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Trump Visits Southern Border After Threats to Close It

Trump Visits Southern Border After Threats to Close It

Twenty states filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to block the president's national emergency declaration, New York Attorney General Letitia James said on Friday.

For further wall construction, Trump secured almost $1.4 billion from Congress in the 2019 budget and redirected another $3.1 billion from other departments.

Trump's "tougher direction" statement suggests he may pressure Department of Homeland Secretary (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to implement policies that top agency staffers oppose, such as rejecting legal interpretations and bureaucratic practices set by former President Barack Obama. The California Democrat says money transfers to the wall have "undermined our democracy" and flout "the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution".

Numbers of migrants and asylum seekers fleeing violence in Central America have risen sharply, although there are enormous political divides on whether this constitutes the "national emergency" that Trump has declared.

Trump has also threatened to close the southern United States border despite the harm it could cause to the economy.

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According to figures provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the border rose from 47,986 in January to 66,450 in February.

"If that doesn't work, which it will, I will close the Border".

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"Ron Vitiello has spent as much time defending our nation's borders as Stephen Miller has been alive", one official said of Miller, who is 33.

Trump said he's not interested in having a summit with Latin American leaders, as Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has shown progress in helping to combat illegal border crossings.

"I think the president is always going to be quick to declare a victory even when he didn't have a hand in the fight", Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said Friday before the border visit.

Earlier, Trump said he would give Mexico "a one-year warning" to stop drug trafficking, or face tariffs.

Waving U.S. and Mexican flags, the protesters carried signs with messages such as "Stop separating families" and "If you build the wall, my generation will tear it down".

It was not immediately clear what other penalties he was considering. However, his border closure threat alarmed politicians across the country, including in his own Republican Party, who warned of dire economic fallout. According to a Rice University study, "Mexico has deported more than half a million Central Americans, even surpassing USA deportation figures in some years" since 2014. The White House did not respond to a request for elaboration.

Mike Vigil, a former chief of global operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said the amount of drugs smuggled into the United States annually was probably in the range of $50-$60 billion. Referring to the recently concluded investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, the president added: "I know about hoaxes".

Since October, ICE had to release 126,000 people, Special Agent in Charge Dave Shaw said at the roundtable with Trump.