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Donald Trump's people are saying this time he's really truly serious about his threat to shut down all ports of entry on the US-Mexico border unless Mexico magically ends all "illegal" immigration, even the legal kind where people are seeking asylum. Yes, even though that would be an economic disaster for both countries, and would result in far more border crossings outside ports of entry. But just think how well it would play on Fox News!

Trump started threatening to close the border Friday, insisting, "I am not kidding around [...] We will close it for a long time." Never mind that the rightwing US Chamber of Commerce immediately warned that doing so would mean ending $1.7 billion a day in US-Mexico trade, calling such a move "an unmitigated economic debacle" that would put as many as 5 million US jobs at risk. But you know how full of commie liberals the US Chamber of Commerce is.

Still, a lot of people who do real business, not the grifty pretend kind Trump has failed at over and over, seem to think maybe shutting down the border would be bad somehow, as the Washington Post reports:


Sealing the border with Mexico, America's third-largest trading partner, would disrupt supply chains for major U.S. automakers, trigger swift price increases for grocery shoppers and invite lawsuits against the federal government, according to trade specialists and business executives.

"First, you'd see prices rise in­cred­ibly fast. Then . . . we would see layoffs within a day or two," said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas in Nogales, Ariz. "This is not going to help border security."

The amount of trade coming through ports of entry is a lot bigger than just Cheech and Chong in their weed van and all those women with duct tape on their faces, too. A lot of people don't know this, and one of them is the "president" of the United States.

The U.S.-Mexico border is a key artery in the global economy, with more than $611 billion in cross-border trade last year, according to the Commerce Department. Each day, more than 1,000 trucks cross the border at the port of Calexico East, Calif., while more than 11 daily international trains go through Laredo, Tex., according to the U.S. Transportation Department.

In addition to the fresh produce sector, which depends on a high volume of "just in time" cross-border shipping, other industries that would be hit hard would include American farmers selling crops to Mexico and automakers importing parts.

"It's unworkable and unrealistic, and I don't think he could really do it," said Rufus Yerxa, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents multinational corporations. "There would certainly be legal challenges from lots and lots of companies."

Economic experts we just made up in our head estimate there's little chance the resulting economic disruptions would be made up by sellers of MAGA hats and amusingly racist t-shirts, for which market saturation may already have been reached.

But on the upside, at least our supermarkets' produce sections will start looking like Bulgarian grocery stores during the collapse of the USSR.

Despite the warnings that border closures would be both terrible for business and ineffective in terms of stopping immigration, Trumpers took to the teevee Sunday to proclaim this latest impulsive threat the smartest idea ever. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told ABC's "This Week" it would take "something dramatic" to get Trump to change his mind, like maybe a Fox News story about sharks getting food stamps, and even then who knows? And on Fox, Kellyanne Conway was adamant that Trump's threat "certainly isn't a bluff," because Donald Trump never bluffs, as proven by how he got Mexico to pay for WALL, his nuclear attack on North Korea, his sending Hillary Clinton to prison forever, and his swift replacement of Obamacare with something really terrific that was less expensive and covered everyone.

Mulvaney also insisted Congress needs to allow Homeland Security to immediately deport unaccompanied minor children who ask for asylum, because duh, asylum is fake and nobody's really fleeing violence, they all just want to take both our jobs and our welfare at the same time. Nancy Pelosi has already told the administration it can get bent on that proposal.

But at least, as we noted yesterday, Fox News got to dramatically fuck up the story the way only Fox News can, so there's that!

Bummer about the probable economic damage, but shutting the border will be massively popular with idiots, and if they lose their jobs, they can always blame Mexicans from Guatemala.

[WaPo / Politico / NYT / ABC News / Detroit News]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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