Trump blames Dems for DACA impasse despite own action ending program

Last Updated Apr 2, 2018 6:55 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — At the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, President Trump blamed Democrats for the legislative impasse over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — even though it was his own executive action that put the program in doubt.

“The Democrats have really let them down. They really let them down. It’s a shame. A lot of people have taken advantage of DACA. It’s a shame,” Mr. Trump said Monday.

His comments followed a weekend of tweets and remarks about the federal program that protects immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

“Mexico has got to help us at the border,” Mr. Trump said Sunday. “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.”

But new immigrants cannot take advantage of DACA. Undocumented immigrants are only eligible for protection if they were in the U.S. and under age 31 in June 2012.

The president also tied construction of the border wall to DACA, even though he has largely abandoned the promise Mexico would pay for that wall.

Mr. Trump also tweeted that Senate Republicans should abandon the 60-vote threshold and pass his immigration policies with a simple majority.

But Mr. Trump’s proposals attracted only 39 votes in the Senate this February — well short of a simple majority.

Declaring DACA dead is also a full reversal for Mr. Trump.

“We are going to deal with DACA with heart,” he said in February 2017. “But the DACA situation is a very, very — it’s a very difficult thing for me. Because, you know, I love these kids.”

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