White House softens tone after threat to close border with Mexico

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Grand Rapids Mich. on March 28

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Grand Rapids Mich. on March 28

President Donald Trump has threatened to completely close the border between the United States and Mexico if Mexico doesn't do more to stop the large groups of illegal immigrants that travel through the country to the USA seeking asylum or illegal entry.

"Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal".

Even absent the extraordinary step of sealing a national border, delays at border stations have been mounting as some 2,000 border officers assigned to check trucks and cars have been reassigned to deal with migrant crowds, Homeland Security officials said.

"We need E-Verify, for example". And we have to do something about asylum.

Additionally, the report cites a statement from Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), who reportedly said that "any action that stops commerce at the border would be harmful to the USA economy, and in particular, the auto industry".

Carlson also pressed Nielsen on whether Trump would consider expanding the E-Verify system to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants, or sign an order eliminating "birthright" citizenship. "The Democrats can change it in one meeting".

The winter produce season is especially heavy right now, with the import of Mexican-grown watermelons, grapes, and squash, said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

Nielsen also noted that most of the migrants crossing the US border are not asylum seekers, but are economic migrants.

Trump reiterated claims on Tuesday that certain countries in Central America have been taking money from the USA, while offering nothing to the U.S.in return. That would be the biggest one-day gain since April 13, 2009.

"They arrange these caravans, and they don't put their best people in those caravans", he said.

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The entire US auto industry would shut down within a week if President Donald Trump goes through with his pledge to close the US-Mexican border, according to a leading expert on the industry.

The Council of Economic Advisers was conducting a number of studies on the potential impact of closing the border and "working with the president to give him those options", she said.

"Any action that stops commerce at the border would be harmful to the US economy, and in particular, the auto industry", Matt Blunt, the council's president, said in a statement.

President Trump and his administration have repeated threats to shut down the border, after the president cut aid to three Central American countries that he accused of deliberately sending migrants to the U.S.

The apparent contradiction stood out on a day of wild moves by the Trump administration, which is navigating the border crisis as Trump is fueling a renewed debate on the future of American health care with his support for a legal challenge against Obamacare.

The Mexican government has not published apprehension statistics, but a senior White House official said it had provided daily updates to the Trump administration, including specific apprehension numbers.

Trump, speaking from the oval office on Tuesday morning, acknowledged that shutting the USA border with Mexico could have negative effects on trade.

"Thirteen percent of the parts in US Assembly Plants are coming from Mexico. So those two things are certainly helpful and we'd like them to continue to up those efforts", she added.

Because of this wait-and-see posture, the White House does not expect the President to make a final decision on closing the border with Mexico before he travels to the border region on Friday.

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