Trump threatens to close the U.S.-Mexico border

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30 March, 2019

President Donald Trump issued a demand on Twitter that Mexico stop all illegal immigration at the southern border or he will close large sections of the border next week.

The president's tweet comes after similar threats earlier in the week to close the Southern Border, with Trump accusing Mexico and Central American nations of doing "nothing" as illegal immigration surges.

The images of hundreds of women, men and small children forced to wait in a crowded area behind fencing barbed with concertina wire have sparked fresh outrage over the Trump administration's handling of the situation at the border, where thousands of families have sought asylum in the U.S.

As president, Trump has legal authority to close particular ports of entry, but he could be open to a legal challenge if he made a decision to close all of them immediately, said Stephen Legomsky, a former chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under Democratic President Barack Obama.

"They are all talk and no action".

Mr Lopez Obrador wants the U.S. to fund $10 billion in economic development programs for Mexico and Central America to attack the poverty and violence he says are the root causes of migration.

On Thursday, he told a crowd at a rally in MI that the USA would "close the damn border" if Mexico did not do more to stem the flow of migrants crossing illegally into the United States.

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Trump has repeatedly vowed to close the USA border with Mexico during his two years in office.

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"That breaking point has arrived this week at our border", McAleenan said during a visit to the border in El Paso, Texas.

Most immigrant families coming to the USA don't plan on staying in the border towns they cross through, but rather to meet up with family throughout the country.

Overwhelmed by the number of Central American families being apprehended for illegally crossing from Mexico into southwest Arizona, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday it would start releasing detainees in Yuma.

Mr Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist who took office in December, has sought to cultivate a cordial relationship with Mr Trump.

A senior official with the Department of Homeland Security said the agency is moving border officers from ports of entry to areas between official crossing points where asylum seekers are turning up.

Border agents are on track to make roughly 100,000 apprehensions at the southern border this month. "We don't in any way want a confrontation with the United States", he said.

Democrats in Congress turned down the funding, arguing that Trump was exaggerating problems on the border for political gain.

Trump alleged Mexico was stealing the state's auto business and told the crowd that if he closes the border then "it means you're going to make more cars right here in the good old U.S.". Since then he has declared a national emergency to release his much-desired funds, though practically speaking, that effort has not been effective as it tied up in legislative and legal delays.

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