Phoenix and Wallaces property companies have been quietly pushing for a “no-entry” policy for the border for months.
But now the Trump Administration is threatening to shut down the entire border in order to get around the federal government’s longstanding immigration enforcement powers.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump told reporters he was “very happy” that his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced on Tuesday that he was moving ahead with a plan to end the use of “temporary” entry.
“I am very happy that John Kelly has made that announcement, because it’s going to allow us to begin the process of shutting down all of these illegal border crossings and moving forward,” Trump said.
Kelly’s announcement follows a recent letter by Arizona’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Secretary Kelly, saying that the Department of Homeland Security is “exceeding its authority to enforce immigration laws.”
Kelly said in a statement that he “understood” Sessions’s concerns, and that he will continue to work to expedite a final solution for the country’s border.
“We have a very good relationship with the Department and have made numerous attempts to engage with them to address their concerns about our enforcement policies,” Kelly said.
“It’s important that I am not speaking on behalf of the Department or the Border Patrol, but the American people.”
The plan was met with praise by immigration advocates and Democrats on Capitol Hill.
“Secretary Kelly has been doing a great job at keeping our border secure, and this administration’s plan to close all of the border crossings in order is a good step forward,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) told reporters on Thursday.
The border shutdown will likely affect more than 2 million Americans, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The Trump administration has said it wants to cut the number of people who enter the country illegally each day, by 20%, by 2024.