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Donald Trump has threatened to shut the US southern border next week unless Mexican authorities immediately stop illegal immigration.

The US president made the announcement as a new surge of migrants heads north to the US.

Closing the border could hit the economies of both countries, but the US president emphasised that he is "not kidding around".

The US Chamber of Commerce has said the move would be "an unmitigated economic debacle" that would threaten five million American jobs.

The organisation added that the US and Mexico trade around $1.7bn (£1.3bn) in goods each day.

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Mr Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut the border, but this time he gave a definite timetable.

A substantial closure could have an especially heavy impact on cross-border communities from San Diego, California, to South Texas.

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It would also have an effect on supermarkets that sell Mexican produce, factories that rely on imported parts and other businesses across the US.

Mr Trump told reporters in Florida on Friday that shutting the border "could mean all trade" with Mexico is stopped and added "we will close it for a long time".

Image: People cross the street after arriving in California from Mexico

The president has been promising to build an impenetrable wall along the border for more than two years, but Congress has been reluctant to provide the money he needs for the project.

Mr Trump's stalemate with the Democrats over funding led to him causing the longest US government shutdown in history.

The president tweeted on Friday that the Democrats "have given us the weakest immigration laws anywhere in the world".

The DEMOCRATS have given us the weakest immigration laws anywhere in the World. Mexico has the strongest, & they make more than $100 Billion a year on the U.S. Therefore, CONGRESS MUST CHANGE OUR WEAK IMMIGRATION LAWS NOW, & Mexico must stop illegals from entering the U.S….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2019

….through their country and our Southern Border. Mexico has for many years made a fortune off of the U.S., far greater than Border Costs. If Mexico doesnt immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2019

He continued: "Congress must change our weak immigration laws now, and Mexico must stop illegals from entering the US through their country our Southern Border."

Mr Trump then claimed Mexico has "made a fortune off of the US, far greater than Border Costs".

He continued: "If Mexico doesn't immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large section of the Border, next week."

The president didn't elaborate on what he meant by "or large sections".

….the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week. This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and “talk.” Besides, we lose so much money with them, especially when you add in drug trafficking etc.), that the Border closing would be a good thing!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Read More – Source

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Sky News

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