President Trump in a teleconference with reporters and members of the military on Thanksgiving Day threatened to shut down the "whole" U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump, speaking from Mar-a-Lago in Florida where he and his family were spending the holiday, said that if his administration finds that Mexico has lost control of the border on their side, the “whole border” may be closed “for a period of time until we can get it under control.”
“If we find that it’s uncontrollable … if we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control, or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control,” he said.
“You mean the entire border?” a reporter asked.
“The whole border,” Trump replied. “ I mean the whole border ... And that means that Mexico is not going to be able to sell their cars into the United States until it’s open.”
“But we’re going to either have a border or we’re not,” he continued. “And when they lose control of the border, on the Mexico side, we just close the border. And we have a very powerful border. We built a very strong border in a very short period of time. And the military has been fantastic, the job they’ve done.”
His remarks came days after a federal judge put a hold on President Trump’s asylum ban on migrants who fail to legally enter the U.S. through a port of entry.
During the typically apolitical Thanksgiving call, he called the ruling and other similar rulings handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals hampering his immigration agenda a “disgrace.”
“[I]t’s a terrible thing when judges take over your protective services; when they tell you how to protect your border,” said Trump. “It’s a disgrace.”