By Valerie Volcovici and Delphine Schrank
WASHINGTON/IXTEPEC, Mexico (Reuters)
President Donald Trump said on Sunday that there will be no deal to legalize the status of young adult immigrants called Dreamers and he said the U.S.-Mexico border is becoming more dangerous
After tweeting a “Happy Easter” message on Twitter, he said: “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous.
“‘Caravans’ coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!” he wrote, adding a threat to kill the North American Free Trade Agreement which is being renegotiated with Mexico and Canada.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a programme created in 2012 under Democratic former President Barack Obama that Trump sought to rescind last autumn.
Designed for people brought to the United States as children by parents who were undocumented immigrants, the programme shielded them from deportation and gave them work permits.
Trump had said he was open to a deal with congressional Democrats who want to protect DACA in exchange for funding to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, a campaign trail promise.
He insisted during his 2016 White House run that Mexico would pay for the wall, something the Mexican government has repeatedly rejected
Mexico’s presidential front-runner, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, launched his campaign close to the border on Sunday demanding respect for Mexicans and signalling he may take a harder line towards Trump if he wins the July 1 election.
“Mexico and its people will not be the piñata of any foreign government,” Lopez Obrador said in a speech in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which borders El Paso, Texas. “It’s not with walls or use of force that you resolve social problems.”
Whether Trump will stick to his guns on DACA is unclear. Trump last month threatened to veto a spending bill because it did not address the fate of Dreamers and did not fully fund his border wall but he ultimately signed the bill.
In the months after Trump took office, apprehensions of illegal crossers along the U.S.- Mexico border dropped from more than 42,400 arrests in January 2017 to a low of around 15,700 in April, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. Since then, the number of arrests has risen and in the first months of 2018 was above Obama administration levels.
“Mexico has got to help us at the border,” the president, who is spending Easter at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, told reporters on his way into an Easter church service. “A lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA. They had a great chance. The Democrats blew it.”
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