Trump Threatens to Close Southern Border
As of late, politics surrounding the southern border of the United States (U.S.) have been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. News about the tragic deaths of migrants apprehended by border patrol, as well as Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to bar undocumented immigrants from asylum, have heightened the nation’s awareness to the area. Recently, the president again made headlines, threatening to close the southern border completely because he was unhappy with Mexico’s immigration policies and procedures. While Trump has since backed away from this strong threat, the possibility still remains.
In this article, we explore why Trump has threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border. Further, we will discuss some possible consequences of such a decision.
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Why Did Trump Consider Closing the Southern Border?
The president issued a warning last Friday (March 29), threatening the immediate closure of the U.S. southern border. The president stated, “If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration….I will CLOSING the border, or large sections of the border, next week.”
It is obvious that the president sees a border closure as a possible bargaining chip, a way to persuade Mexico into solving an unsolvable problem. The president unwittingly continues to treat immigrants, an essential lifeblood for the American economy and communities, as unwanted guests.
But, luckily, many throughout the nation responded to Trump’s threats with alarm, raising immediate concerns about severe consequences for every citizen of Mexico and the United States.
Trump’s Ultimatum to Mexico
By Wednesday this week (April 3), it appeared Trump reconsidered his threat to close the southern border. The president’s initial announcement was met with immediate and “intense” resistance from many, even those within the Republican Party.
Instead, the president has now issued an ultimatum to Mexico, giving the nation a year to tackle its immigration and drug issues. It is not clear what will happen – the president also threatened an auto tariff of 25% if Mexico did not improve its management of migrants passing through its lands.
Possible Consequences of a Southern Border Closure
Without a doubt, a closure of the U.S. southern border would cause disastrous consequences, some more obvious than others. Below, we list some of the major concerns already raised by economists and immigration experts.
More Illegal Crossings and Economic Consequences for Mexico
First, closing the southern border would likely lead to more illegal crossings. According to the Texas Tribune, more than half a million people legally cross the U.S.-Mexico border every single day. This includes students, workers, shoppers, and tourists, in addition to refugees, asylees, and other migrants. If such an option were to disappear, vulnerable people and potential asylees would see no other choice than to risk crossing into America illegally.
Further, countless thousands of people commute from cities in northern Mexico to U.S. southern cities. These commuters would be without jobs and U.S. companies without workers. According to The New York Times, this could “promote more poverty in Mexico,” leading to additional immigration pressure and crossings.
Finally, if Trump closes the border, students would be denied essential educational opportunities. This is because many students cross the border to attend schools and universities. For example, the Texas Tribune states that one Catholic school in El Paso reports that 40% of its students cross the border to attend classes.
Economic Consequences for Americans
Should the border between the U.S. and Mexico close, the ramifications would likely be felt around the world. In this section, we highlight a few ways Americans would suffer due to Trump’s border shutdown.
The Times reports that some border towns would suffer greatly if the border shut down. This is because many Mexican shoppers cross the border and support local businesses and communities. In fact, in McAllen, Texas, nearly one third of its annual retail sales (roughly $3.2 billion) are attributed to Mexican consumers.
In addition to immediate consequences for border towns, the U.S. would likely experience a nationwide spike in food prices. This is to the mass amount of goods that cross the U.S. border each day, including food imports from Mexico, as well as Central and South America. According to the Times, these include popular produce items like avocados, grapes, and tomatoes.
Finally, the U.S. exports billions of dollars of goods to Mexico annually. Any shutdown of the border, even for a short time, would likely result in a slowdown of trade. This would then cause turmoil within the U.S. economy as one of America’s greatest trade partners loses access.
Questions or Concerns?
Current U.S. politics and national news can make anyone worried about the future. Yet, such worries are often more pressing for immigrants and their families. If you are concerned about an immigration matter or need assistance, don’t leave your future to chance. Your right to live, work, and prosper in the U.S. is far too important. An immigration attorney is trained to provide expert advice, guiding you through even the most complicated of cases. They will be a staunch ally, no matter your situation.
Nanthaveth & Associates passionately serves clients throughout Austin, Texas. Every day, our dedicated legal team collaborates with clients to seek positive solutions to everyday immigration concerns. For your comfort, our initial consultations are always free. This provides you with a commitment-free opportunity to discuss your case with one of our expert lawyers. We’re ready to help – contact us today!