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Trump says he’ll close southern border if wall isn’t funded

President Donald Trump speaks to troops while visiting U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill, AFB, FL, Feb. 6, 2017. (D. Myles Cullen/Department of Defense)
December 28, 2018

As the partial government shut down continues, President Donald Trump has issued a new threat to close the southern border if the Senate does not approve border wall funding.

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with. Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!” Trump tweeted early Friday morning.

Trump said he would not sign an appropriations bill if it did not include $5 billion for the construction of a wall on the southern U.S. border.

The House of Representatives this month approved a $5.7 billion allocation for Trump’s border wall, but the Senate refused to approve such a number before Congress adjourned on Dec. 21.

An agreement on a funding bill may not be made until after the next Congressional session begins on Jan. 3, 2019.

Closing the southern border would significantly affect trade and travel.

A report by CBS News earlier this month noted that $558 billion in trade goods crossed the border in 2017.

“Every day, an average of 120,000 commuter vehicles, 6,000 trucks and 63,000 pedestrians use the border gateway,” the report added.

Approximately 465,000 people cross through border entry points on a daily basis.

“The United States looses soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a ‘profit making operation.’ We build a Wall or close the Southern Border,” Trump said Friday in a series of tweets.

“Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico. Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border,” he added.

Duncan Wood, director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, said up to a billion dollars a day would be impacted by a border shutdown.

“If you are thinking about a total shutdown of the border, then it’s hundreds of millions of dollars a day — maybe a billion,” he told CBS News. “It’s an economic impossibility. Literally, the two economies would grind to a halt. Both economies are set up to depend upon cross-border trade.”

The shutdown is entering its seventh day with no apparent end in sight. Trump predicted that the shutdown could be extensive.

He said in a tweet this month, “The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED. If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don’t want Open Borders and Crime!”