Following reports over the weekend warning about a "system-wide collapse" along the southern border as a surge in asylum-seeking migrants has overwhelmed Customs and Border Protections' detention centers and strains municipal resources, Trump acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney warned during an appearance on ABC's "This Week" that President Trump's threat to close the southern border this week should absolutely be taken seriously.
The Mexican peso tumbled Friday afternoon after Trump tweeted that he would close the border unless Mexico took steps to stop Central American migrants traveling through its territory, before telling a group of reporters that he would shut the border "for a long time" if nothing is done.
Responding to a question about whether Trump was serious about closing the border, Mulvaney affirmed that it would take "something dramatic" for him not to do it. Even former Obama officials have come forward to talk about the burgeoning crisis at the border, and the fact that the situation isn't a "made up emergency" has now been well established.
"When Jeh Johnson said it’s a crisis, I hope people now believe us. A lot of folks in the media...Democrats didn’t believe us a month ago, two months ago, when we said what was happening at the border was a crisis: a humanitarian crisis, a security crisis," he said.
"One hundred thousand people coming across the border this month...that is a crisis," he added.
Mulvaney was referring to figures from the border patrol that 100,000 migrants, many of whom were traveling in families, crossed the southern border in March, which would be a new record. Last week, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan warned that the agency's resources had reached a "breaking point", and called on Congress to act to authorize more resources for the border patrol and customs enforcement at the border.
Trump previously threatened to close the border in November and December, though the markets mostly shrugged these off as idle threats. But as more mainstream media outlets cover the rapidly deteriorating situation with an increasing sense of urgency, the pressure is mounting on Trump to hold to his anti-immigration principles and take immediate action.
Though any order to close the border will almost certainly elicit lawsuits to try and reverse it.
Watch the clip with Mulvaney below:
NEW: Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tells @jonkarl it would take "something dramatic" for President Trump not to close the U.S.-Mexico border https://t.co/GtOTcEQrgO #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/VR9ICtDKci— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 31, 2019