Becerra says it's important to block the diversion of funds before it happens because it will harder to replace if the money is committed to border wall construction.
Across the entire U.S. -Mexico border, 82 miles of border barrier has been erected this year, and another 97 miles will be completed by the end of the year, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, the chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. The president's latest threat is the second to rock the auto industry in less than a week.
Congress gave Trump about $1.375 billion in February to build 55 miles of new fencing, along the Rio Grande Valley area in Texas, although lawmakers restricted the construction to barrier designs that had already been deployed.
"I never changed my mind at all", Trump told reporters before leaving the White House for a trip to the U.S. -Mexico border.
It wasn't immediately clear how Trump's threat of vehicle tariffs would affect the agreement, and the president indicated he didn't care.
Hammering on a favourite theme, Mr Trump said he was considering imposing an unspecified economic penalty on Mexico unless it helped alleviate the United States' drug and immigrant flows.
Trump, during Friday's roundtable on the border, called his one-year warning on a southern USA border closure "fake news". That wave is expected to deliver one million migrants into the United States by October, and it is made possible because Democrats are blocking any reform the border loopholes.
"I don't think we'll ever have to close the border because the penalty of tariffs on cars coming into the United States from Mexico, at 25 per cent, will be massive".
Mr. Trump walked away from his border closure threat just days after he also abruptly postponed Republican efforts to work on a replacement for the Affordable Care Act.
Jesus Seade, the Mexican undersecretary for North America, would not comment on Trump's remarks about possible tarriffs and said the trade agreement was separate from immigration issues.
Trump loves to dangle the threat of auto tariffs in worldwide negotiations, and suggested in February that he might impose duties on vehicles made inside the European Union. American importers pay the tariffs at the border and then must decide how much of the higher cost they can pass along to US customers. "It's a scam. It's a hoax", Trump said. He emphasized that it was fuelled by USA demand.
Vitiello is a longtime law enforcement employee, having first joined the Border Patrol in 1985.
"Mexico has been absolutely terrific for the last four days", he said.
Trump declared a national emergency last month to free up to $8 billion in federal funding to build a wall on the U.S. southern border.
Those families, along with unaccompanied children, are subject to specific laws and court settlements that prevent them from being immediately sent back to their home countries.
Although a border closing has been pushed back, the tariffs idea is causing confusion.
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