Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Tuesday that backups were delaying commercial traffic at the US-Mexico border at several crossings. But on Wednesday, he doubled down, calling on Congress to act or the "border or large sections of the border will close".
The threat to close the border, which handled some $612 billion worth of trade in 2018, sent shivers through the economy, and drew warnings from allies of the president.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday, asked about the economic impact of closing the border, said "it's not our first choice".
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said shutting down the border could cost the USA economy $1 billion or $2 billion each day. The system is overwhelmed.
"We've broken up so-called 'child recycling rings, ' if you can believe it, in the last couple months", Nielsen told Tucker Carlson, "where smugglers kidnap a child, they give it to an adult to cross the border, present themselves as a family".
During an interview Wednesday, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration is reviewing strategies to ensure trade is not interrupted.
"People are getting a plan in place so if he orders it done, it's not the end of the world", the official said.
"You will make it even worse because not only are you going to be stopping certain individuals from crossing, but those that are coming legally into the US and also many USA nationals that are going south of the border". Nearly every vehicle sold in the USA uses parts that were originally manufactured in Mexico. "I am not kidding around", the president said then, plainly exasperated by the migrant flow. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen cut short a trip to Europe this week and returned to Washington early Tuesday morning to manage the agency's response at the border, DHS officials said.
Murphree said Mexico purchases almost $200 million of Arizona's agricultural exports, including produce and beef. "I am not kidding around", he said, exasperated by the swelling numbers of migrants, thousands of whom were being released into the USA because border officials had no space for them. "What we might see is that they make some public pledge that calms President Trump's ego", commented Brandon Blackburn-Dwyer, Founder of Grasshopper Strategies.
"Democrats are leaving us absolutely no choice at this point", Mrs. Sanders said. "This bold vision would change the way the United States government views migrants entering our nation - not as threats to our national security, as prescribed by antiquated policies of previous administration - but rather as people and families in search of a better life who can contribute tremendously to the fabric of our nation and economy".