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President Donald Trump threatened to close the U.S. -Mexico border this week if Mexico did not stop all undocumented immigrants from coming into the United States.

The threats are a continuation of a prolonged campaign from Trump to tackle illegal immigrants entering the United States, a centerpiece of his presidential campaign promise. But if a shutdown blocks trade, too, it would disrupt the daily flow of $1.7 billion of goods to store shelves and factory floors.

"Shutting down the border would be devastating for the entire country", said Jon Barela, CEO of the Borderplex, a binational and regional trade organization focused on Las Cruces, N.M., El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Margo singled out 2008 legislation that he says made it easier for migrants to seek asylum at the southern border, which in turn has overwhelmed immigration enforcement resources. So it's an argument that should be made to the USA public, in addition to, but not instead of, a conversation on migration, he said.

That's because every automaker operating an auto plant in the United States depends on parts imported from Mexico, said Kristin Dziczek, the vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research. She says almost every vehicle in the U.S.is dependent on parts from Mexico.

While shutting down US border crossings would not stop the vast majority of unauthorized arrivals, who mostly cross illegally between border stations, it would halt the flow of trade between the USA and Mexico, which totaled $611 billion in 2018, or $1.67 billion per day. "He's taking his job as the commander in chief very seriously in terms of protecting the American people", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. It took an hour this time.

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AP Vehicles from Mexico and the U.S. approach a border crossing in El Paso Texas Monday

Margo's latest remarks come on the heels of an action-packed week on immigration policy in the Trump White House.

A shutdown such as that would impact millions of legal border crossings, as well as trades amounting to billions of dollars - the food imports alone are reportedly worth an eye-watering $137 billion (£104bn).

"If we don't make a deal with Congress.or if Mexico doesn't do what they should be doing.then we're going to close the border, that's going to be it, or we're going to close large sections of the border, maybe not all of it", he said.

"Wait times in Brownsville [Texas] were around 180 minutes, which were two times the peaks of past year", said a senior DHS official on a call with reporters.

"We've had a fence for 10 years and it has impacted illegal immigration and curbed criminal activity", Margo stated.

To try to address the problem, the administration in late January started returning some migrants to Mexico to wait out their USA court dates in Mexican border cities. That's a move that has frustrated even many GOP leaders and members several times before, leaving them grasping for what to put in legislation.

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