President Donald Trump said Sunday there would be no deal with Democrats to extend the DACA program for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, apparently spurred by news reports that a group of 1,200 people are headed through Mexico to the U.S. border.
After an early morning tweet wishing Happy Easter, Trump called on Republicans to change Senate rules that require 60 votes to pass major pieces of legislation on border security.
“Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!” he wrote from his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida.
Trump’s tweets followed a Fox News segment that aired earlier in the morning with the headline: “CARAVAN OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS HEADED TO U.S.”
That report, based on a BuzzFeed News story published Friday, said about 1,200 people, mostly Central Americans, are traveling to seek asylum because of unsafe conditions in their home countries. The group is led by a volunteer organization called Pueblos Sin Fronteras, Spanish for People Without Borders.
Trump tweeted that “These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!”
DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — is only for immigrants who have lived continuously in the United States since 2007, according to federal regulations.
Trump last fall announced an end to the program but said he would negotiate with Congress for an extension. Democrats have complained that he has rejected their proposals to preserve the program.
As he entered an Episcopal Easter service in Florida, Trump told White House pool reporters: “A lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA. They had a great chance. The Democrats blew it.”
The president added, “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 like that way anymore.”
Trump in his series of tweets earlier in the day repeated his call for a wall along the southern border, complained about Mexico’s border enforcement and threatened to end the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“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!” he tweeted.