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Possible border shutdown causes widespread concern

us mexico border wall fence
Posted at 6:42 PM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 00:30:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The threat of President Trump shutting down the southern border is causing widespread concerns in San Diego and Tijuana.

Ev Meade is the director of USD's Transborder Institute. He says the impact on specific industries would be severe.

"Think about the auto industry. You can't build a car in the United States or Canada right now without the part of the supply chain that's in Mexico. It's just fatal to shut that down," said Meade.

He says even if the president doesn't close the border, the threat alone is damaging.

"If you think about agriculture, on the other hand, Mexico is the biggest buyer of a long list of agricultural products, even if it doesn't happen, just the uncertainty that is cast over the market by doing that hurts that, it tells people we got to find another supply because we don't want to have empty shelves," said Meade.

This weekend, President Trump announced he was cutting off funding to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. He also blamed Mexico for not doing enough to stop the flow of asylum seekers making their way north to the United States.

Meade says cutting off aid to Central American countries will only lead to more migrants fleeing.

"If you look at where it goes to, it goes to things like training the security forces, and training their immigration enforcement and strengthening judicial systems. There's some food and public health, and other things that are covered by it, but it's some real basic institutions in these societies that are pretty fragile to begin with and pulling that funding I think, I don't know anyone who thinks it's going to make them stronger, and if they're not stronger, it's not going to alleviate the pressure for people to leave," said Meade.

Others say something has to be done. Marcia, who didn't want to give her last name, crosses the border at San Ysidro often to go to the dentist in Tijuana.

She said cutting aid and closing the border might be a good idea.

"I think they need to manage their own governments and own borders, and we're not the bank of the world. We can't pay for everyone anymore. Everybody has to pay their fair share and take care of their own countries."

Meade says all the countries need to work together on a solution to the immigration system.

"Right now, you can't live in your home town or home city, but coming 1,500 miles to the United States and getting an individual asylum adjudication, that may be too high of a bar to cross, what's option B? And I tell you, a lot of people would take it if it were reasonable," Meade said.