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Trump tweets he ‘may close the southern border’

President Donald Trump speaks during a signing ceremony for H.R. 2, the "Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018" on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 in the EEOB building in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
March 28, 2019

He may close down the southern border with Mexico, President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday morning.

“Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country,” he said. “They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws. May close the Southern Border!”

The tweet came after Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday that the immigration system is being overwhelmed by families seeking asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico, and that everything is at a “breaking point.”

“That is not something we want to do; it’s something we have to do, given the overcrowding in our facilities. The agency is expecting 55,000 families, including 40,000 children, to enter the process this month,” McAleenan said.

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“That breaking point has arrived,” he added.

Border Patrol is estimating there will be 100,000 migrants taken into custody this month – more than double the number taken in during March 2018.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been releasing tens of thousands of illegal immigrants into southern border states over the past several months. Just in the past three months alone, about 107,000 families were released after being apprehended at the border, simply because the system can’t process them and doesn’t have the space to detain them.

Trump has called the situation at the southern border a “humanitarian crisis,” and he recently declared a national emergency in order to secure funds to protect the southern border.

The President declared a national emergency this past February in order to fund an additional $6.5 billion for southern border security.

Trump requested $6.5 billion in addition to what Congress approved for border security, which was $1.375 billion. That brings the total to roughly $8 billion for more than 200 miles of steel border barriers. Congress’ funding provided for about 55 miles of barriers. The funds are being redirected from the Pentagon and U.S. Treasury.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it had authorized up to $1 billion to fund 57 miles of “pedestrian fencing” along the southern border with Mexico.

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The funds, said to be coming from Army accounts, will help construct 18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, as well as add other security measures in two Yuma sectors and one El Paso sector, which are considered drug corridors.

However, House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Adam Smith later rejected the Department of Defense’s $1 billion authorization of funds for the southern border wall construction. The move was only symbolic, as the committee does not have the authority to block the Defense Department’s transfer of the funds. But it could spark legislation in Congress to amend Presidential authority laws like the one President Trump used to declare the national emergency on the border.

The $1 billion announcement came not long after Trump vetoed Congress’ bill overturning his national emergency declaration on the border wall.

The House of Representatives held another vote to overturn the veto yesterday, but it did failed, thus the emergency declaration stands.

Trump had said he would declare a national emergency to build the border wall if Congress didn’t provide the funds for it. He has also said the U.S. “will build a Human Wall if necessary” at the southern border with Mexico.