Newt Gingrich urges Trump not to shut down border: 'It would truly be a mess'

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told President Trump shutting down the border with Mexico would be "absurd" for millions of families.

Gingrich made the comment on "Fox & Friends" Wednesday morning after the commander-in-chief threated to close the Southern Border if Mexico doesn't "immediately stop" the record-breaking surge of illegal immigrants flooding into the states.

"I would strongly urge the president not to try to shut down the border," Gingrich said. "We have so many people every day who go back and forth. We have so much economic goods on both sides. It would truly be a mess, and it would frankly mess up the very economy he's proud of. You'd have tremendous side effects from closing the border."

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The author of "Trump's America" then gave Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro credit for being honest about supporting open borders.

"The truth is the Democratic party is the open border party," Gingrich said. "They would welcome any number of immigrants. They would no longer be illegal because the border would be open."

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Gingrich said it would "totally change everything," pointing to a Gallup poll that estimated about 165 million people would decide to come to the United States if the border were truly open.

The former House Speaker continued by saying he believes Republicans should offer five or six common-sense reforms to address the crisis at the border, and while he doesn't think the president should close the border, he added: "The president - on this issues - is entirely right as commander-in-chief to say we have to get control of the border."

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According to Customs and Border Protection, more than 76,000 migrants were detained in February, marking the highest number of apprehensions in 12 years. That figure includes more than 7,000 unaccompanied children. More than 36,000 migrant families have arrived in the El Paso region in fiscal 2019, compared with about 2,000 at the same time last year, according to CBP data.