US President Donald Trump could close the Southern border with Mexico as early as next week in a threat to its neighbor amid escalating migrant tensions.
The move would cost the US billions in lost trade but the President told reporters Friday that “I will close the border if Mexico doesn’t get with it,” per the New York Times.
Trump’s decision follows a surge in migration from Mexico into the US which the president has consistently claimed the former is doing little to stop.
“There’s a very good likelihood that I’ll be closing the border next week, and that will be just fine with me,” he told reporters Friday at Mar-a-Lago, per the BBC.
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador refused to be drawn into confrontation over the border crisis but did suggest that it was other Central Americans, not Mexicans, who were attempting to cross into the US, according to the BBC.
Trump directed his ire at three Central American countries Friday including El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras while indicating that he would cut foreign aid to those nations if they did not stem concerns about migrant caravans.
“No money goes there anymore,” Trump said. “We’re giving them tremendous aid. We stopped payment,” according to the New York Times.
In a letter to Congress Thursday Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen said that her agency was on track to handle 100,000 migrants this month. On Friday she claimed the current system was in “freefall.”