Trump Promises ‘Nuclear Option’ On Immigration As Migrant Caravan Of 1,200 Approaches U.S. Border

Manuel Balce CenetaAP Images

Donald Trump is promising to deploy the “nuclear option” on key immigration issues that he says need to be addressed as a “migrant caravan” of 1,200 Central American refugees heads towards the U.S.-Mexico border.

As Yahoo News reports, Trump began Tuesday morning with a series of tweets about things that have been on his mind lately. One such tweet focused on immigration. Specifically, Trump referenced the so-called “Migrant Caravan” of 1,200 Central American refugees currently making its way north through Mexico, with a view toward arriving en masse at the U.S. border.

“The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our ‘Weak Laws’ Border, had better be stopped before it gets there. Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!”

Republicans in Congress have been working on a legislative package that closes certain loopholes in immigration policy. Some of those loopholes include a currently policy that protects children under 18 from countries that don’t border the U.S., who cross the border unaccompanied, from being deported without first seeing a judge and going through a lengthy deportation process. Another loophole is a 1997 court decision that requires undocumented immigrant children to be released to their parents. Critics complain that the kids just disappear and never turn up at their court dates.

If those loopholes aren’t closed, Trump says, he’ll deploy a “nuclear option.”

“…Congress must immediately pass Border Legislation, use Nuclear Option if necessary, to stop the massive inflow of Drugs and People. Border Patrol Agents (and ICE) are GREAT, but the weak Dem laws don’t allow them to do their job. Act now Congress, our country is being stolen!”

It’s unclear what Trump means by “nuclear option.”

Immigration has been on Trump’s mind these past few days, as the 45th president has tweeted about the topic on Sunday and Monday as well as Tuesday. Associated Press writer Jill Colvin writes that Trump’s focus on immigration of late may be stemming from anger over Congress’ failure to take action on key immigration measures he wanted. Specifically, Trump is annoyed that the recently-passed spending bill includes little to no money for Trump’s border wall – a key focus of his campaign. Projected to cost at least $20 billion, the package includes only $1.6 billion for border wall funding, most of it targeted towards repairs in the existing wall.

Meanwhile, another immigration issue looms for the president: a so-called “Migrant Caravan” of around 1,200 Central American migrants is making its way north through Mexico, and will arrive at the U.S. border later this spring. As Yahoo News explains, once at the border, some of those migrants intend to apply for asylum, while others plan to cross the border illegally.