News & Politics

Trump: 'No More DACA Deal'

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Donald Trump blasted Mexico, called for an end to the Senate filibuster rule, threatened to end the NAFTA trade deal, and told Democrats there would be no deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The president had a busy morning.


In two more tweets Sunday morning, Trump threatened to dismantle the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he called Mexico’s “cash cow,” if the country doesn’t reduce the flow of immigrants coming across the southern US border. Trump also tweeted that “big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!”

The president elaborated on his way to Easter Sunday services:

“Mexico has got to help us at the border. If they’re not going to help us at the border, it’s a very sad thing between two countries. 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 and we’re going to have to really see,” he said. “They had a great chance. The Democrats blew it. They had a great, great chance. But we’ll have to take a look. But Mexico has got to help us at the border. They flow right through Mexico. They send them into the United States. Can’t happen that way anymore.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has called for a change to Senate rules by invoking the “nuclear option,” which would permit a simple majority to move forward on a measure. Last May, he called for Congress to move to a simple majority to pass health care and tax reform bills.

At this point, it doesn’t look like Trump has much say in whether DACA continues or not. His March deadline for Senate action has passed but a federal judge says he can’t end the program. As for filibuster reform, not much chance of that with the leadership of both parties in favor of keeping it.

And does NAFTA give Trump the juice to pressure Mexico into tightening its borders? It depends if Mexico believes Trump is going to scrap the deal anyway, or make it unpalatable through negotiations. I don’t think either Mexico or Canada has much faith in NAFTA given the slow pace of talks and Trump’s general antipathy to the deal.

But something has got to be done to pressure Mexico to enforce its own immigration laws. As this is being written, thousands of Central American migrants are streaming toward the U.S. border in an organized and calculated effort to pressure the U.S. to change its immigration policies. Mexican authorities have chosen to enable and facilitate this human wave. Unless there is a credible threat of retaliation, Mexico will continue to thumb its nose at the U.S. and defy our laws.