Newsline

National Security , Newsline

Close the Border? Comes with Risks, But Worth Considering

Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2019
|
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
|
147 Comments
border

What do you know?  President Trump is considering closing the southwest border, as an estimated 100,000 illegal aliens entered in March.  Declaring the “national emergency” – or a tipping point requiring executive action – permits him to reprogram money to the wall – but walls take time.  Closing the border, by contrast, is a fast act.  It comes with risks.

Mexico is – and has been – a good and bad neighbor.  On one hand, Mexico is our third largest agricultural export market, buying nearly $20 billion in US agricultural products, from soybeans and dairy to beef, fish and lumber.  Meanwhile, we are Mexico’s largest trading partner, buying roughly 80 percent of their exports.  We also cooperate on law enforcement, regional security and in a host of other ways.

That said, of late, Mexico could be doing more to protect their southern and northern borders from criminal and refugee inflows. By protecting their southern border more effectively from Central American caravans, drug and human traffickers, they would be – in effect – be protecting our southern border more effectively. 

President Trump obviously feels the Mexican Government can do more – and so can the Central American Governments.  He has summarily cut off aid to parts of Central America, which may or may not produce the outcome he intends.  He is threatening to close the US-Mexican border, if Mexico does not lean-in and help more to stem the flow of northern migrants.  

Historical perspective is often lost, but helps in such moments. Presidents Reagan, Nixon and Johnson each closed the US-Mexico border, to good effect.  Future threats to close it were taken seriously; bilateral relations were not irreconcilably damaged.  

Responding to Reagan and Nixon, Mexican authorities recognized the US was serious, and worked harder to coordinate on drug trafficking issues.  Both presidents also engaged their diplomatic teams – intensely – at the same time.  Johnson closed the border for security reasons after the Kennedy assassination.  So, this is not new.

Several questions top the moment.  Does President Trump have legal authority to do this?  How would it be operationalized?  What trade, diplomatic and security impact would the move have? How long would it last?  What is the best outcome?  And how do we get there?

In order, answers.  The President has constitutional and statutory authority to close our ports of entry.  Under Article II powers and 8 U.S.C, 1185, the President can close US borders.  The law reads in relevant part, under Section 212 (f), which dates to 1952:  “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”  So, the President has the authority.

How would he operationalize the move?  A combination of military and civilian law enforcement plus-ups would help.  New personnel – a surge – could occur at a crossing, half a dozen, or all of them.  Of course, realism is needed.   Trafficking corridors – tracts between points of entry – are theoretically closed, so personnel would go to official crossings.  We do have military personnel for the surge, but only for a limited period.   If the goal is serious Mexican collaboration to help stop human and drug trafficking, diplomatic efforts must occur behind the scenes, with intensity.

Can President Trump use a trade lever to secure a security advantage, as elsewhere?  Yes, he could.  He certainly could – but with risks.  Mexico might not respond in a constructive way.  If the border closing was pervasive and extended, their people would suffer, and so would we – although not as much. 

Reduced US-Mexico trade would – at least nominally – hit US businesses (especially agriculture) and – likely on higher prices – US consumers.  True, impact in the US would be modest by comparison to impact on Mexico, but Mexican authorities – if not brought around fast – would blame the US for political fallout on their side.  Political effects in the US would be a crap-shoot, positive in near term, negative over time.

Count on court challenges, on sundry legal bases, from disaffected businesses to political actors, and ardent anti-Trump activists.  Those suits would cut both ways, reinforcing the President’s resolve, elevating his commitment to border security, but perhaps disadvantaging him with moderates and independent voters.  Of course, he is likely to encounter a wild hare – some irreverent, indignant 9th Circuit judge, ready to reverse policy on a squirrelly doctrine.

As one thoughtful observer noted, “in any contest of wills between the president and the lower courts, in the end the Supreme Court would likely underscore the proposition that no sitting judge is reasonably poised to substitute his or her judgment for that of the chief executive in matters paramount to the safety and security of our country,” but that might take time.  Thus, “the more interesting question is what would happen between any injunction issued or sustained at the district or circuit court level and a ruling by the Supreme Court?”  Who knows? 

