Volley of presidential tweets concerns big group, largely Honduran, travelling through Mexico to reach US border
Donald Trump returned to the offensive on immigration on Monday, recurring specific claims that “caravans” of migrants from Central America are threatening to enter the US via Mexico and demanding:” Act now Congress, our country is being stolen !”
” Mexico has the absolute power not to let these big' Caravans' of people enter their country ,” the president tweeted.” They must stop them at their Northern Border, which they can do because their border laws work , not allow them to pass through into our country, which has no effective border laws.
” Congress must immediately pass Border Legislation, use Nuclear Option if necessary, to put an end to the massive inflow of Drugs and People. Border Patrol Agents( and ICE) are GREAT, but the weak Dem statutes don't allow them to do their job. Act now Congress, our country is being stolen !”
Trump's use of the term “caravans”- also made in a sequence of tweets on Easter Sunday- was a reference to a large group of people who are heading through Mexico, hoping to reach the US border. A reporter from BuzzFeed has been with them.
” For five days now ,” Adolfo Flores reported on Friday,” hundreds of Central Americans- infants, women and men, most of them from Honduras– have boldly traversed immigration checkpoints, military basis, and police in a desperate, sometimes chaotic march toward the United Nation. Despite their being in Mexico without authorization , no one has made any effort to stop them .”
The ” caravan” has been reported on by Fox News, Trump's favor cable network.
Mexico's National Immigration Institute said it would issue a statement on the caravan later on Monday.
The country's interior minister, Alfonso Navarete Prida, told reporters on Monday:” It is utterly incorrect to say that there is no effort in Mexico to regulate, supporting and mange migratory process .”
The” nuclear alternative” Trump refers to would be a reform of Senate rules to allow major legislation to pass with 51 referendums rather than the current 60. The Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has shown no sign of acceding to Trump's recurred demand.
Organizers said some 1,300 people were participating in the caravan, which is currently traversing the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the southern state of Oaxaca.
Mexican immigration officials routinely detain and deport hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, who in recent years have streamed north to escape horrific violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Mexico deported 16,278 people in the first two months of 2018- 97% of them were Central Americans.
The migrants' routes through Mexico are perilous. Criminal gangs, often acting in cahoots with crooked public officials, prey upon migrants, often extorting them or kidnapping them for ransom.
Shelters run the length of the country, offering migrants a place to eat, rest and washing and tend to their wounds as they head north. The operators of these shelters expressed wariness with the caravan currently gale its style through southern Mexico, saying such tries at moving migrants through Mexico often turn into targets for criminal groups.
Jorge Andrade, a spokesperson for the shelters, says “polleros”- human smugglers- and other organized crime members have infiltrated previous caravans. People pretending to be migrants, meanwhile, was engaged in and started extorting actual migrants.
” It's a real logistical challenge, in addition to security questions ,” Andrade said. During a 2014 caravan that Andrade accompanied,” we realized that we had been infiltrated by people from organized crime, who we could identify .”
Many of the participants in caravans inevitably are offered humanitarian visas, which allow them to temporarily remain in Mexico, or they file asylum applications.
Alex Mensing, project coordinator for Pueblos Sin Fronteras, which is accompanying the caravan, says the shelters in Mexico” do important run and caravan members have benefited from their services .” He added that migrants participating in the caravan would receive legal advice upon hit the city of Puebla and some would likely seek asylum in Mexico.
” The people in the caravan are much, much less vulnerable to human rights abuses ,” Mensing said.
On Monday, Trump widened his attack, tweeting:” DACA is dead because the Democrats didn't care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon … No longer runs. Must build Wall and secure our borders with proper Border legislation. Democrats want No Borders, hence narcotics and crime !”
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or Daca, was an Obama-era programme which shielded undocumented migrants brought to the US as children, known as Dreamers, from the threat of deportation.
” The[ Trump] attack on Daca was designed to cavity Central Americans against Mexicans and to put immigrants in the United Country against immigrants who are trying to exercise their right to seek asylum in the the United State ,” Mensing said.
Trump announced the cancellation of Daca last year. No replacing has been instituted but court orders have maintained protections for recipients.
Trump claimed on Sunday that” a lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of Daca, and we're going to have to really see “.
In fact, to be eligible for Daca, applicants must have lived in the US constantly since 15 June 2007 and come to the country before their 16 th birthday. Applicants must also either be in school, or have graduated high school, or have been honourably discharged from the US military or coast guard.
Trump's decision to quash any remaining hopes of a Daca deal describe criticism on Sunday. John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio who is seen as a possible primary challenger to Trump in 2020, tweeted:” A true leader preserves& offers hope, doesn't take hope from innocent infants who bellow America home. Remember, today is Easter Sunday .”
Later on Monday, Trump returned to the North American Free Trade Agreement, a favourite target which in his Sunday tweets he had threatened to “stop”. ” Mexico is making a fortune on NAFTA ,” he wrote, adding:” With all of the money they make from the US, hopefully they will stop people from coming through their country and into ours, at least until Congress changes our immigration laws !”
Polls in Mexico show people south of the border support Nafta, but don't see themselves as big winners from the trade bargain, which also includes Canada.
Regarding possible motives for Trump's latest outburst, which also took in Amazon, NBC and CNN, news outlets reported White House sources as saying Trump has been told his base thinks he has softened on immigration.
The president has also been beset by damaging stories, from developments in special advise Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian election interference and alleged collusion between Trump aides and Moscow, to adult film actor Stormy Daniels' assert that she had an affair with the billionaire in 2006.
Controversies over ethics and spending are affecting members of the Trump administration, including housing and urban development secretary Ben Carson and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt.
On Sunday the former Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin told network television he was fired last week, rather than resigning as the White House claimed. Shulkin, who opposed the privatisation of VA operations, blamed political appointees for his downfall.