WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – President Trump is now backing away from his threat to close the US-Mexico border.
The president hinted he may shut down the border this week over concerns of a rise in illegal immigration.
President Trump says he will not close the border, at least for now.
“If the drugs don’t stop, or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products,” the president said.
The threat came after Homeland Security officials reported a sharp spike in illegal crossings.
Republican lawmakers warned President Trump to think again.
“Closing down the border would have potentially catastrophic economic impact,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Veronica Nigh, an economist with the American Farm Bureau, said if border check points are closed, even for short periods of time, it hits consumers in the pocketbook.
“We’re used to being able to ship 7 days a week, and delays at the port just add additional cost time and additional time, and we’d see that pretty quickly,” she said.
President Trump will travel to southern California on Friday.
Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said the president will focus on what’s being done to curb illegal immigration.
“He’s going to show the American people we’re building a wall. This piece has already been completed we’re moving on to more building now,” Gidley said.
Democrats argue that building the wall is as bad of an idea as completely closing the border.
A lawsuit by several states to stop wall construction continues to make its way through the courts.