Trump threatens to shut border with Mexico next week

President Trump Friday threatened to close the U.S. border with Mexico within a week, in a series of tweets in which he again expressed his frustration with what he called “weak immigration laws.”

On Feb. 15, Trump declared a national emergency over what he portrayed as “an invasion” of immigrants crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.

“We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country,” Trump said in a speech delivered in the Rose Garden.

Friday’s threat was not the first time Trump has warned he may close the border with Mexico. On Thursday, the president tweeted that he “may close the Southern Border!” In December, after shutting down the federal government over congressional Democrats’ refusal to fund construction of a border wall, the president again tweeted a threat to close the border.

Central American migrants and Donald Trump. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP, Isabel Mateos/AP)

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 28.

Trump replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement with the not-yet-ratified United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement with the promise of creating a more level playing field for American workers. But the president’s trade war with China has had the opposite effect. U.S. imports from Mexico rose 10 percent in 2018, widening the trade deficit with Mexico by 15 percent, to a total of $80 billion, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. House of Representatives failed this week to muster enough votes to override Trump’s veto of a resolution blocking the president’s declaration of a national emergency. Democrats have vowed to fight the president in court and revisit that vote in six months.

"The President's lawless emergency declaration clearly violates the Congress's exclusive power of the purse, and Congress will work through the appropriations and defense authorization processes to terminate this dangerous action and restore our constitutional system of balance of powers," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro said in a joint statement on Tuesday. "In six months, the Congress will have another opportunity to put a stop to this President's wrongdoing. We will continue to review all options to protect our Constitution and our Democracy from the President's assault."

The U.S. border with Mexico is the most frequently crossed border in the world, with approximately 350 million legal crossings each year.

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