Concerned about President Donald Trump’s threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border due a caravan of Central Americans marching north toward it, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 23 approved an emergency resolution denouncing that action.
The vote was 4-0 with Supervisor John Renison absent, having left the meeting early.
Before departing, Renison, whose district includes the border city of Calexico that relies on customers from its twin city in Mexico, Mexicali, moved to have an emergency resolution placed on the agenda so the county could take a position.
“The possible closure of the borders is something that should not happen and just thinking about makes me mad,” Renison said.
Speaking during the supervisor’s comment section of the meeting Board Chairman Ray Castillo said if Trump follows through on his threat it would affect the county’s economy and will stop all retail movement.
Thousands of Central Americans recently crossed Mexico’s southern border hoping to end up in the U.S. to escape oppression and poverty. Trump asked Mexico to stop the caravan but hundreds of them have already entered Mexico.
“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught -- and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” Trump wrote on Oct. 18 on the social media Twitter.
The resolution states the closure of the international border would result in a direct reduction of revenue to the county, devastating the local economy, employment rate and families. The county noted in the resolution an economic-impact study showing how the area relies upon the commerce and trade of those crossing the international border.
A copy of the resolution will be sent to the governor of California, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Justice and the president.
Castillo said even if Trump orders border officials to slow inspections it can affect the economy since it would make already long border waits even longer.
“If the closure, or even delays, happen it will have a severe impact on our economy especially in retail where the last months of the year sales increase during the holidays. It will be a major hit to our economy,” Castillo said.