On Sunday, a little more than an hour after tweeting “HAPPY EASTER!” to his 49.8 million followers, President Donald Trump appeared to call off a major immigration deal.
“Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!” he wrote, in part, referring to the Democrat-led initiative to protect the children of unauthorized immigrants from deportation. That was the first tweet, which seemed to call for the end of the filibuster in the Senate to pass tougher immigration laws and for the end of negotiations to get a deal on DACA.
The other two — where Trump declared that people in Mexico were laughing at America’s immigration laws, and suggested that the international trade deal NAFTA might have something to do with that — seemed designed to further stoke traditional conservative fears that surround immigration.
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
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
These tweets are mostly typical rhetoric for Trump: He’s prone to suggesting that more immigration will lead to more crime and violence despite decades of evidence that more immigration does not correlate with more crime and may actually lead to less crime.
The DACA part, however, is new. Previously, Trump actually threatened to veto a budget deal — and shut down the government — in part because it didn’t include a deal on DACA recipients. Now he’s saying prospects for a deal are done.
Trump seems increasingly frustrated his agenda isn’t moving forward
According to a recent report from the Washington Post, the president has been frustrated that his proposed wall at the US-Mexico border hasn’t gotten much traction — lately, he’s turned to privately lobbying for the military to pay for it. As Tara Golshan explained for Vox, the military likely won’t be able to take up Trump’s request because the money it’s been given by Congress is allocated for specific programs that aren’t the wall.
Trump’s new tweets also appear to come in response to reports that a huge caravan of Central Americans is making its way through Mexico to the US. They’re reportedly fleeing poverty, violence, and political unrest in the region, hoping to get asylum once they make it to America — although some have said they’ll cross the border illegally if necessary.
It’s unclear how federal officials will ultimately respond to the caravan. But Trump, at least, is using the moment to push for tougher immigration laws.