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April 4, 2019 -- Donald Trump's threat to close the American border with Mexico is not unprecedented in recent times. The border was closed by Lyndon Johnson in 1963 after the assassination of John Kennedy. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan also closed the border as did George W. Bush. 

From ▼

Four former presidents who closed the border for the safety of Americans:

Lyndon B. Johnson

In 1963, Johnson closed the U.S.-Mexico border following the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.

The closure, which Mexico ordered as well, didn’t allow for anyone to leave or come into the U.S., which remained in effect until they arrested Kennedy’s killer.

Richard Nixon

Nixon’s “Operation Intercept” in 1969 — which only lasted 20 days — sought to stop the flow of illegal drugs, including Marijuana, into the U.S.

Newspapers at the time portrayed Operation Intercept as “the largest peacetime search and seizure operation in history.”

The closure caused long lines at the border as vehicles were thoroughly searched and it caused a “near shut down of all traffic across the border.”

Ronald Reagan

In 1985, Reagan put pressure on the Mexican government in a temporary drug-related border shutdown.

When a Mexican cartel abducted U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena Salazar, the president launched “Operation Camarena” and closed southern border entries in the search.

George W. Bush

Bush closed parts of the border following the terrorist attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001, and required every incoming person and vehicle to be thoroughly inspected.

Can Trump close the southern border?

“The president has the authority to set limits at U.S. designated ports of entry,” former federal immigration judge Art Arthur previously told the Daily Signal — this authority comes from the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 215(a).


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