CALEXICO, Calif. - President Trump is threatening to close the US Mexico border as soon as this week if Mexico doesn't stop the flood of asylum seekers heading to the US.
Several ports along the US-Mexico border are already experiencing gridlock, but if President Trump follows through on closing the border entirely, economic experts are warning it could have catastrophic economic consequences. On Friday, he will be visiting Calexico where the local economy relies on workers coming across that border every day.
Officials say he will be visiting a newly completed section of the border fence replacing an older part made during the Vietnam War.
President Trump will also participate in a round table with local law enforcement officials.
The City of Calexico’s economic commissioner says he hopes the president gets a first-hand look at the current conditions of the Calexico West port of entry.
"It'll highlight the need for the port, for the expansion, for the security. But an overall picture, it highlights what's going on," said Ben Horton, economic commissioner, Calexico.
The port is stuck in its final phase of construction due to a lack of funding.
And President Trump's threat to shut down the entire US Mexico border would only add to the problem.
Horton says if the border was to close, it would be a blow to the city's economy.
"We depend on the economic support from Mexicali or Mexico. For the valley also it'll be dire. For the country when you look at the foods that are imported. You look at the services,” said Horton.
Calexico's former city mayor is planning a demonstration to voice her disapproval of our president.
"Our problem is not how it is being defined right now in the news. And unfortunately, these are the times we're going to have to tell our stories. And that's what we're going to do. So hopefully we'll have people who'll recognize this struggle with our administration at this time and support us," said Maritza Hurtado, former mayor, Calexico.
The White House saying it would take "something dramatic" for the president to not follow through on his border threat. Immigration experts believe closing official ports would send migrants looking for other ways to enter into the United States.
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