President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for Easter services at Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Fla., Sunday, April 1, 2018. (APablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Trump says deal for young immigrants is ‘NO MORE’

U.S. president said Mexico must ‘stop the big drug and people flows’

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 U.S. He claimed they’re coming to take advantage of protections granted certain immigrants.

“NO MORE DACA DEAL!” Trump tweeted Sunday, 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 U.S., Canada and Mexico are participating in tense negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement at Trump’s insistence. Trump says NAFTA is bad for the U.S.

“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 President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to provide temporary protection and work permits to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally after being brought here as children. Trump ended the program last year, but gave 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 Department of Homeland Security is not issuing new permits, though existing ones can be renewed. The Obama administration allowed signups during a set period of time, and the program is closed to new entrants.

Proposed DACA deals crafted by lawmakers and rejected by Trump also were not open to new participants.

Trump did not explain what he meant when questioned by reporters as he entered the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea with the first lady and his daughter Tiffany. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

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.”

Trump promised during the 2016 presidential campaign to build a Southern border wall to stop illegal immigration and drugs from Mexico, but Congress has frustrated him by not moving as quickly as he wants to provide money for construction.

The president also complained on Twitter that border patrol agents can’t do their jobs properly because of “ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws” that allow people caught for being in the country illegally to be released while they await a hearing before a federal immigration judge.

Trump tweeted that the situation is “Getting more dangerous” and “Caravans” are coming. He did not offer details to back his comment.

The president’s tweets came after Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” reported early Sunday on what it said is a group of 1,200 immigrants, mostly from Honduras, headed to the U.S. The segment was a follow-up to a report by Buzzfeed News on hundreds of Central Americans making their way through Mexico in hopes that American authorities will grant them asylum or be absent when they attempt to cross the border.

The Fox headline was “Caravan of illegal immigrants headed to U.S.” The president is known to watch the cable TV program in the morning.

Brandon Judd, leader of the union representing border patrol agents, predicted on “Fox & Friends” that those in the caravan would create havoc and chaos in the U.S. as they wait for what he described as immigration reform. Judd also said Congress needs to pass tougher laws, an idea Trump appeared to echo, and create more bed space for immigration authorities to house people.

Ohio Gov. 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,” tweeted Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Trump critic who challenged him for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, another Trump foe, urged Congress to take up the fight for Dreamers.

“There are plenty of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who stand ready to work with the administration on legislation to protect DACA kids who call America home,” he tweeted. “Let’s do it.”

Sunday’s church visit was Trump’s first public appearance with his wife since CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired an interview the previous Sunday with Stormy Daniels, the adult-film star who says she had sex with Trump in 2006, early in his marriage and a few months after Mrs. Trump gave birth to their son. The White House says Trump denies the affair. Mrs. Trump spent most of the past week in Palm Beach with her son.

The Trumps returned to Washington later Sunday.

___

Associated Press writer Kevin Freking in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Darlene Superville, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Man, 24, charged with nine sexual offences in Abbotsford and Mission

Alleged victim, who he met online, is under the age of 16

Mission filmmaker tackles topic of youth and the social media epidemic

Kim Laureen teams up with her daughter to create documentary film Selfless

Mission to take a closer look at clothing donation bins

Recent deaths around the country have caused some communities to ban the bins for safety concerns

Live demos and stunt shows part of Vancouver Motorcycle Show

Annual event returns to Tradex in Abbotsford from Jan. 18 to 20

Manure company causing ‘toxic’ stink at Abbotsford school seeks permit

Property across from King Traditional Elementary cannot operate manure facility without permit

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Most Read