The US government remains partially shutdown and is expected to stay that way until next year, mainly because President Donald Trump is demanding funding for a wall on the southern border. Trump claims that the wall is essential for American security.
However, in a tweet this morning, the President threatened to close the border with Mexico unless Democrats approved funding for the wall.
“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.
Twitter users were quick to point out that Trump is essentially admitting that he can shut down the border without a wall, something his supporters would likely approve. Trump may not realize that he has contradicted his own arguments for the wall by claiming he has the power to close the border.
In fact, it is probably impossible for the Trump administration to close the southern border, with or without a wall. Trump’s threats to do so have not materialized and his abortive plan to send troops to secure the border was ineffective.
Trump also tweeted: “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.'”
It is not at all clear how closing the Mexican border to immigrants would benefit America’s economy, which Trump has frequently shown he does not fully understand. If the border were closed entirely, much legitimate trade could not take place, which would harm the US economy.
“We build a wall or […] close the Southern Border. 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,” Trump tweeted.
Trump seems to have forgotten that he renegotiated NAFTA, creating the USMCA trade pact. If he can shut down the border without the need for a wall, many of his most ardent supporters will wonder why he hasn’t already done so.