The Trump administration will consider keeping trucking lanes to Mexico open even if the president follows through on threats to shut down the U.S. southern border amid an ongoing immigration crackdown.
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The possibility of leaving trucking lanes open is one of several options the White House is considering as it explores a potential border closure, an official with knowledge of the situation told FOX Business White House correspondent Blake Burman. Critics have argued that any attempt to close the border would negatively impact the U.S. economy.
Speaking at the Oval Office on Tuesday, Trump said he hasn’t made a decision on whether to close the border, but noted he is “ready to close it if I have to close it.”
Trump has repeatedly called on Mexico to step up its efforts to stem illegal immigration at the border. The president cut U.S. aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras last week, sparking an outcry from Democratic leaders.
Trump’s threatened border shutdown also drew a sharp rebuke from some Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY.
“Closing down the border would have potentially catastrophic economic impact on our country, and I would hope we would not be doing that sort of thing,” McConnell said Tuesday, according to The Hill.
The U.S. and Mexico exchange goods and services worth more than $1.7 billion each day, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Any border shutdown could impact supply chains and cause a spike in the price of some consumer goods.