What Would Happen if Trump Closed the Southern Border?
The United States (U.S.) and Mexico are close allies, sharing thousands of miles of border which allows for daily trade and communication. Unfortunately, it appears that President Trump may attempt to close the border, which is a critical passageway for millions, due to prejudicial and misguided views regarding immigration. In recent weeks, the president has discussed both the possibility of a partial or complete border closure, as well as steep auto tariffs to punish Mexico.
While the president has appeared to waiver from his initial promise of an immediate closure, the situation remains dire. For example, today news broke that Trump asked now acting secretary Kevin McAleenan to close the border immediately. The president also commented that he would pardon Mr. McAleenan should the official break any immigration laws while following orders. According to The New York Times, it is still unclear what the president meant during this conversation. Considering the magnitude of these statements, it is likely that the president will comment in the coming days.
This article reviews the potential consequences that would be quickly experienced by Americans and Mexicans were the border to close. Unfortunately, any closure would likely cause widespread negative effects and disrupt lives, trade, and travel.
Most importantly, if you have questions or concerns about your immigration status, your best resource is a trained and experienced immigration attorney. Davis & Associates proudly serves immigrants throughout Miami. For your comfort, every initial consultation is free. Contact us today to talk with an expert immigration attorney.
The New York Times reports that roughly $1.7 billion worth of goods and services crosses the U.S.-Mexico border every day. Without a doubt, both the U.S. and Mexican economies would falter upon the closure of the southern border. Further, countries and economies across the world would likely feel the shock waves as ground transport between Mexico and America halted. Below, we explore specific examples of what may occur.
Border Towns Would Suffer
American border towns rely heavily on Mexican consumers. If the border were to close, businesses would lose valuable customers and employers would lose hard-working and essential employees. According to The Times, Mexican shoppers contribute nearly one-third of one border city’s nearly $3.2 billion in annual retail sales (McAllen, TX). Any disruption of this symbiotic relationship would be disastrous, both for consumers relying on essential goods and businesses experiencing profound customer losses. Additionally, many people who live in border towns cross into Mexico to work. They would lose their source of income, further affecting the local, state, and national economies.
On the Mexican side, residents who work in the U.S. would also lose their source of income. This would devastate local communities and raise poverty. Long-term, this would likely lead to a spike in illegal immigration as people become desperate to provide for themselves and their families.
Produce and the U.S. Food Supply
American consumers depend upon Mexican farmers and the produce they supply. The Times reports that U.S. and Mexican residents would experience nearly immediate consequences, including produce shortages. Central and South America provides fresh vegetables and fruit, including avocados, strawberries, grapes, and mangoes. Likewise, Mexico also relies on American farmers for certain staples, including corn, soybeans, dairy products like milk and cheese, and meat.
Manufacturing and Businesses
America and Mexico are close trade partners. Every year, billions of dollars of goods are both exported and imported, encouraging this crucial symbiosis. The Times notes that Mexico is America’s third largest trade partner, coming in after only China and Canada. If the border were to close, it would disrupt critical trade routes and prevent American manufacturers from acquiring key goods and parts. Among the greatest affected would be American car companies like Ford.
In additional to considering economic concerns, it is also essential to pay close attention to the profound humanitarian consequences of closing the U.S.-Mexico border. In this section, we discuss a few of the greatest humanitarian concerns should the border close.
Unemployment En Masse
If the border closes, thousands of residents of both Mexico and the United States would lose their jobs. While it is relatively easy to consider the negative effects of such an occurrence on the economy, it is harsher to acknowledge the human reality. Loss of income leads to poverty, depression, sickness, and desperation. For Mexican citizens, this may make them more likely to eventually attempt to cross the U.S. border in search of aid and income.
Lost Opportunities for Students
Thousands of Mexican children and young people cross the border to attain a better education. If the border were to close, it would disrupt the education of these deserving students and interrupt schooling in border towns. One school in El Paso told the Texas Tribune that 40% of its student body commutes from Mexico every single day.
A More Dangerous World for Asylum Seekers
Without a posted and legal border crossing (also know as “port-of-entries”), asylum seekers would be forced to enter America illegally. This can be dangerous, involving long treks on foot throughout unforgiving and searing desert land. Further, those crossing the border alone, or even in small groups, are highly vulnerable. They can be attacked, kidnapped, robbed, or otherwise harmed by criminals.
It is unethical that America may bar itself from those who need its protection so desperately.
Talk with an Experienced Miami Immigration Attorney
As the situation escalates at the southern border, it has spread unease throughout America. Without a doubt, this worry can be especially prevalent in immigrant communities. If you have any immigration case or concern, don’t hesitate to contact an expert immigration lawyer. Only a lawyer certified by your state’s bar association is properly qualified to help you with your case. Don’t ever work with “visa consultants” or “notarios” who are not legally certified to provide legal assistance. Your attorney will guide your case and provide comfort every step of the way.
At Davis & Associates, we passionately serve clients throughout Miami, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston. Our trained and compassionate staff are ready to help no matter your immigration need. Every member of our team is knowledgeable, up-to-date, and qualified to assist you. Contact us today to schedule a free intial consultation!