Why border cities fear Trump's threat to close US-Mexico border


Nogales, Arizona - Jesus Perez, a shuttle bus driver in Nogales, Arizona, worries about what would happen if US President -trump.html">Donald Trump followed through on his -190403171452145.html">threat to close all or parts of the  US-Mexico border.

"Most customers we get, come to do business, or in the high season, they come for tourism," Perez, 53, told Al Jazeera.

Business is often good, but Perez said if the border is closed, he and others in the city would feel almost an immediate effect.

"We could survive for a few days, but it would soon be a big problem for us," Perez said. "I have my children to feed, bills to pay, the insurance."

In recent months, Trump has repeatedly threatened to close the border, citing what he has called an immigration "crisis". Last week, the US president for the first time issued the threat with a timeline.

"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 sections of the Border, next week. This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and 'talk'," he tweeted last Friday. 

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Trump again threatens US-Mexico border closure

He appeared to walk back on that timetable earlier this week, however, saying he was pleased to see Mexico had taken steps. But on Wednesday, he doubled down, calling on Congress to act or the "border or large sections of the border will close".

Trump is facing pressure to keep the border open by Democrats and those within his own party, as well as business groups and those living in cities in the -states.html">United States along the border, including in Nogales, where residents fear potential economic harm.

Nearly $1.7bn in trade