US inundated with asylum seekers, Trump threatens to shut border with Mexico

By Helene Fung

The US Department of Homeland Security is struggling with a surge in asylum seekers from Central American countries who enter through Mexico, with tens of thousands fleeing violence and economic hardship in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

US President Donald Trump threatened to close the border with Mexico next week if Mexico doesn’t stop the asylum seekers from reaching the US.

“We’ll keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games. Mexico has to stop it,” says Mr Trump while on a visit in Florida.

If Mr Trump goes ahead with this plan, billions of trade between the countries could be in jeopardy.

Department of Homeland Security is shifting 750 border personnel from designated ports of entry to help process asylum seekers who are turning up between official crossing points, which would result in delays at official crossings points.

Meanwhile, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrardresponded on Twitter: “Mexico does not act on the basis of threats. We are a great neighbour.”

 

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