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Trump Again Declares DACA ‘Dead,’ Rips Mexico and Democrats

Worried about ‘caravans’ of immigrants, president vaguely calls for legislation

Immigration rights demonstrators prepare to march from the White House to the Trump Hotel and the Justice Department to oppose President Trump's decision to end the DACA program for "dreamers" on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Immigration rights demonstrators prepare to march from the White House to the Trump Hotel and the Justice Department to oppose President Trump's decision to end the DACA program for "dreamers" on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 9:49 a.m.President Donald Trump on Monday morning again declared “dead” the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shields 690,000 undocumented individuals from deportation and provided few specific policy demands in calling on Congress to pass “Border Legislation.”

It marked the second consecutive day he has signaled he will no longer pursue a deal to extend the program or make it permanent. He set it on a path for termination in September, and ongoing court fights are all that is keeping the program on the books. He and lawmakers last month failed to reach a deal before his termination deadline, March 5, was extended as a legal fight surrounding his order plays out.

It also was the second straight day Trump urged Senate Republican leaders to change the chamber’s rules to allow that and other major legislation to pass with just 51 votes — not the 60 it now takes to end debate and move to a final vote.

[Survivor: Inside the Beltway]

“DACA is dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon,” he tweeted Monday morning. A deal “No longer works,” he wrote, saying the U.S. must build his southern border barrier and “secure our borders with proper Border legislation.”

And he put all the blame on congressional Democrats, saying they “want No Borders, hence drugs and crime!”

But lawmakers and aides have said the president initially rejected a Democratic proposal that would have extended the program by three years in exchange for three years of funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall. They say Trump wanted all the wall funding before putting the so-called “three-for-three” proposal back on the table late in talks about a massive $1.3 trillion spending measure last month.

Trump on Monday urged Congress to pass “Border Legislation” crafted to “to stop the massive inflow of Drugs and People” because “our country is being stolen!”

[No Word From White House on Military Funding Border Wall, Hill Sources Say]

He did not mention specific things he wants in that legislation, but he did criticize Mexico for the second consecutive day for allowing “caravans” of immigrants from other country to pass through Mexico then into the United States. Democratic lawmakers often criticize Trump for being too vague and for changing his position, which he has done on DACA more than a handful of times; they say his tactics make negotiations difficult.

The president wrote that Mexican officials have “the absolute power not to let these large “Caravans” of people enter their country,” urging them to “stop them at their Northern Border.” That would be possible because Mexico’s “border laws work,” but the United States “has no effective border laws.”

A few hours later, and a few minutes before he was slated to attend a breakfast reception for children participating in the annual White House Easter Egg roll, Trump again lashed out at America’s southern neighbor.

He contended in another tweet that Mexico is “making a fortune” off the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, adding he hopes “they will stop people from coming through their country and into ours, at least until Congress changes our immigration laws!”

On Sunday, he accused Mexican leaders of “doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S.”

If Mexican officials opt against taking steps to curb the number of immigrants moving from points south into the U.S., Trump threatened to end talks to renegotiate a Canada-Mexico-U.S. trade pact.

“They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!” he wrote Sunday.

Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary shot back with his own Easter Sunday tweet.

Luis Videgaray Caso wrote his country and the U.S. “work together on migration throughout the region,” adding: “Facts clearly reflect this.”

“An inaccurate news report should not serve to question this strong cooperation. Upholding human dignity and rights is not at odds with the rule of law. Happy Easter,” the Mexican official added.

Most Republican members simply ignored Trump’s Easter Sunday tweets. But not Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado, who responded in English and Spanish.

Trump’s declaration that DACA soon will be off the books “couldn’t have come at a worst time,” Coffman tweeted, saying the religious day is one “for many to rejoice and come together— not to put more anxiety on young people.”

Coffman called for Republicans and Democrats to “join forces and find a permanent solution for DACA recipients.”

But many political analysts and former senior aides say it is unlikely major legislation will pass until after November’s midterm elections. It is not yet clear when the court fight over Trump’s termination order will conclude.

Watch:  Trump’s Empty Veto Threat of Spending Bill Could Have a Big Price Tag

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