President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to close the U.S. border with Mexico over the issue of illegal immigration, as he promised a health-care plan better than the Affordable Care Act.
Trump made his latest threat to close the southern border, saying on Twitter that if Mexico doesn’t immediately stop all illegal immigration coming into the U.S., he would close all or “large sections” of it “next week.”
Arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border have jumped in recent months and earlier this week, Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan said he was reassigning 750 border inspectors from their usual duties at ports of entry to help keep pace with arrivals between those ports. A senior Department of Homeland Security official told The Wall Street Journal Trump was stating his intention to close some ports of entry if necessary.
Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, told MarketWatch in an email: “The U.S. government can certainly slow traffic across the border by either conducting additional inspections or assigning port of entry personnel to other duties.” He added, “that is likely to hurt U.S. industry as much as it affects Mexico since the economies are so tightly intertwined.”
While in Florida, Trump kept up his assertion that the Republican Party would be the “party of health care,” and promised “We are going to have a plan that’s so much better than Obamacare.” Trump was at the Herbert Hoover Dike on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee Friday to tout a project to fix the dike. He said that Republicans would come up with a plan that covers pre-existing health conditions.
Trump this week has said if the Supreme Court invalidates Obamacare — formally known as the Affordable Care Act — Republicans will replace it with a better plan. Under the ACA, health insurers can’t refuse coverage or charge more based on pre-existing conditions.
Speaking to reporters, Trump also announced the departure of Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon, who will leave to help with his re-election campaign.
He described trade talks with China as going “very well,” after the White House earlier said they were “candid and constructive.”
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