By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Friday to shut down the country’s southern border, either in whole or in part, next week unless Mexico immediately thwarts all illegal crossings along the 2,000 mile partition.
The president said in a series of tweets it would be "so easy" for Mexico to accomplish the task, and suggested closing the border would actually be beneficial, citing vague funds he said are lost to the country.
"If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug [sic] our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week," Trump said. "Mexico must stop illegals from entering the U.S. through their country and our Southern Border."
What Trump's border closure would entail remains unclear. Large sections of the border encompass wild and varied terrain.
Trump has long railed against Mexico, singling out immigrants from the country in incendiary rhetoric he used to kickstart his 2016 campaign.
The president pledged to have Mexico pay for the construction of a U.S.-Mexico wall, but Mexican officials have staunchly and consistently rejected the demand.
He announced a contested national emergency in February to erect the wall after forcing the longest shutdown in government history regarding his demand Congress, not Mexico, pay for its construction.
The federal legislature approved legislation a month later to revoke the national emergency, but the president vetoed the effort and it failed to gain a necessary veto-proof majority on a second attempt to clear the House.