President Trump sent an aggressive Easter message Sunday as he dropped support for the so-called “dreamers” and warned he’d pull out of NAFTA unless Mexico cracks down on border security.
“NO MORE DACA DEAL!” Trump said in one tweet.
Just an hour earlier, Trump sent out a “HAPPY EASTER!” before a full-throated rant on problems with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Trump said his abrupt reversal came in response to more people apparently crossing the U.S. border illegally to in a bid to capitalize on the Obama-era program, which protects about 800,000 dreamers from deportation.
He also railed against “ridiculous laws” that stopped law enforcement from keeping the border safe.
“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,” Trump tweeted.
Trump also called on Senate Republicans to use the so-called “nuclear option,” which does away with the filibuster for a simple 51-vote majority, “to pass tough laws NOW.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, his onetime presidential rival, criticized Trump’s leadership in response to the the tweet.
“A true leader preserves & offers hope, doesn’t take hope from innocent children who call America home. Remember, today is Easter Sunday. #DACA #Hope,” the Republican governor tweeted.
The President repeatedly said Sunday that Mexico needed to ramp up its border security or else he’d pull out of NAFTA.
“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 Sunday.
The President, who’s spending the holiday weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, later told reporters the country had to pitch in on border security before heading into an Easter service.
“Mexico has got to help us at the border,” said Trump, flanked by First Lady Melania Trump and daughter Tiffany. “A lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA.”
What precisely prompted Trump’s holiday tirade was unclear. Earlier Sunday, Fox News referenced a “CARAVAN OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS HEADED TO U.S” in a chyron.
Some reform groups vowed to keep pushing for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young aged after Trump’s remarks.
“This just reaffirms what we have known all along: Trump never wanted to protect immigrant youth – he only wanted to further his hateful anti-immigrant agenda,” advocacy group United We Dream tweeted Sunday. “Continue fighting locally! We are #HereToFight!”
The President ended DACA in September, but gave lawmakers six months to find a legislative solution to the program.
He’s failed to strike a deal with Democrat on Capitol Hill, however, and accused them of not actually caring about the “dreamers.”
He accused Democrats of not wanting DACA included in the $ 1.3 trillion spending bill he begrudgingly signed into law late last month.
Trump had suggested he’d veto the budget because it didn’t have a DACA solution or funding for his massive border wall with Mexico.
He again lambasted Democrats on Sunday before heading into church.
“They had a great chance,” Trump said. “The Democrats blew it.”