In a rare break with President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned on Tuesday that closing the border between the United States and Mexico would potentially be “catastrophic” to the U.S. economy.
Trump first threatened on Twitter on Friday to close the southern border if Mexico did not do more stop undocumented immigrants from crossing the border into the United States.
The president on Tuesday told reporters in the Oval Office that if Congress doesn’t pass stricter immigration laws, he will either shutter the border or “close large sections of the border.”
“If we don’t make a deal with Congress, the Mexico border’s going to be closed. 100 percent. … Or we’re going to close large sections of the border, maybe not all of it. But it’s the only way we’re getting a response and I’m totally ready to do it,” Trump said.
McConnell said on Tuesday that shutting down the border was not the answer.
“Closing down the border would have potentially catastrophic economic impact on our country, and I would hope we would not be doing that,” McConnell said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says "we certainly have a crisis on the border," but "closing down the border would have potentially catastrophic economic impact on our country and I would hope we would not be doing that sort of thing" https://t.co/FkycYYHDz5 pic.twitter.com/u80W53vmgs
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 2, 2019
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) also warned that closing down the southern border could have serious economic consequences but predicted that Trump would not follow through on his threat.
“The economic disaster to the country would be huge, and my guess is that cooler heads will prevail upon the president not to do it,” Schumer said. “It would be a disaster for him and a disaster for the country.”