Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar released the following statement on President Trump’s threat to shut down the southern border:
“The President’s threat to shut down the border is a grave mistake that would have disastrous consequences for our economy. Every day, $1.5 billion worth of cargo moves across our ports of entry to and from Mexico. Closing our southern border would severely disrupt the flow of goods along the border, hurting both the American and Mexican economies.
“Mexico is detaining immigrants from Central America and sending them back to their countries at the same level as previous years. In March alone, Mexican authorities detained 13,000 migrants and sent them back home. It is crucial we continue to work with our southern neighbor and increase collaboration in order to properly address this increased flow.
“Instead of shutting down the border, we must invest in our ports of entry, including advanced technology, increased personnel, and enhanced infrastructure. Additionally, we need to amend our broken immigration system. Smugglers and human traffickers exploit loopholes in our immigration laws that provide an incentive for migrants to put themselves in extreme danger to illegally cross our borders.
“We must start playing defense on the 20-yard line and address the root causes of mass migration, such as violence and poverty. By utilizing funding that we have helped secure to promote good governance and civil society in Central America, we can prevent these large groups of immigrants from fleeing to our southern border.”