US President Donald Trump wants Congress to "act now" on border security and immigration legislation.
He’s urging lawmakers to push measures through using the "Nuclear Option if necessary."
President Trump claims the parliamentary procedure requiring a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the two-thirds supermajority normally required, is the only way to muscle such a measure through Congress. But that would require changing Senate rules, something for which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has shown no enthusiasm.
Trump has zeroed in on a program that shields certain undocumented young people from deportation and Mexico’s handling of security at the border.
President Trump seems to be reacting to news that a humanitarian group is leading a caravan of more than 1,000 migrants from Central America through Mexico, towards the US border. Trump said the US needs more resources to stop illegal immigration.
The President is venting his anger at what he calls a broken immigration system, focusing on the so-called Dreamers- undocumented people brought to the US as children. They’re currently protected by a policy known as DACA- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Trump has attempted to rescind the program.
Recent polling suggests an overwhelming majority of Americans support allowing the Dreamers to stay in the US, but Trump has used DACA as a bargaining chip with Democrats – seeking funding for his border wall in exchange for protecting the Dreamers.
At the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, Trump again blamed the Democrats. But Democrats contend the blame lies solely with the President.
Trump canceled the DACA program last year and gave Congress until March 5 to come up with a legislative fix. But courts have gotten involved slowing down the administration’s attempts to shut down the program, and it’s not clear what will happen to the dreamers if a permanent fix isn’t put in place. Anti-immigration hardliners want the dreamers deported, but that would be an extremely unpopular move that could impact Republicans in the coming midterm elections.
Now many DACA recipients argued they oppose having their fate tied to a border wall. There was hope the budget progress might provide the opportunity to craft a bipartisan solution, but in March, Trump signed a budget that did not address DACA or fully fund the border wall. Any DACA bill in Congress would need the support of at least some Democrats to pass, and there doesn’t seem to be a bill now that would get that support that the President would sign.