Obama talks tough to Mexico: Illegal-immigrant children won’t get to stay

Tells Peña Nieto their countries must work to halt child surge

President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Obama said the US will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq, set up joint operation centers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Obama said the US will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq, set up joint operation centers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Obama told his Mexican counterpart in a phone call Thursday that immigrants crossing into the U.S. illegally won’t qualify for legalized status or deferred deportation, including children.

The White House said Mr. Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto discussed “a regional strategy” to address the surge of unaccompanied children coming from Central America, through Mexico, to the U.S.


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With thousands of children trying to enter the U.S. illegally in recent months, Vice President Joseph R. Biden will visit Guatemala on Friday.

Mr. Biden will warn officials and parents that illegal immigration is dangerous and that youth won’t be allowed to stay in the U.S.

The administration says the new influx of child immigrants is due to rampant poverty and violence in countries such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Critics of the administration, and people immigrating illegally, say the immigrants are drawn by the administration’s policies, including Mr. Obama’s program of “deferred action” on deporting youth.

In the phone conversation, Mr. Obama “welcomed the opportunity to work in close cooperation with Mexico to develop concrete proposals to address the root causes of unlawful migration from Central America,” the White House said.

He also discussed the two nations’ “shared responsibility for promoting security in both countries and in the region.”


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The White House said Mr. Obama encouraged the Mexican president to work with the U.S. to return illegal immigrant children safely to their families in Central America.

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