Trump insists ‘actual emergency’ exists at US-Mexico border

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Barriers that mostly predate Trump's presidency, ranging from 18-foot-tall iron fencing to makeshift vehicle obstacles and barbed wire, span 654 miles of the almost-2,000-mile US-Mexico border, mostly in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

The president has said the wall is needed to prevent criminals and terrorists from pouring into the United States.

While addressing a roundtable meeting on border security here, the US President noted that the immigration system in his country is "full", regardless of whether the individuals seeking to come into the US are seeking asylum or not.

'The system is full and we can't take you anymore...'

"Mexico has been absolutely terrific for the last four days", the president claimed, as he spoke to reporters as he left the White House.

The border crisis, Trump said, is a direct result of the obstruction by Democrats in Congress.

"The tariffs will work just like they've worked with steel", he said. "They're gang members and they say 'I fear for my life, '" he said.

But Trump, who ratcheted up his hard-line immigration rhetoric in recent weeks, declared that his move, which included vetoing a congressional vote, was necessary.

Democrats generally oppose Mr Trump's wall proposal, suggesting alternative types of enhanced border security that they argue would be more effective and less costly.

It's become a complete mess for trucks hauling goods from Mexico to the USA, snarling transport at some of the busiest border crossings in the world.

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The President also said he's "looking at an economic penalty on all the drugs that are coming in through the southern border and killing our people".

Trump said the drug-related tariff would supplant provisions of a trade deal, the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement, known as USMCA, which has not been approved by Congress.

Trump warned last Friday that he would close the USA border with Mexico this week unless Mexico took action to help stop the flow of illegal migrants across the frontier. Families, many traveling from Central American countries, made up more than half of those numbers, CBP said.

A spokesman for the American Automotive Policy Council - which represents Ford, GM and Chrysler - did not respond for a request for comment Friday. Trump also withdrew his nominee to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement in order to appoint someone "tougher".

Waving U.S. and Mexican flags, the protesters carried signs with messages such as "Stop separating families" and "If you build the wall, my generation will tear it down".

"He's blaming Mexico for our drug problem", Vigil said, adding that his words could hurt bilateral co-operation in battling drug-trafficking.

A DHS official tells CNN that Mexico has recently been apprehending as high as 1,000 migrants a day and removing 700. But he held out the possibility that the measure could be used sooner to address migration issues. More than 60 Cubans were flown home last week.

Trump's Calexico visit came at the end of a tumultuous week that laid bare the president's growing frustration and limitations in controlling the United States southern border.

It wasn't immediately clear how Trump's threat of auto tariffs would affect the agreement, and the president indicated he didn't care.

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