All this comes back to diplomatic, security and political calculus.  Our border is sacred, being violated, and needs to be protected.  Our way of life is affected by law-breaking illegal entrants, some of whom have claims to asylum, most of whom do not.  Our economy is the toast of the town, so many want in – or at least access to our entitlement programs.  What is to be done?

The border problem is big, real, and vexing.  The political impact of closing the US-Mexican border would be significant and immediate – for both countries.  Nevertheless, closing it might send a profound signal.  Disruptive impact on Mexico would be bigger than on the US, even if at a price.  But the outcome sought would be lost, without aggressive, backroom diplomacy. 

President Trump should have a list of objectives, including aggressive Mexican policing of southern and northern borders, higher levels of cooperation between federal law enforcement agencies, tailored information sharing, offers of law enforcement assistance, attention to legal and humanitarian issues, and outcomes to make the border closing meaningful.  

In short:  The potential for a border closing – and actual shutdown – could be effective tools for leveraging Mexican cooperation, coordination, commitment and results, but the closing alone will not do it.  Diplomacy – together with an eye on trade effects – is needed. 

Three presidents have done it.  Closing the border would generate a short window for intensely rethinking border concerns, law enforcement cooperation, diplomatic relations, and the security relationship between the US and Mexico.  A prolonged border closing would be a self-inflicted wound, affecting both economies adversely, taking more time to heal than to inflict and endure. 

The best course might be this:  The threat of closing is real, and President Trump is understood to mean what he says.  Nevertheless, our two countries have a great deal in common, an enormous amount – shared cultural emphasis on faith and family to hard work, horrific hurricane seasons, drug and human trafficking conundrums.  The best way out of this deep ditch is to cooperate.  The best time to do so is now. 

Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
147 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jeanna Green
Jeanna Green
4 years ago

Sorry, but Mexico needs us more than we need them. So our President should have no problem reminding them that if they don’t help with this on slot of caravans full of want to be illegals, that He does not bluff and that America is willing to do the heavy lifting to stop this invasion that the Democrats encourage. So sad that he did not follow through and hope the Dems and Mexico don’t see this as a win for their do nothing positions. I think it weakens his Presidency when he fails on his promises. The Dems. and their lying lapdog media see it as blood in the water and like the sharks they are, they attack him as just a fear monger. They should know, since that is a large Democratic tool they use against everyone in America.
I just hope and pray we can hold out for the year he gave to Mexico, to HELP fix this problem that is effecting both Countries.

John U
John U
4 years ago

Why doesn’t the US simply say that all Aliens must apply for immigration at the US Embassy in their country first. Any immigrant who comes to the border without permission will be denied and immediately deported That would stop this onslaut at the border. Yes, more personnel would be needed at the Embassies. Would be much cheaper than hiring all the judges at the border to hear and judge all the false stories. Once you let them claim asylum and release them into US. They will try to have a “ANCHOR BABY” (Birth paid by us) and then bring the rest of their family in. The elders will be eligible for SUPPLEMENTAL SOCIAL SECURITY (A Pension). Even though they have never paid a dime into SS. Not to mention Medicade and Medicare-All at taxpayers expense! And you wonder why SS & Medicare/Medicaid is going under.
Better start screaming at Congress NOW to stop this MADNESS.

Lelah
Lelah
4 years ago

close the boarder

Mary Ann Pepin
Mary Ann Pepin
4 years ago

Why should we give them our hard earned .oney. STOP giving them any money any benefits period. We can’t go into Mexico and be given housing, food and medical.

Alice Tanner
Alice Tanner
4 years ago

AMAC did not mention what our border really needs and that is new laws from Congress fixing all the broken non-working current laws and the need for the liberal democrats to either work with the President or get out of the way with their phony excuses and let the people run this country.!

