The Slatest

What in God’s Name Is the President Talking About, “Angry Weekend Tweets About DACA Caravans” Edition

President Trump emerges from a black SUV.
President Trump arrives for Easter service at the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, on Sunday.
Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

Let’s review some tweets! So many tweets.

1. “Catch and release.” The phrase refers to the practice of releasing undocumented immigrants who’ve been detained with an order to appear later at a deportation hearing if they don’t present an immediate security risk. Then–Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced in April 2017 that the administration had eliminated catch and release, but that wasn’t true, per a Reuters report, which explains that the practice persists because there are not enough beds in detention centers to house every detained individual and because a 1997 legal settlement and associated court rulings prohibit the indefinite detention of women and children. (In other words, while Democrats do generally support less restrictive and punitive immigration policies, there is not some set of “catch and release” laws that liberals have pushed through Congress that could be reversed.)

2. “Caravans.” A group of roughly 1,000 undocumented Central American emigrants who say they are fleeing poverty and political violence is currently walking through Mexico toward the United States to seek asylum in an effort organized by a group called Pueblo Sin Fronteras. (The group has apparently organized smaller “caravans” in the past.) The notion is that by moving en masse, the emigrants can protect themselves from the violence and criminal exploitation sometimes faced by individuals traveling toward the U.S. on their own.

3. “Big drug and people flows.” Trump has previously claimed that his administration has achieved unprecedented success in reducing undocumented immigration …

… so it’s not entirely clear where the sudden concern is coming from.

Just kidding! It’s almost certainly because Fox & Friends aired a segment about “caravans” and immigration on Sunday morning shortly before the president began tweeting. Trump was also accompanied to Mar-a-Lago over the weekend by notoriously hard-line anti-immigrant adviser Stephen Miller.

4. DACA. You had to have entered the United States by 2010 to have been eligible for DACA even before the Trump administration (not “the Democrats,” who don’t control any of the branches of government) unilaterally stopped accepting applications for the program last year. No one in the caravan is going to take advantage of it.

5. Happy Easter!