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Trump threatens potential 'border closing' next week

Image: Donald Trump
The tweets came just hours after he told a Michigan crowd the U.S. would "close the damn border" if Mexico did not do more to stem illegal immigration at the southern border. Copyright Cory Morse The Grand Rapids Press via AP
Copyright Cory Morse The Grand Rapids Press via AP
By Dareh Gregorian with NBC News Politics
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The president took to Twitter to say he'd shut down the southern border, or "large sections" of it, then "if Mexico doesn't immediately stop ALL illegal immigration" into the U.S.


President Donald Trump warned Friday that he could shut down the southern border next week "if Mexico doesn't immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States."

After blasting Democrats on Twitter for weak U.S. immigration laws, Trump added that he'd be closing the border, "or large sections of the Border, next week" unless Mexico takes immediate action.

"This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and 'talk,'" he wrote in a series of three tweets.

The Twitter blast came hours after he issued a similar warning during a rally in Michigan on Thursday night. He repeated his unfounded claims that migrant caravans are "pouring across" the U.S. Mexico border, and implored the Mexican government to do more to stop them.

"If they don't, and I am telling you right now, we will close the damn border," he said.

Trump also mocked people who came to the border seeking to claim asylum, saying they're coached by lawyers to say they fear for their lives. "It's a big fat con job, folks," Trump told the crowd.

He banged the same drum on Twitter Thursday morning. "Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our country," he tweeted. "They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing."

That tweet came just hours before Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen offered praise for the work the latter countries have done to slow the flow of immigrants.

Trump has declared the situation at the border a national emergency, a legal designation he's using to claim funding to start construction of a border wall.

Customs and Border Protection officials said earlier this week that a surge in migrants seeking to come into the country has caused the agency to reach the breaking point. Border Patrol has been unable to keep up with screenings of hundreds of immigrants arriving daily, which officials said had led the agency to confine a large group of them in a chain-link enclosure under a bridge in El Paso, Texas.

"CBP is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border crisis all along our southwest border, and nowhere has that crisis manifested more acutely than here in El Paso," CBP commissioner Kevin McAleenan said at a news conference on Wednesday.

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