Deef Smith
Deef Smith
4 years ago

Being from Texas although I do live there now I know Mexico wants to Reconquista the territory it lost when they tried to conquer Texas. Google “Reconquista” and you will get it. I have known Mexicans who say we will take back the southwest by numbers. Heck they already got California and these Democrats want all these illegals in for votes while destroying the US. Support Trump and his efforts.

steven jacobs
steven jacobs
4 years ago

what makes Mexico such a good neighbor? That they have not (militarily) invaded us?
Mexico send us their criminals
sends us their welfare cases
economically bleeds our economy dry
escorts welfare cases from south America through Mexico to the US/MEX border With”good neighbors” like that who needs enemies.

Gordo
Gordo
4 years ago

The people coming here from Central America are not leaving a war torn area nor gang ridden despiration. They are here for all the free stuff we tax payers provide. It’s a big scam, and we the tax payers are footing the bill. The government needs to step up to the plate and address illegal immigration problem. Trump can’t do it by himself. Send Mitch McConnell to the border for a few weeks.

Jay
Jay
4 years ago

President Trump has tried to get cooperation from Mexico & dems to no avail. It’s time to shut it down to get some solidarity on our border before they bankrupt America. I’m not racist but I don’t feel like it is the obligation of the American tax payer to support these people. There should be no aid at all going to these South American countries that are obviously miss handling the aid sent to them & not taking care of their own people.

Gary Thomason
Gary Thomason
4 years ago

MAGA, secure the border as our president deems necessary, build the wall, turn on the tear gas, round up the illegals & deport them, follow our leader.

harri
harri
4 years ago

Close the BORDER !

Robert N
Robert N
4 years ago

Just separate out the different kinds of border traffic and have the border crossings for each in more defensible geographic locations…

1) Have a border crossing just for Mexico bound commercial trucks,
2) another for Mexico bound U.S. citizen auto traffic,
3) another for Mexico bound non-citizen auto traffic.
4) another for Mexico bound U.S. citizen foot traffic,
5) another for Mexico bound non-citizen foot traffic.

6) Have a border crossing just for Mexico bound commercial trucks,
7) another for Mexico bound U.S. citizen auto traffic,
8) another for Mexico bound non-citizen auto traffic.
9) another for Mexico bound U.S. citizen foot traffic,
10) another for Mexico bound non-citizen foot traffic.

11) Make the crossings portable if possible to allow them to be moved.
12) Place the crossings on lakes and rivers and in areas that are inhospitable geographically, geologically, and climatologically.

13) Plant the Chollo Cactus in native areas along the border on the Mexican side of the wall and in labyrinth-like fields.

14) Force all trucks and people to unload and and reload to new trucks and trains and vehicles/buses to cross from Mexico to the U.S.

15) Have pedestrian crossing all over chasms with means to disconnect and shutdown the bridges.
16) Offer to buy land/areas from Mexico that will shorten the length of the border list he Gadsen Purchase.
17) Offer Mexican states on the border territory status and later statehood IF they maintain their border security AND bring crime below the lowest U.S. levels. Of course all the people would have to be fully vetted.

American are not against any hardworking people with good values becoming Americans if it is done through thorough vetting without taxpayer’s dollars and they carry their own weight and contribute. We are just against the lawless and unprincipled and freeloaders.

SweetLadyMary
SweetLadyMary
4 years ago

Mexico can care less if the U.S. has to deal with all the caravans of illiterate, poor, that come into this country to feed off our social services. They send 1/3 of their people over to do the same. Cut all social services, education, and medical to illegals. Increase ICE raids and deport any and all illegals (including DACA). We are not responsible for mistakes the parents have made in bringing their children here. Cut foreign aid to Mexico and do not allow individuals to send money that they earned here back to Mexico. Mexico is a bad neighbor.

Ray
Ray
4 years ago

How do those thieves, burglars, sex offenders, and rapists get to their targets? Most of the time not through the front door or gates. They look for weak points; like back fence, open side windows, and broken fence. Just like those illegals, they get into our country in hundreds or thousands through unsecured places with broken fences or without fences; human smugglers know where those weak points are. That’s where the law enforcement should be concentrated the most. Do you think those illegals wanna get caught sneaking into our country? That’s why they are called illegals, doing it unlawfully.
BUILD THE WALL!!

