Trump renews threat to tie border crossings to new NAFTA deal

Central American migrants ride a northern-bound train known as'La Bestia' or The Beast as they arrive to Hermosillo

Central American migrants ride a northern-bound train known as'La Bestia' or The Beast as they arrive to Hermosillo

President Donald Trump renewed a threat Monday to make tighter control of the southern border a condition of the sweeping trade deal that his administration is renegotiating with Mexico and Canada, saying, "our Country can not accept what is happening".

The caravan of Central Americans - chiefly mostly Hondurans - has been snaking toward the USA for almost a month, with perhaps 1,500 people having mustered down at the southern border of Mexico before Easter.

Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is now well under way, and there are expectations in some quarters that a new accord between partner countries Mexico, the USA and Canada is close. "WALL", he wrote, describing the USA immigration policy as a "disgrace".

Nielsen warned asylum seekers "may be detained while their claims are adjudicated efficiently and expeditiously, and those found not to have a claim will be promptly removed from the United States".

Nielsen's comments came after President Donald Trump said earlier Monday he had instructed her to take steps to prevent similar caravans from entering the country.

Videgaray, left, and Trump: a discourse on Twitter.

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Since peaking at about 1,500 people, the so-called caravan of migrants has dwindled under pressure from Trump and Mexican authorities, who vowed to separate those migrants with a right to stay in Mexico from those who did not.

Central American migrants who intend to claim asylum regularly enter the country outside designated ports of entry - which is illegal - and turn themselves over to Border Patrol officers to officially make their claim. Though it is an annual event, this year's march gained prominence thanks to reports from US media outlets describing the ways Mexican authorities were helping the migrants reach the USA border.

Trump also appeared to lay blame on Mexico for allowing the migrant caravan to reach its northern border, and threatened to link regional cooperation on immigration to talks to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Let today's message be clear: our nation has the most generous immigration system in the world, but this is a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system", Sessions said on Monday. "And we will enforce the law through prosecution of illegal border crossers".

Some of the group had been dissuaded from seeking asylum by warnings about detention conditions they might endure in the United States, she said.

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