Scramble inside West Wing over Trump's border threat

Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

Trump repeatedly threatened to seal the southern border late past year, when the White House and Congressional Democrats couldn't reach an agreement over his demand for billions of U.S. dollars in funding for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, a plank of his 2016 presidential campaign.

"I think that the consequences to the economy, to our relationship with Mexico, to millions of families would be absurd".

"Closing down the border would have potentially catastrophic economic impact on our country and I would hope we would not be doing that sort of thing", McConnell told reporters at Congress.

Kudlow told CNBC that the Trump administration was exploring whether it could permit trucks carrying freight to cross the border if it is sealed.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen intends to fly to the border mid-week to assess the impact of several changes the administration has recently implemented, including efforts to return more asylum seekers to Mexico as they wait out their case.

"We're going to have a strong border or we're going to have a closed border", he added. -Mexican border as unrealistic. Another is the diminution of Washington's leverage by Mr. Trump's foolish decision to halt the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars of us aid meant to tackle the very problems impelling the current wave of migration.

A border shutdown would be felt at American dinner tables nearly immediately because fresh produce can't be warehoused for more than a few days, says Scott Vandervoet, whose family owns Vandervoet and Associates, a Nogales, Arizona, business that sells and markets produce imported from Mexico.

"They have started to do a significant amount more", Sanders said. Many who do make their way to the US border. Laredo, specifically, trades $230 billion worth of goods annually with Mexico, and about 15,000 trucks cross the border between Laredo and Mexico every day, Saenz says.

Trump brought up the possibility of closing ports of entry along the southern border Friday and revisited it in tweets over the weekend because of a surge of Central Americans migrants who are seeking asylum.

He also defended his decision to cut off "hundreds of millions of dollars" in U.S. aid to the three countries, accusing them of arranging the caravans of migrants.

DHS officials said border facilities have been overwhelmed by families who can not be deported quickly because they hope to seek asylum in the United States. At some points during the day, the US President demanded both that Mexico completely stem the flow of undocumented migrants crossing the border, and that the Congress "meet quickly and make a deal ... to get rid of chain migration ... get rid of catch and release", end the visa lottery and "do something about asylum".

Even without an official order to close the border, the crisis is forcing delays.

There's more to cross-border business than produce.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Retailers in San Diego got a small taste of what a border shutdown might look like last November, when members of a migrant caravan charged the border and US officials closed one border crossing in response. European Union member states have built over 600 miles of border walls since 1989 and deployed an additional 10,000 armed guards to keep out or deport anyone who makes it to the continent.

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