Ranting On Twitter, Trump Says “No More DACA Deal”

In a bizarre Twitter rant, President Trump declared a DACA deal "dead," blaming Democrats when it's clear that it's largely his fault.

President Trump spent at least part of Easter morning ranting on Twitter about immigration and Mexico and apparently saying that any kind of deal to save President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is off the table:

PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump, blaming Democrats and the Mexican government for an increasingly “dangerous” flow of illegal immigrants, unleashed a series of fiery tweets on Sunday in which he vowed “NO MORE DACA DEAL” and threatened to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Minutes after wishing the nation a happy Easter Sunday, Mr. Trump denounced “liberal” laws that he said were preventing Border Patrol agents from doing their jobs. He said that Republicans should use the “nuclear option” to sidestep Democratic opposition in the Senate and enact “tough laws NOW.”

It was unclear whether the president’s tweets represented any change in his immigration policy, or were just the sort of venting he is known to do after reading a newspaper article or seeing a television program. The president, who spent much of his holiday weekend golfing with supporters and watching television, was apparently reacting to a “Fox and Friends” segment on immigration that had aired minutes before.

Whatever his intention, Mr. Trump’s Twitter outburst captured the fickle tendencies that have driven his policy positions on immigration. On one hand, he has suggested at times that he is open to extending citizenship to millions of undocumented people. On the other hand, he has denounced those who have entered the country illegally as brutal criminals and raged about lax enforcement that he said had allowed immigrants to pour into the country.

In his tweets, Mr. Trump referred to “caravans” of immigrants heading north toward the United States-Mexico border — a subject that was addressed on the Fox program. A group of hundreds of Central Americans has been traveling through Mexico toward the United States, where some hope to seek asylum or sneak across the border. A reporter for BuzzFeed has been traveling with the group as it makes its way north.

As he walked into church in Palm Beach on Sunday morning, Mr. Trump did not respond to a question from reporters about whether his tweets meant that he would no longer support any deal for the young immigrants protected by the DACA program. But he said that “Mexico has got to help us at the border, and a lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA.”

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, gave protected status to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The program requires immigrants to have resided in the United States since 2007, meaning any crossing the border now would not be eligible.

Mr. Trump announced last year that he was ending the program, but courts have blocked his decision. He has said he is open to negotiating with Democrats on it, but has repeatedly backed away from potential deals that he argues do not include immigration changes that are tough enough.

Outside the church on Sunday, the president said the Democrats “blew it” after having “had a great chance.”

“But we’ll have to take a look,” he added.

Several Democrats challenged the idea that they were at fault for a breakdown in negotiations.

“‘NO MORE DACA DEAL’?!!” Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota wrote on Twitter. “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.”

Representative Dwight Evans, Democrat of Pennsylvania, said on Twitter that DACA recipients were “students, military service members, teachers, scientists, doctors, and lawyers — they are integral members of our community.”

Mr. Evans said the president’s comments were “simply unacceptable.”

The president’s remarks also drew a rebuke from a high-profile member of his own party. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio wrote on Twitter: “A true leader preserves & offers hope, doesn’t take hope from innocent children who call America home.”

Mr. Trump directed an equal measure of anger at Mexico, saying the country was “doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S.” He said Mexican leaders “must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA.”

It was far from the first time that Mr. Trump has threatened to scrap Nafta as he pushes to change American trade policiesthat he says have hurt the United States economy and cost the country large numbers of jobs. The United States, Mexico and Canada are locked in difficult negotiations over a revamping of the trade pact.

The president’s tweets seemed at odds with some unifying steps taken last week by members of his administration: The homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, met with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico to discuss ways to work together on security and trade issues, according to a description of the conversation released by the Department of Homeland Security.

Here’s the barrage of tweets that we saw from the President just about two hours after he had wished the nation a “Happy Easter”:

And the rant picked up again this morning:

At least in part, the President’s tweetstorm appears to be motivated by reports that began to surface over the weekend of a large number of Central American refugees, principally coming from Honduras, that have made their way in big and small groups in an effort to reach the Mexican border with the United States. This influx into Mexico is similar to one that we saw several years ago that included many young people traveling alone who were sent off by the parents in the hope that they would be allowed to stay in the United States. For the most part, these groups tried to cross into the United States at recognized border crossings where many of them claimed to be seeking asylum. At the time, the Obama Administration made clear that these groups would not be permitted to simply enter the United States just by claiming asylum or some other protection and that most of them would either be returned to their home countries or held in ICE detention until their cases were adjudicated. In any case, neither the people who arrived via that original “caravan” nor the group apparently headed to the U.S.-Mexican border today would be eligible for DACA or any other similar program, especially since the President’s announcement in September means that no new applications under the program are even being accepted.

Given that yesterday was both a Sunday and a holiday, there was no comment from the White House about the President’s remarks. Perhaps that will come later today but at the very least the remarks left many observers confused as to where the President stood on DACA and any legislative effort to fix the program and provide protection to the people who fall under its purview. For months after announcing the end of the DACA program back in September, Trump said that he wanted Congress to come up with a solution to the problem. In reality, though, it was President Trump who chose to end the DACA program back in September, and it is President Trump has done everything possible to undermine Congressional efforts to fix the program, and virtually guaranteed that there will be no legislative fix this year if ever.

