In response to a surge of Central American migrants seeking asylum last weekend, President Trump threatened to close all ports of entry along the southern U.S. border. In light of the Department of Homeland Security’s declaration of an “Category 5 immigration crisis” at the border, the President’s threat sparked widespread fears of dire economic consequences in the United States.
How would shutting down the southern border affect the U.S. economy?
An average of 15,000 trucks and $1.6 billions in goods cross the border every day. Farmers in Southern California rely on workers who arrive daily from Mexico to harvest fields of produce, among them such essentials as onions, tomatoes and winter vegetables. Shutting down the border can result in a multitude of layoffs and heavy spikes in grocery and restaurant prices due to food shortages.
The southern border hosts an international flow of not just goods and services, but also of students and families. Thousands of students go to school north of the border and return home to Mexico when the day is over. Vehicles with Mexican plates are fixtures in shopping center parking lots across border state communities.
Given the volume of transactions in these regions, closing the border would cause an immediate depression, and that can impact the rest of the country, too.
How is the administration dealing with the ‘border crisis?’
There are about 750 inspectors who screen cargo and vehicles at ports of entry along the Mexican border now. Since migrant caravans arrived in fall of last year, these inspectors are being assigned to process migrants, taking their asylum applications and transporting them to holding centers.
The new assignment has significantly slowed the movement of economic activities across the border. Early this week, the White House announced that 2,000 additional inspectors would be mobilized to help handle the influx of migrants. Furthermore, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had asked for volunteers from non-immigration agencies to assist in the effort to return asylum seekers to Mexico.
Once again, the Trump administration is focusing resources on furthering their anti-immigration agenda, in the expense of economic expediency and humanitarian concerns. Learn more about how the USCIS is a prime example of bureaucratic inefficiency in our last blog post. If you, or someone you know, wish to obtain legal immigration status in the U.S., but are deterred by potential delays or denials, contact us today. Our legal experts would determine the best strategy for your case for the fastest, most positive results!