President Vows to 'Shut Down the Border.' Would That Work?

President Trump is vowing to 'shut down the border' by deploying troops to the Rio Grande if necessary, as that 'March of the Migrants,' now about 2,000 strong, heads from Honduras into the U.S., where marchers vow to demand asylum and, quoting recent legal rulings given to them by profit-seeking immigrant smugglers, declare that 'Trump has to let us in,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

But can the President actually 'close' the border?  and would it work?

"Richard Nixon shut down the border on September 21, 1969," says Tony Payan, a Latin America expert at the Baker Center at Rice University.  "He wanted to stop marijuana from coming across the border at that time."

Payan told News Radio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board it didn't work then, and it is not going to work now.

"This shows that the President really doesn't understand the intigrative nature of the U.S. Mexico border.  It would be very expensive for both countries."

Experts also question whether sending the U.S. military to patrol the border, essentially doing the job of civilian law enforcement, would violate the 19th Century 'Posse Comitatus' Law, which forbids the use of the military for law enforcement.

Payan says any attempt to 'shut down the border' would also threaten the $620 billion in cross border trade between the two countries, which creates thousands of jobs and is the life blood of many border communities.

Payan says the most efficient way to deal with illegal immigration is for the U.S. and Mexico to work together on a cohesive plan to deal with the issue.  

It has even been suggested that the best place for a 'border wall'would be between Mexico and Guatemala, because most of the Latin American migration today, like the 'March of the Migrants' is from Central America, and Mexico is victimized by illegal entries as well.

IMAGE; GETTY

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