President Trump declared in an Easter tweet that "DACA is dead." But is that true?
Or is this just the president's attempt to put more pressure on the Democrats to reach a deal?
I'm starting to suspect that neither side really wants a compromise in this midterm election year, that they'd rather have the issue to hit the other side. They were close to an agreement at one point, but now it's back to gridlock.
The tweet said a DACA compromise was dead "because the Democrats didn't care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon ... No longer works. Must build Wall and secure our borders with proper Border legislation."
In a brief exchange with reporters yesterday, Trump was asked about the dreamers, whose fate is now tied up in the courts.
"The Democrats have really let them down. They really let them down ... It's a shame."
CNN's Jim Acosta, a frequent Trump antagonist, asked the president, "Didn’t you kill DACA?" There was no response.
It's true that Trump ended Barack Obama's unilateral DACA order, but then proclaimed his affection for the dreamers and asked Congress to protect them. At one point Trump offered to double the number of dreamers who would be protected from deportation (to 1.8 million) in exchange for $25 billion in wall funding and other border measures.
But those talks are going nowhere. And it's happening at a time when Trump is under criticism from the Ann Coulter wing of the GOP for not making progress on the wall, as well as from conservatives upset that he signed a $1.3 trillion spending measure.
The president's DACA tweet was apparently inspired by a "Fox & Friends" segment on a so-called caravan of perhaps 1,000 Central American refugees making its way through Mexico and hoping to seek U.S. asylum.
But there is no connection between DACA and today's border crossings. To be eligible as a dreamer, you have to have been brought here illegally as a child and living in the U.S. since 2007. What's more, the president has touted a decline in border crossings under his administration.
Trump also took to Twitter to rip Mexico over NAFTA, the agreement he has been threatening to tear up since he took office. Again, this is how he negotiates.
So is DACA dead? I doubt we'll see hundreds of thousands of younger immigrants kicked out of the country, especially given that Trump has proclaimed "a love for these people." The president, notwithstanding his desire to abolish the Senate filibuster, will need some Democratic votes to make progress on his wall. But in the meantime, the dreamers remain trapped in a political crossfire.