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'DACA Is Dead': Trump Pressures Congress, Build the Wall or Else

04-02-2018
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President Trump is putting pressure on Congress to fund a border wall and calling legislation to help young immigrants known as Dreamers "dead."

In a series of tweets Sunday and Monday morning, the president blamed Democrats for the failure of Congress to pass a bill that would help Dreamers, immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children, and called for border legislation to stop drugs and people from flowing into the U.S. at the southern border.

The president wants the Senate to use the "nuclear option" if needed to pass a border bill. Such an option would change Senate rules to end the filibuster. It's an option that the president has previously called for and one that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has so far dismissed.

In his tweets, the president also linked the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as "DACA," with current migration but DACA does not allow any current applicants. The Department of Homeland Security has closed the program to new entrants and is not issuing new permits. Instead, it's merely renewing existing ones.

President Obama started DACA with an executive order in 2012 to allow Dreamers to receive work permits and continue their education. Last fall Trump revoked that order and called on Congress to provide a permanent solution. So far, Congress has failed to deliver.

Also over the weekend, the president threatened to end the free trade agreement, "NAFTA," that Mexico wants to continue unless it stops the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants crossing the border.

But Mexico pushed back against that pressure quickly. Its foreign minister, Luis Videgaray Caso tweeted Sunday "everyday Mexico and the US work together on migration throughout the region. Facts clearly reflect this."

A news report may have prompted the president to focus on the border. Over the weekend, Fox News reported that 1,200 Central American immigrants are heading in a group through Mexico to the U.S. Fox cited reports by Buzz Feed which says that People without Borders is organizing the group and that many of the immigrants will seek asylum in the U.S. after fleeing violence in their home countries.

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