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Possible US-Mexico border closure sparks concern

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 30, 2019 - Duration: 01:51s

Possible US-Mexico border closure sparks concern

Workers and students who frequently cross the U.S. border with Mexico worried over the weekend about the impact on their lives if President Donald Trump follows through on a threat to shut entry points used by hundreds of thousands of people every day.

Nathan Frandino reports.

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Possible US-Mexico border closure sparks concern

EDITOR'S NOTE: RESENDING TO INCLUDE NEWS THAT STATE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCED CUT IN AID TO CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES Traffic jams on the U.S. border with Mexico have already begun and they're expected to get even worse, amid threats from President Donald Trump if Mexico does not do more to stem the flow of migrants.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "There's a very good likelihood that i'll be closing the border next week, and that will be just fine with me." He told reporters Friday he was considering the action as his government struggles to deal with a surge of asylum seekers from Central America who travel through Mexico.

Hundreds of migrants were seen Friday being held in a chain-link enclosure under a bridge in El Paso, Texas.

Homeland Security officials say they've been overwhelmed by the increase, with more than 1,200 unaccompanied children and 6,600 migrant families in their custody.

The State Department announced Saturday that the rising number of migrants coming from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras prompted the administration to cut aid from those countries.

Trump hinted at the move on Friday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "We were paying them tremendous amounts of money, and we're not paying them anymore because they haven't done a thing for us." Shutting the southern border would disrupt billions of dollars in trade and millions of legal border crossings.

Across the border in Ciudad Juarez, worry is already building among residents.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CIUDAD JUAREZ RESIDENT, RAUL LOPEZ, SAYING: "Both cities (Ciudad Juarez and El Paso) are affected because they are tied together and we depend on them and they on us.

Business would end, so we need this to get sorted out soon." SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CIUDAD JUAREZ RESIDENT, EVA RAMIREZ, SAYING: "The lines are very long.

One has to cross to be able to work.

And crossing is more difficult for us Mexicans." Trump has repeatedly threatened to close the border during his two years in office but has not followed through.

Mexico has played down the possibility of a border shutdown, saying their country does not act on the basis of threats.

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