US President Donald Trump has declared “NO MORE” to a deal to help “Dreamer” immigrants and threatened to pull out of a free- trade agreement with Mexico unless it does more to stop people from crossing into the US.
He said they are coming to take advantage of protections granted to certain immigrants.
“NO MORE DACA DEAL!” Trump tweeted on Sunday, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, one hour after he began the day by wishing his followers a “HAPPY EASTER!”
He said Mexico must “stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!”
The US, Canada and Mexico are participating in tense negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at Trump’s insistence.
“Mexico has got to help us at the border,” Trump, holding his wife’s hand, told reporters before the couple attended Easter services at an Episcopal church near his Palm Beach home. “If they’re not going to help us at the border, it’s a very sad thing between our two countries.”
“A lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA,” he added.
Former US president Barack Obama created DACA to provide temporary protection and work permits to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are living in the US illegally after being taken there as children.
Trump ended the program last year, but gave the US Congress six months to pass legislation enshrining it. A deal has so far proved elusive and Trump has blamed Democrats.
It was not immediately clear what Trump was referring to when he said people are coming to take advantage of the program.
The US Department of Homeland Security is not issuing new permits, though existing ones can be renewed.
The Obama administration allowed sign-ups during a set period of time, and the program is closed to new entrants.
Proposed DACA deals crafted by lawmakers and rejected by Trump were also not open to new participants.
Trump, when addressing reporters briefly before entering the church, again blamed Democrats for failing to protect the “Dreamers.”
“They had a great chance. The Democrats blew it. They had a great, great chance, but we’ll have to take a look because Mexico has got to help us at the border. They flow right through Mexico. They send them into the United States. It can’t happen that way anymore,” he said.
Trump tweeted that the situation is “Getting more dangerous” and “Caravans” are coming.
The US president’s tweets came after Fox News’ Fox & Friends reported early on Sunday on what it said is a group of 1,200 immigrants, mostly from Honduras, headed to the US.
The Fox headline was “Caravan of illegal immigrants headed to US.”
The US president is known to watch the cable TV program in the morning.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, chided Trump over the tone of the tweets.
“A true leader preserves & offers hope, doesn’t take hope from innocent children who call America home. Remember, today is Easter Sunday,” Kasich tweeted.
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