U.S. President Donald Trump says he’ll call off DACA and NAFTA in reaction to the more than 1,000 Central Americans caravaning through Mexico hoping for U.S. asylum.
"These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!" tweeted Trump this morning regarding the caravan. The planned month-long procession, organized by People Without Borders and which began last Sunday - Palm Sunday - in Mexico’s southern border city of Tapachula is seeking U.S. or Mexican asylum from violence and political corruption in their home countries, mainly Honduras and Guatemala.
The Trump administration has been trying to use the courts to repeal DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, for the past year calling it "unconstitutional." DACA allows about 800,000 youths brought to the United States before they were 16 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and protection against deportation. Two separate federal court judges recently ruled against the administration’s attempt to dismantle the program saying the evidence was "erroneous, … arbitrary and capricious."
The caravaners’ idea that travelling together through Mexico would protect them against gang violence and Mexican authorities is working. Mexican migration checkpoint workers are reportedly abandoning their posts upon seeing the approaching caravan. To this, Trump tweeted this morning, "Mexico is doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S. They laugh at our dumb immigration laws. They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!"
Conservative analyst Rick Moran took things farther calling the caravan an act of war. "This is not only a direct challenge to U.S. sovereignty, it could be considered an act of war," he writes. "These illiterate, uneducated ‘international workers’ are simply pawns being used by the Mexican government and international migrant activists."
A young mom from Honduras travelling with her daughter in the procession to the U.S-Mexico border tells Buzzfeed, "The crime rate is horrible (in Honduras), you can’t live there. … There were deaths, mobs, robbed homes, adults and kids were beaten up." State security force violence against Honduran citizens has increased since the controversial, U.S.-supported, re-election of Juan Orlando Hernandez last November.
The one thousand strong group is planning to organize workshops between April 5 and 9 in the city of Puebla, Mexico, to help address legal issues or queries of the procession members.