Nielsen holds 'emergency' border call with Trump's Cabinet

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Senior White House officials are exploring ways to exempt commercial trade from President Donald Trump's threat to shut down the USA border with Mexico, three people briefed on the discussions said, amid warnings that blocking the flow of goods between the two countries would have severe consequences for the US economy.

To try to address the problem, the Trump administration in January started sending some migrants to wait out their U.S. court dates in Mexican border cities.

Since Politico is quoting "sources" we have no way of knowing if the White House staff is in a "panic" or not but it sounds to me like Secretary Nielsen is simply doing her job and making sure policy decisions are put into place. "We've seen them take a larger number of individuals" and hold those who have asylum claims in Mexico while they are being processed in the United States, Sanders told reporters at the White House.

In remarks from the Oval Office, Mr. Trump reiterated his threat to shut the border if Mexico, America's third largest trading partner, can not restrict a flow of asylum seekers trying to cross into the United States. A shutdown of the US-Mexico border could, therefore, also cripple their Mexican operations.

Trump said Mexican officials had reacted to his threat to close the border last week by clamping down on the caravans of migrants fleeing poverty and violence in the three Central American countries.

Trump praised efforts by Mexico to hinder illegal immigration from Central America at its own southern border.

Mexico "made a big step over the past two days", he said, adding that they would have to continue if they don't want the border closed.

"Wait times in Brownsville [Texas] were around 180 minutes, which were two times the peaks of a year ago", said a senior DHS official on a call with reporters. Advisers told him it's not a sustainable option, underscored how it would disrupt the economy and noted it would anger local border officials throughout the country. In Trump's mind, the closure is about leverage - forcing people to think he's about to do it, and just might do it, to get other concessions, current and former aides said.

But the fact that White House officials are looking at ways to address the fallout of his latest threat shows how real the option has become, at least internally.

Trump complained that the USA has the 'worst, dumbest immigration system in the world, ' and he said he's lobbying congressional Democrats to change it.

Dozens of U.S. vehicle, engine, transmission and other auto parts plants could close because of a lack of components in the days after a border shutdown. "Now, if they don't, or if we don't make a deal with Congress, the border's going to be closed, 100%". Roughly 70-percent of the integral part are manufactured in Mexico, another 10-percent are manufactured further South and pass through the US-Mexico port of entrees.

The Commerce Department reported about $502 billion worth of goods traversed the border by truck and train in 2018, for a rate of about $1.4 billion a day.

Five new pork packing plants opened in the U.S.in last few years, only to have export markets contract because of the trade wars, Monroe said.

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