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Trump at Mexico border: The US is 'full'

CALEXICO: US President Donald Trump visited the Mexican border on Friday to ship a message to would-be unlawful immigrants and asylum seekers: do not bother coming.

"The system is full and we can't take you anymore... Our country is full," he stated at a meeting with border patrol officials and different officers in Calexico, California. "So turn around, that's the way it is."

Shortly after, Trump visited a bit of just lately refurbished border wall — something he wants extended across far more of the US-Mexico frontier — and stated unlawful immigrants had previously been "pouring" in.

The California go back and forth followed a retreat from earlier threats to close the border, which had sparked fears of serious financial damage.

Nevertheless, Trump sees his marketing campaign in opposition to a "crisis" at the border as key to his 2020 reelection bid, and his time in Calexico was supposed to stay that message in the headlines.

Numbers of migrants and asylum seekers fleeing violence in Central America have risen sharply, even though there are huge political divides on whether or not this constitutes the "national emergency" that Trump has declared.

Around 200 protesters, accompanied by way of an enormous inflatable balloon depicting Trump as a baby, have been looking ahead to the president in Mexicali, town at the Mexican aspect of the frontier.

Waving US and Mexican flags, the protesters carried indicators with messages similar to "Stop separating families" and "If you build the wall, my generation will tear it down."

On the USA aspect, dozens of other people coated the road that Trump's motorcade took, demonstrating give a boost to for his policies. "Build the wall," stated one placard.

Before leaving Washington earlier Friday, Trump stated that his earlier threats to shut down the border had been a hit in persuading Mexican authorities to clamp down by way of stopping migrants on their journey north.

"Mexico, I have to say, has been very, very good... over the last four days since I talked about shutting down the border," he stated.

Trump reiterated that actually closing the border is not recently in the cards, however stated he'll as an alternative impose 25 p.c tariffs on auto imports from Mexico if unlawful migration and drug smuggling are not controlled.

Trump also stated he may just nonetheless order the border closed later. "I may shut it down at some point but I'd rather do tariffs," he stated.

While sounding tricky, Trump's marvel shift this week to tariffs from the former threat to close the border is a big climb down.

For days, the White House had been signaling that he was excited about the threat and there was even speculation that he would possibly announce a closing all through his Calexico go back and forth.

However, the speculation led to alarm among economists and Congress, including in Trump's Republican Party. Mexico is the third-largest US buying and selling spouse and any hold-u.s.a. border crossings would have an instantaneous affect on business.

The tariffs idea is also causing confusion.

On Thursday, Trump indicated there would be a one-year time limit for Mexico to improve the situation before tariffs kicked in. However, it was no longer clear if he supposed that both for the drug smuggling and migration, or whether or not he wanted the migration factor resolved straight away.

On Friday, the timing was no clearer. But he seemed to suggest that he would possibly search to punish Mexico at any time he concept the southern neighbor was no longer doing enough.

"We're going to shut (the border) down if we have to. We going to tariff the cars, Mexico, if we have to," he stated.

It was also unclear how such tariffs would fit into the countries' deeply intertwined buying and selling relationship, which is ruled by way of NAFTA, a free business accord also including Canada that is because of get replaced by way of an updated version known as the USMCA.

Leaders of the 3 countries signed the USMCA in November after greater than a year of negotiations.

Trump stated Friday that his tariffs would "supersede USMCA. It's a great deal, and it's very good for Mexico. But this will supersede USMCA."

In Mexico City, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador steered buyers to "stay calm."

"Our relationship with the government of the United States is very good," he stated.

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