When President Donald Trump tweeted about a refugee “caravan” making its way from Mexico to the U.S. on Sunday, he followed up with a nonsensical comment that’s left many questioning how well the president understands DACA—the program that protects young people from deportation which Trump rescinded last year.
Trump tweeted about the “caravans” of immigrants coming to the U.S. shortly after Fox & Friends aired a segment about the caravan. The Fox & Friends segment repeated details from a BuzzFeed article that reported 1,200 migrants were journeying to the U.S. Many in the group said they are escaping political persecution and gang violence and plan to seek asylum when they reach the U.S. border.
Moments after the segment aired, Trump followed up with a tweet: “These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!”
For starters, there are no “big flows” of illegal crossings at the border. Illegal border crossings are at their lowest level since 1971. Second, the mostly Central American migrants participating in the caravan may have a better understanding of DACA than the U.S. president.
BuzzFeed reporter Adolfo Flores, who is currently traveling with the caravan, said people laughed when they heard President Trump claimed they were coming to the U.S. to take advantage of DACA.
None of the men, women, and children participating in the caravan are eligible to apply for DACA. In fact, even if Trump had not rescinded DACA and the program was still operating normally, none of those participating in the caravan could apply to the program.
Only young immigrants who have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, were able to submit new applications for DACA even when the program was functioning normally. At this point, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is only accepting DACA renewals, not not applications from new people.
So the claims that “big flows of people” are coming “to take advantage of DACA” are laughably false.
I emailed the White House to ask if Trump is merely clueless, or if he’s purposefully spewing lies to stir more xenophobia amongst his supporters.