US President Donald Trump (Photo by: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump on Sunday went on an anti-immigration tirade, saying there would be no deal to legalize the status of undocumented immigrants and asking Mexico to increase border security. He also threatened to exit the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Taking to Twitter, Trump wrote: “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!
“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!”
With these tweets, which were sent just one hour before he wished Americans a Happy Easter, Trump has put in jeopardy the future of millions of immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as children.
Last fall, Trump had cancelled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program, which was put in place by the Barack Obama administration to provide temporary protection to dreamers. Trump had hinted at the possibility of reaching a deal with the Congress to protect dreamers from deportation if a wall along the US-Mexico border was built. However, nothing has materialised.
To apply for the DACA programme, immigrants must have lived in the US since 2007, and should have arrived in the country before age 16.
Trump’s tweets have met with a lot of backlash, with Rep. Luis Gutirrez, a leading advocate for a DACA deal , tweeted that Trump had “demonstrated his complete ignorance” on immigration policy.
“Everyone who qualifies for DACA must show they lived in US almost 11 years ago,” he wrote. “Apparently every day is April Fool’s Day at White House.”
“Time and time again, the president has walked away from bipartisan proposals that are exactly what he asked for,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Rep. Don Beyer wrote on Twitter that Trump’s true position emerged on Sunday. “The mask of deceptions and lies with which Trump has tried to gaslight the country for months just fell away: ‘no more DACA deal.’ ” Beyer tweeted. “His true position was always anti-immigrant.”