President Trump has punted on his plans for closing the southern border, telling a group of reporters on Thursday that he will give Mexico a year to stop the flow of migrants and drugs into the US. If they fail on either count, Trump will either slap tariffs on Mexican-made cars or close the border entirely.
"You know I will do it. I don’t play games...so we’re doing it to stop people. We’re gonna give them a one year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop, or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars. The whole ballgame is cars....and if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border."
It was unclear whether an agreement with Congressional Democrats would also be a condition for the border closure, after Trump said Tuesday that Congress needed to get rid of chain migration, catch and release and the visa lottery and "do something about asylum" or he would still consider closing the border. "If Mexico doesn't or we don't make a deal with Congress, the border will be closed."
"We're going to give [Mexico] a 1-year warning. And if the drugs don't stop (or largely stop), we're going to put tariffs on Mexico," Trump said, calling it an incentive for Mexico to address drug trafficking and migration.— POLITICO (@politico) April 4, 2019
"If that doesn't stop the drugs — we close the border" pic.twitter.com/c57qg84aDi
Over the past week, Trump has repeatedly threatened to close the Southern border, even saying that he might do so as soon as this week. His acting chief of staff took to the Sunday shows over the weekend to warn that Trump was serious about the threat, and media reports claimed the White House was looking into various plans.
The decision to back down from an immediate closure order followed complaints from several Republican Senators from border states, including John Cornyn and Martha McSally.
The peso has rallied on the news as pressure from a possible border closure eased.