Bolstered by his recent vindication in the Mueller Russia probe, President Donald J. Trump has threatened to completely close the southern US border, and he means to make good on that threat, says top White House officials.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway warned that President Trump is not bluffing when he called for closing the southern border because of new large caravans of migrants from Central America crossing through Mexico and headed for the United States.
“You can take the president seriously, and here’s why. You’re giving those metrics. What he’s looking at is that 4,000 migrants apprehended in one day recently. We’re on track this month for close to 100,000,” Conway said on Fox News Sunday, referring to figures compiled by Customs and Border Protection.
Conway’s statements were backed up by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. When Mulvaney was asked on ABC’s This Week, what it would take for Trump not to follow through with closing the border, he replied, “Something drastic.”
“When Jeh Johnson said it’s a crisis, I hope people now believe us,” Mulvaney said, referring to former President Obama’s Homeland Security secretary. “A lot of folks in the media didn’t believe us. 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, and a security crisis.”
Mulvaney said the US just doesn’t have enough funds — and Democrats who control the House refuse to provide additional money to protect the border.
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Conway went on to rightly point the blame for many of the problems at the border, at Congress. Conway said Congress could step in and change legislation that says the US cannot hold families for longer than 20 days.
“We have never seen a surge like this coming from the Northern Triangle countries,” she told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “Some of these kids are already separated by their parents from their parents before they even arrive here. Congress can fix this, Chris, in an hour.”
In another hardline, Trump has also said he will slash all foreign aid for the countries that make up the Northern Triangle – Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador – because they are not doing enough to curb migrants from heading to the United States.