President Donald Trump began Easter by tweeting out a simple “HAPPY EASTER” on his Twitter account. But the perfunctory greeting was just the calm before the storm.
Just a few hours later, the president went off on a Twitter rant that focused on the DACA program as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he described as a “cash cow” for Mexico.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2018
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2018
In the tweets, the president railed about his campaign’s key talking point: the formation of a border wall between the United States and Mexico. So far, Congress has only approved limited fund for the wall, so Trump is left to resort to another avenues — which includes siphoning money from funds allocated to the U.S. military. He has also used the DREAMers act as a bargaining chip in his efforts to build the U.S.-Mexico wall.
However, in his newest tweets, Trump has boldly announced he will no longer be supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would legalize millions of DREAMers, or undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children, and provide work permits for them. The announcement was followed by his urging Republicans to pass harsher anti-immigrant laws by changing parliamentary policies.
Of course, this conversation also led him to denigrate Mexico, saying the country was doing “very little, if not NOTHING” to prevent “people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S.”
“These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA,” Trump said in a later tweet.
These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2018
It seems the president, like always, does not at all understand the concept of DACA. The statement is bewildering because DACA is not available to recently arrived immigrants. To be eligible for the program, one must have continuously lived in the United States since June 15, 2007.
Although Trump ended the program as of March, the protections are still in place temporarily, while the order is being challenged in courts.
Trump also blamed Democrats for the collapse of DACA, claiming they had a great opportunity but “blew it.”
His anger with the Congress culminated in a call for a change to Senate rules that would eliminate the use of filibusters and enable bills to be passed with just 51 votes — a very self-serving proposal since, currently Republicans hold 51-40 majority.
As for Mexico not doing anything, President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government has been actively trying to stop immigrants from entering U.S. even before Trump assumed office. In 2014, it increased detentions and deportations of Central Americans to help the Obama administration handle the influx of immigrants from the region into the U.S.
Since Trump became president, the number of people trying to cross into the U.S. has fallen further but Pena Nieto has continued with the arrests, despite getting a lot of flak from human rights groups. In 2017, Mexico deported 6,000 more Hondurans than the United States itself, according to the Consular and Migrant Observatory of Honduras.
Mexico has also signed a deal with U.S. to inspect cargo flowing between the two countries and intercept contraband to prevent trafficking of good, including drugs.
The aggressive tone the president uses when talking about Mexico is a far cry from the more civil interactions has with Mexican officials. Despite of Trump’s frequent threats, the two countries have routinely carried out work on issues related to trade and immigration.
Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s own homeland security, praised the country last week for working on border security.
“We are neighbors, we are allies, we are friends,” Nielsen said, after announcing three new border-security agreements between the two countries.
It’s just sad Trump made his announcements on the day that calls for hope, forgiveness and freedom from oppression and tyranny.
20 bucks says Donald Trump has no idea what DACA stands for.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) April 1, 2018
.@realDonaldTrump ‘NO MORE DACA DEAL’?!! You were never doing a DACA deal. Your actions gave you away: cancelling DACA with no plan, making racist comments about Black/Brown immigrants, ejecting several by bipartisan deals. You didn’t fool anybody. https://t.co/65zya1vAvS— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) April 1, 2018
After many months of tweeting that "Democrats don't care about DACA, but he wants to help," Trump completely did a 180 and has gone right into "I hate DACA".— Brian Krassenstein?? (@krassenstein) April 2, 2018
Good luck in the mid-terms GOP!
1) Donald Trump isn’t getting his dumb wall. He’s beginning to realize this.— Will Fischer (@will_c_fischer) April 1, 2018
2) Donald Trump has no idea what DACA is.
3) @realDonaldTrump is the biggest threat to world peace and to US national security
If Trump wants to pretend to be a good Christian boy on Easter, “NO MORE DACA DEAL” isn’t the way.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) April 1, 2018
What would Jesus do? He wouldn’t cast out 800,000 people just because of who their parents are.
Someone should tell Trump that he already ended DACA, so no one is coming to the U.S. to take advantage of it. https://t.co/TeteTwjXF9— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) April 1, 2018
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas