90 Miles From Tyranny : 3 Times Previous Presidents Closed the Southern Border

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

3 Times Previous Presidents Closed the Southern Border

On three past occasions, presidents temporarily closed the southern border, something President Donald Trump threatened Monday to do permanently.

Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan both closed the border over drug-related issues that halted entry from Mexico into the United States.

President Lyndon B. Johnson, shortly after taking office amid crisis, closed the border after the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy.

While Johnson’s example was unique, all three cases dealt with a president’s authority to act on the border during an emergency. The Trump administration has determined that the series of “caravans” of thousands of Central American migrants headed to the border is an emergency.

With Nixon in 1969 and Reagan in 1985—as is the case today—the United States was trying to pressure the Mexican government’s law enforcement into stepping up its efforts.

Trump tweeted early Monday:

Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!

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Before boarding Marine One on Monday afternoon, Trump told a gaggle of reporters: “Mexico wants to see if they can get it straightened out, but we’ve, during certain times as you know, closed the border. … Here’s the bottom line, nobody is going to come into this country unless they come legally.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has sued the Trump administration on multiple fronts—gaining a recent lower court victory halting the administration’s asylum policy—declined to comment for this report. However, the organization is calling for Congress to pull funding from the Department of Homeland Security amid the border crisis:

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