Back in January, for example, the President held a bipartisan meeting at the White House during which he said that he would sign into law virtually anything that Congress could pass related to protecting DACA beneficiaries. Based on that commitment, Senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin came up with a deal that extended DACA protections, provided funding for border security although not necessarily for Trump’s border wall, ended the visa lottery, and introduced some limitations on what Trump and many Republicans call “chain migration,” by which they mean laws which allow people in the country legally to sponsor even some distant family members for legal entry to the United States. When that deal was presented to the President, though, he immediately dismissed it in an Oval Office tirade that included his infamous reference to so-called “shithole countries” as a source for immigrants. Finally, shortly before the shutdown last month, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with Trump and believed he had reached a deal with the President that would have extended DACA in exchange for partial funding for the President’s beloved border wall. When Trump pulled the rug out from under Schumer, Democrats blocked passage of a budget bill in the Senate and forced the short shutdown that lasted about two and a half days.

After that shutdown, there was at least some hope that a DACA deal could be reached, but again, it was Trump and Republicans in the House and Senate who torpedoed any prospect of a deal, not Democrats. While a bipartisan group of Senators did come up with a proposal that seemed like it at least had a chance of passing the Senate, the White House took a hardline position by threatening to veto any proposal that didn’t match the outline of what had been proposed by the President in January and members of the Administration and representatives of the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees enforcement of the nation’s immigration law, were bad-mouthing the competing plans even before they were formally introduced. Over in the House, hardliners were basically saying that nothing that the Senate was considering, including the President’s own proposal, would get through that body, principally over the issue of allowing people who benefited from protection under those proposals a path to eventual citizenship. In the end, and in no small part because of the opposition from the White House and the position being taken by House Republicans, that proposal and three other proposals put forward in the Senate were rejected and, ever since then, there’s been no real progress at all toward a resolution of the DACA issue.

Notwithstanding the facts, the President appears to be saying that it’s the Democrats fault that a DACA deal is apparently now off the table. While this may play well with Trump’s base, it doesn’t comport with reality in even the slightest degree.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Congress, Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jax says:

    Psssh. Reality is for snowflakes, Doug. We don’t need no stinkin reality around here, Trump will tell us what reality is.

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  2. mattbernius says:

    Question: Has the “deal maker” actually negotiated any significant “deal” since coming to office.

    I guess the closest thing I can think of is, looking internationally, the meeting with North Korea. However there isn’t a set deal attached to that other than an agreement to meet.

    Domestically, have there been any deals cut?

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  3. MBunge says:

    Trump has made it perfectly clear that he wants funding for his wall. Democrats refuse to give it to him. That’s why nothing has happened with DACA. Trump is the President. Nothing on this issue is going to happen without making him happy. Democrats refuse to do that. And, of course, DACA only exists because Congress was refusing to deal with this issue long before Trump showed up.

    Mike

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  4. Kathy says:

    At asome point, Democrats may simply give up and hope to be able to deal with the next administration.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It should be obvious by now that reality has no meaning for trump’s base. That’s why they watch FOX.

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  6. James Pearce says:

    Notwithstanding the facts, the President appears to be saying that it’s the Democrats fault that a DACA deal is apparently now off the table.

    It’s not even clear the President knows what DACA is….

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  7. Pete S says:

    While this may play well with Trump’s base, it doesn’t comport with reality in even the slightest degree.

    Again, why are we supposed to be respectful to Trump supporters? If they believe this nonsense they are demonstrating yet again that they are stupid beyond belief.

    I will say that in this case I don’t believe the President is lying to his supporters because he knows they are stupid, which is the default action of most Republican politicians. I think on this topic he is being as truthful as he is capable of being but genuinely has no idea what he is talking about.

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  8. Pete S says:

    @MBunge: Shumer and Graham were in his office with a deal that included full funding for the wall, with the same terms Trump had asked for days before. He made some racist comments and threw them out. This is a matter of public record. If you are unable to keep up do not comment.

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  9. CSK says:

    Trump doesn’t understand what DACA is. And he’s not, apparently, capable of absorbing even a few basic facts about it, such as to whom it applies.

    He can’t learn. He was told three times in the course of one meeting that the U.S. post office makes money off Amazon. He still doesn’t believe it.

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  10. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:

    Trump has made it perfectly clear that he wants funding for his wall. Democrats refuse to give it to him.

    But you guys told us Mexico was going to pay for it.
    WTF, Bunge?
    Explain to us how it’s the Democrats fault that Dennison conned you???

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  11. James Pearce says:

    @MBunge:

    Nothing on this issue is going to happen without making him happy.

    Mike, you are clearly saying the President is responsible for what’s happening with DACA here.

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: All he needs to know is DACA will let those people stay.

    All he needs to know is that the WaPo owning Jeff Bezos uses the USPS to deliver packages for his highly profitable business Amazon. It is rather telling tho that he ignored the many legitimate criticisms he could have leveled at Amazon and instead to lie about the USPS because it aligns with the rights war on the USPS.

