversee certain aspects of the department's response to the border situation.

US Customs and Border Protection estimated that some 100,000 migrants were apprehended or encountered at the border in March, the highest level in a decade.

"Our detention centers are maxed out & we will take no more illegals".

For American farmers and grocery shoppers, a border closing "would be disruptive really quickly", said Veronica Nigh, an economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the solution is a broad bill that would combine security with amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants - and perhaps a new flow for guest workers.

Under current law, minors who are not from the contiguous countries of Canada and Mexico are placed in the care of sponsors in the United States, which Nielsen called a "dangerous "pull" factor" for migrants. If a border shutdown continued for an extended period of time, everything from furniture to photo equipmight might become more expensive. "I am not kidding around", he said then, exasperated by the swelling numbers of migrants, thousands of whom were being released into the USA because border officials had no space for them.

Trump said he had spoken with "a few" Democrats on Tuesday about the administration's proposals and added, "They're changing their minds".

  • Sonia Alvarado