It would take "something dramatic" in the coming days to convince President Trump not to close the US-Mexico border. White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said the president's threat is "safe" is not a bluff.
The two high-ranking employees, who appeared on Sunday morning's talk shows, also reiterated the government's intention to cut back hundreds of millions of dollars in support, including programs to stem gang violence. Northern Triangle "- countries Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
These countries are the main source for tens of thousands of migrants, including caravans of families with children, who present themselves in ports of entry and asking for political asylum an escalating humanitarian crisis on the border.
"The Democrats did not believe us a month ago, two months ago when we said what's going on. The border was a crisis, a humanitarian crisis, a security crisis," Mulvaney told ABC News, "This week." He said the government is talking about closing the border because "we need people to go out of the ports of entry to patrol the desert where we have no wall.
He also called on the Mexican government to consolidate its southern border, saying that Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador should do more to prevent their citizens from entering Mexico. If they can not do that, he said, "it makes very little sense for us to continue to help them."
Conway, who appeared on "Fox News Sunday," opposed the idea that cutting aid to these countries would do worse. "The conditions are already terrible," she said. "The executive has gone to great lengths to try to mitigate these terrible circumstances, and we must also send a message back to these countries."
Closing the border is a drastic one Measure that would have immediate consequences Not only for asylum seekers, but also for trade between the United States and Mexico. According to the Commerce Department, Mexico is the United States' third largest trading partner, with more than $ 611 billion in cross-border trade last year. In the port of Calexico East, California, more than 1,000 trucks cross the border every day. Laredo, Texas, sees more than eleven trains a day to cross the border, according to the US Department of Transportation.
If the border closure applies to goods and vehicles as well as to humans, the economic consequences would be immediate and serious. Car manufacturers and American farmers are among the first to suffer pain, experts say.
"It's not feasible and unrealistic, and I do not think he could really do it," said Rufus Yerxa, president of the National Trade Council. that represented multinational corporations, said Sunday.
A sudden closure of the flow of people and goods between the United States and Mexico would disrupt the flow of parts that are routed to American factories, which could bring production to a standstill. Similarly, refrigerated vehicles with beef and other perishable goods would block border crossings.
"The first question would be: Where do you put that?" Said William Reinsch, a former official of the Ministry of Commerce. "Things are going to pile up at the border because they're already there."
"To deal with an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and security crisis along the entire southwestern border," the agency said it had reinstated 750 border agents.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Who appeared in NBC News Meet the Press, said, "If the president says he'll close the border, that's a completely unrealistic excuse on his part focus on what's happening in Central America. "
Durbin said the government must prioritize the humanitarian crisis along the US-Mexico border:" First, we need to meet humanitarian needs at the border rather than two or to build fences three years in the future, using money from the Ministry of Defense, they focus on facilities that serve these families so that no children are injured and die as a result of this situation. "
Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt.), A presidential candidate from 2020, said in CBS News "Face the Nation" that there is a "terrible humanitarian crisis" on the border and that the United States has a comprehensive egg need immigration reform. He added, "We need to make sure our borders are secure, but we also need a humane policy on the border where we do not pull tiny children out of their mothers' arms."
Trump went to Twitter on Saturday to demand Mexico "to stop the many thousands of people trying to get into the US." He wrote, "Our detention rooms are full and we will not tolerate any more illegals , Next step is closing the border! This will also help us to stop the drug flow from Mexico! "
The president told reporters Friday:" If they do not stop them, we'll close the border. We close it and we will keep it closed for a long time. I do not play games.
Under US law, people reaching the US border can apply for asylum. In recent months, however, the number of arrivals has increased and now stands at around 100,000 people per month. This has overwhelmed the system. The immigration courts have arrears of hundreds of thousands of cases.
There is profound party-political disagreement over how to deal with it. Trump continues to push for a border wall and wants to take money from military projects to build new barriers. Democrats have pushed to facilities for dealing with incoming families and condemned the Trump government for separating migrant children from their parents in a policy that has now been withdrawn.
The leftist Mexican government has turned to migrant caravans by allowing thousands of short-term humanitarian visas to migrants to live and work in the country. In a notable concession, she agreed with the Trump administration's request to accept migrants who are in US asylum proceedings, a controversial program called Remain in Mexico.
So far this year Mexico has deported around 25,000 people from America its immigration department, according to figures from Parliament. Earlier this week, Mexico deported 66 Cubans who were planning to join a caravan with a migrant background in the United States. Between 2015 and 2018, Mexico deported 436,125 Central Americans, many of them on their way to the United States.
Jim Nealon, a former US ambassador to Honduras, said Trump did not seem to understand that the Central American countries were already working with the United States to discourage the flow of migrants.
"But they can not stop their citizens from leaving their country when [Trump] can stop citizens from leaving the US," Nealon said.
Sheridan reported from Mexico City. Nick Miroff of Washington and Kevin Sieff of Mexico City contributed to the report.