  13. @MBunge:

    This is simply not true.

    As I noted above, in January the President was offered a deal that would have protected DACA beneficiaries and provided funding for the President’s stupid wall. He rejected that offer, which led to the short-lived government shutdown.

    He was presented with a bipartisan deal that protected DACA beneficiaries, reformed so-called “chain migration,” and provided funding for the wall. He rejected that deal in the same meeting where he decried immigration from “shithole” countries.

    Later he said that he would veto any bill that didn’t contain all of the provisions he put forward in his own plan. This threat, along with the reticence of Republicans in the House to agree to anything at all when it comes to immigration, is the reason DACA died in Congress earlier this year.

    The idea that Democrats refused to provide any funding for the wall is, quite simply, not true.

    As John Adams said, facts are stubborn things.

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  14. CSK says:

    Slightly OT, but New York magazine really outdid itself with its cover this week: Trump’s grinning face with a pig’s snout photoshopped onto it.

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  15. KM says:

    @MBunge:

    Democrats refuse to give it to him

    Nothing on this issue is going to happen without making him happy.

    Such telling language. You speak of him like a spoiled brat that must be appeased, not as a reasonable adult to be negotiated with. In a free capitalist society, nobody has to give anybody anything. You aren’t entitled to sh^t in this life but here’s a Trumpkin talking about how his King is displeased and hasn’t gotten his due. Why isn’t he out earning what he wants, Bunge? Why does he just expect to be obeyed? Congress doesn’t work for him. The Dems don’t work for him. The American public doesn’t work for him – he works for US and he’s doing a lousy job of it.

    It’s on *him* to negotiate to get what he wants. It’s on *him* when that fails. He’s the one holding DACA hostage to get his way since he can sign an order to extended whenever he feels like. This man sucks at negotiations as we’ve seen time and time again. Art of the Deal, my ass. Try Art of the Failure.

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  16. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:
    Not a spoiled brat, an unpredictable god. Gods are fickle, as we all know from our Greek mythology and Marvel movies, and they must be pampered, praised, adored at all times. And if you need a good groveler, @Bung is your guy.

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  17. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: One reason why I, as a pagan, think that people who pray to their deities are nuts. The very last thing I want to do is attract their attention!

  18. Tyrell says:

    Trump had put this on the table: a million more immigrants, bringing total to almost two million; a path to citizenship that is similar to the Dream Act. What more do they want?
    This plan was reported by CBS News, CNN, US News, Bloomberg, AOL. See “What Happened to the Lost Art of Compromise?” (David Davenport, Forbes)

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Facts are stubborn but not near as stubborn as Bunge’s refusal to acknowledge them.

  20. Matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Or Tyrell’s…..

    @Tyrell: Trump rejected the plan.. Along with every bipartisan plan presented to him.

    The forbe’s opinion piece you referenced had nothing to do with DACA.

  21. Neil Hudelson says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Nonsense! I’m sure Bungey will be along any moment to address the multitude of arguments directed towards him, and supply us with many facts that support his claims.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Alternative facts you mean.

  23. grammar police says:

    The forbe’s opinion piece

    Sir, do you know why I pulled you over?

  24. Kathy says:

    This all makes perfect sense from a coward’s perspective.

    He can’t displease his base by allowing any immigrants in. he can’t expel DACA beneficiaries because it would be unpopular.

    So he says he ended DACA to force Congress to come up with a legislative solution. This way he can blame Congress, and in particular the Democrats in Congress, for having to expel all DACA beneficiaries, or for allowing them to stay.

    If he rejects every solution to the DACA issue, he can blame someone else for the outcome he prefers. And if you don’t think he’d then brag about it, you haven’t been paying attention.

  25. KM says:

    @grammar police:
    Cuz he’s young and he’s black and his hat’s real low? Does he look like a mindreader, sir – he don’t know!

    … sorry couldn’t resist 🙂

  26. An Interested Party says:

    Slightly OT, but New York magazine really outdid itself with its cover this week: Trump’s grinning face with a pig’s snout photoshopped onto it.

    Well, the truth often is quite ugly…

    Not a spoiled brat, an unpredictable god. Gods are fickle, as we all know from our Greek mythology and Marvel movies, and they must be pampered, praised, adored at all times.

    That’s an insult to the gods…as capricious as they could be, they have nothing on the Orange Mange, who gives everything he’s associated with a bad name…

  27. Scott says:

    Of course, it goes without saying that Trump is going after Bezos is because Bezos is a real billionaire and Trump is not.

  28. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @MBunge: Thank you for your comment. Now, put your pillowcase over your head and get your Confederate flag armband on. You’ll be late for your meeting.

  29. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: He knows that it’s about keeping brown people from shirthole countries here. What else does he need to know?

  30. rachel says:

    @grammar police: Not sure… I see at least 2 mistakes here.

  31. Kathy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Which god best represents Trump? I’d go with Ouranos, because 1) he abuses women and 2) he has no balls 🙂

  32. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: How about Koalemos, the god of stupidity?