Daniel Kopetski
Daniel Kopetski
4 years ago

why is no one talking about cutting off the money!!!! shut down the source of money and the incentive to come here is gone!!!

BIG AL
BIG AL
4 years ago

keep the border open – as a ballot question. Every person who votes to keep it open must then open their homes to a minimum of one illegal family or more if space permits in their home and they must support the family instead of the government. I’ll bet their tune would change if it became their responsibility.

Jim S
Jim S
4 years ago

Beef up patrols and security. Why can’t we get military reserves, and national guard involved temporarily, to deal with the increased threats at this time.

Cathy
Cathy
4 years ago

The USA has access to fruit and vegetables within its borders. Mexico will not stop the caravans a d the drugs so close the boarder until they act responsibly.

Cynthia Sarver
Cynthia Sarver
4 years ago

Close the border. We have many pediphiles, sorry about spelling, most are Hispanic. We need to protect our children. Plus if the government would stop supporting them that would slow them down. The Social Security is a pension plan Americans paid into and it would not be drained if the government would quit giving it away to ILLEGALS.

Thomas
Thomas
4 years ago

Close all crossings but one ,close that one to private vehicles ,allow only large trucks that have been inspected and sealed and inspect 5 or 10% of those crossing if any contraband found arrest the inspector for smuggling who ok the truck to cross.

Bob
Bob
4 years ago

Don’t forget those republicans who joined ranks with the democrats to strip Trump of his authority to declare a border emergency. They include the carpetbagger (Romney) and the usual traitors to anything beneficial to America – Collins, Murkowski, Alexander, Toomey, Paul etc. etc. I think there was about a dozen. Find out how your senator and congressman voted. Then, take action!

Diane
Diane
4 years ago

Take away all funding to Mexico and South America until they stop sending people here illegally

Diane
Diane
4 years ago

Take all funding from South America and Mexico until it stops

Michelle
Michelle
4 years ago

Build the Wall asap.
Close the southern border, and maybe the northern one if in the Globalist world the USA has become the single most important target to destroy.

Angela R Underwood
Angela R Underwood
4 years ago

The United States needs to take care of true American citizens. We can get produce from South America. The tax payers money shouldn’t take care of illegals. Cost more than closing the border. Look at the ages of most senators That are doing everything they can to prevent the president from helping America.they have very good lives and live well. They aren’t gonna live to see the harm to future generations. They just want mayham. I’m voting for Trump again. He gets no credit for anything. Americans can better educate themselfs with social Media. Learn facts not fiction.

Lorin and Linda Kenfield
Lorin and Linda Kenfield
4 years ago

Close it NOW!

Dale Trevathan
Dale Trevathan
4 years ago

I say close it, some my suffer but if the influx of illegals isn’t addressed we will all pay more on the end.

Kathy Warrington
Kathy Warrington
4 years ago

I am praying for president Trump and Mexico ?? to come to a solution on this border crisis. God has a solution – He is our hope and our trust.

MR. A. B. JAMES
MR. A. B. JAMES
4 years ago

why have the people allowed mexico to get to this point? the politicians will not do their jobs. it is up to the voters/taxpayers to step up! “WE THE PEOPLE” have for too long bent over backwards to accommodate ILLEGAL ALIENS. all because “WE THE PEOPLE” would rather destroy this country than be called “RACIST”!

Joan Ginnetti
Joan Ginnetti
4 years ago

If this invasion doesn’t stop our nation will become bankrupt financially along with a rise in the criminal element.

John Wesley
John Wesley
4 years ago

Close the border. Lose our country totally, or suffer higher prices. Close the border.

MegP
MegP
4 years ago

He should have closed the boarder a year to 6 months ago. Eisenhower did. and close immigration altogether.

Joan
Joan
4 years ago

Cutting all benefits for illegal aliens and making them permanently ineligible for legal immigration should reduce the incentives they currently have.

