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Joe Manchin Proposes Building a Wall on Mexico’s Southern Border

Homeland Secretary John Kelly agreed with the Democratic Senator that stricter border control in Mexico would help keep gangs out of the U.S.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) explored the idea of building a wall on Mexico’s southern border with Belize and Guatemala at a Senate hearing with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Thursday.

“If we were able to stop it, and Mexico was able to build their wall and have tighter border controls on the southern border, would that be effective?” Manchin asked Kelly.

“It would be effective,” Kelly said, emphasizing the importance of U.S. support for Mexico’s control of their southern border.

Manchin noted that building a border wall on Mexico’s southern border would be much easier than the U.S. border, due to its reduced length.

“They have a smaller border. They can control them a lot better,” Manchin said.

“My belief is that if we shut that southern border down in Mexico, that between the United States and the Mexican government, we can have a better chance of controlling the drugs that come out of Mexico itself,” he added.

Kelly said that Mexico has maintained strict control of their southern border.

“Last year, [the Mexicans] stopped 160,000 migrants and turned them back humanely,” Kelly said. “They have much different immigration laws than we do.”

A 2015 report indicated that more Mexican immigrants were leaving the United States than entering, hinting that the main illegal immigration worry for the United States would come from Central American countries.

Stopping those Central American migrants at the southern Mexican border, which only measures a few hundred miles, may prove easier than stopping them along the 2,000 mile U.S. southern border.