Fact-checking Donald Trump’s tweets about the border, DACA
President Donald Trump followed up his Happy Easter wishes with tweets bashing Mexico and Democrats for immigration problems in the United States.
Trump also backed away from efforts to find a legislative solution to an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals for immigrants in the country illegally who came to the United States as children.
Here’s a closer look at Trump’s tweets, fact-checked and with context.
The so-called "catch and release" practice has been an issue dating back at least to the Republican administration of George W. Bush.
It refers to the practice of releasing immigrants apprehended at or near the border, expecting them to appear at a later date before a U.S. immigration judge. The Bush administration in August 2006 said it would end the "catch and release" of nearly all non-Mexican immigrants caught at the border. (Mexican nationals are almost immediately sent back to Mexico.)
The Obama administration allowed the release of immigrants seeking asylum in the United States if they did not pose a danger to the community and were not a flight risk.
(The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement allows the release of unaccompanied minors to family members or sponsors who can care for them as their immigration case is resolved. The settlement came after lawsuits against the government alleging mistreatment of detained unaccompanied minors during the 1980s.)
But in an October Senate hearing, Sessions said "catch and release" was still happening.
"It's not the policy. It's just the reality that there are so many people claiming and being entitled to hearings that we don't have the ability to provide those hearings, and they are being released into the community, and they're not coming back for their hearings," Sessions said.
Trump misleads by claiming that people now coming into the United States will try to benefit from DACA. In fact, only people who continuously lived in the United States since June 15, 2007, and met other specific criteria were eligible for DACA.
And given that Trump’s administration rescinded DACA, immigration officials are not accepting applications from people who have not previously received deferred action protection. Due to lawsuits challenging the rescission, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is only accepting applications for renewals.
Trump ignores the fact that it was his administration that terminated DACA. This tweet is in line with a similar false claim he made about Democrats being "nowhere to be found on DACA."
As we’ve noted before, there have been Democratic and bipartisan efforts to find a solution for Dreamers. Trump’s own positions have also impeded a deal — he’s said that without funding for his border wall there can be no DACA.
At least two Senate bills dealing with Dreamers, which included Democratic support, have failed to get 60 votes. One proposal was sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and John McCain, R-Ariz. The other was written by Sens. Mike Rounds, R-N.D., and Angus King, I-Maine. (Most Democrats voted for it.) The Trump administration opposed both proposals.