Cindy
Cindy
4 years ago

Close the border! We survived two world wars, we can survive a closed border and our Country will be safer for it. Congress should take responsibility for what they can do about this problem instead of preserving the “swamp”. We need courageous leaders who will stand up for what is right and should be done for our Homeland instead of shrinking like cowards who want to please the party leaders more than the citizens they represent.

GGiant
GGiant
4 years ago

Our congress in;cluding Cornyn and even Cruz ilmmediately rose up to defend their RICH business partners who would be hurt financial. Better to be UNSAFE than to hurt those precious businessmen. What price for our safety? Apparently ANY price.

Timothy L Birmingham
Timothy L Birmingham
4 years ago

Close the border and we will really see how we can ship products by sea or air. Business as usual has to stop. This issue is more important than anything else right now.

Tom
Tom
4 years ago

Politicians on both sides as well as chamber of commerce are beating the drums and trying to spread the message that it would cost billions of dollars as well as jobs, but the citizens of America is paying the real cost of illegal immigration, deaths due to drugs , illegals keeping our wages low, and our tax dollars supporting the cost of support for them, if we cut the benifits off and e-varify mandatory for all jobs in America then they would self deport, so by all means close the border and punish the businesses that are exploiting the Mexican people with shipping American jobs there in the first place

Bob
Bob
4 years ago

Stop talking about it. Shut the border now. So what if fruit and veggies cost more. Better than supporting illegal aliens!

Martin
Martin
4 years ago

Time to do what FDR did to the Japanese and put ALL these illegals in camps until they appear in court. It would be cheaper to have them in these camps and then we would also know where they are.
This be more legal to do than what was done to the Japanese because the Japanese were legal citizens,

Martin
Martin
4 years ago

We stopped all immigration in 1920 threw 1965. Commerce was not stopped. So why not do the same now. Time to close ALL immigration.
If this is a not manufactured crises then all who say it is needs to let at least hundred or more move in and live with them and pay for their keep. and when their relatives are let in they have to support them too.

Sherri Bowen
Sherri Bowen
4 years ago

Close the border!!!

Rick
Rick
4 years ago

President Trump wouldn’t have to close the border if congress would do it’s job.

robert york
robert york
4 years ago

yes close the border

robert york
robert york
4 years ago

yes close the border. make them come the right way

Dean Eickman
Dean Eickman
4 years ago

I don’t buy grocery products from mexico,i have heard about what they use to fertilize their produce and rumors are enough for me.

Tom Leavitt
Tom Leavitt
4 years ago

Great Ideas on closing the Border !!!

Al Perpente
Al Perpente
4 years ago

trump started like a house on fire but looks like he is running out of gas. time to refuel.how about getting the people responsible for all the lying, false testimony, false charges,and REAL collusion get investigated and charged !!! less talk and tweeting and more action !

Al Perpente
Al Perpente
4 years ago

this congress has the worst people i have ever seen. too many personal agendas and not doing what we voted them in office. they need to listen more to the people and not pelosi and schummer. TRUMP—stop talking and tweeting you need to do more and stop paying attention to all the bs and detractors. SHUT THE BORDER NOW….FULL STEAM AHEAD. you are there to act and not make friends sink the dumbocrats and the turncoat rebublicans. get them voted out office.

Ang
Ang
4 years ago

CLOSE THE BORDER! It should have been done a long time ago.

ronald moreck
ronald moreck
4 years ago

Close the boarder, it would cost much more to keep illegal aliens than we would lose in trade. close it up tight

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
Des Moines, IA / USA - 01/30/2020: President Donald J. Trump on Thursday 01/30/2020 speaking at his Keep America Great Again rally in Des Moines, Iowa at Drake University's Knapp Center.
President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address, Tuesday, February 7, 2023, on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
Group of migrants walking towards the Mexico and USA border after getting off Las Bestia train, Chihuahua, Mexico
A dog proudly wears an American flag scarf held by its owner during the presidential election.

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

147
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games