It’s not entirely clear what prompted Donald Trump to start tweeting about immigration yesterday – it’s a safe bet he saw something on television that got him worked up – but the president issued new directions to lawmakers on the subject.
“Congress must pass smart, fast and reasonable Immigration Laws now…. Congress - FIX OUR INSANE IMMIGRATION LAWS NOW!”
And while those instructions may seem straightforward and unsubtle, Trump also told lawmakers two weeks ago that they “should stop wasting their time on Immigration” until after the 2018 midterm elections.
Not to put too fine a point on this, but Congress can try to act on immigration “now,” or it can stop “wasting” its time on immigration until next year, but it can’t do both.
The trouble is, Trump can’t seem to make up his mind – so he keeps giving his allies contradictory advice.
A few weeks ago, at the White House’s behest, House GOP leaders endorsed a far-right immigration bill, which the president promptly said he wouldn’t sign, only to have the White House reverse course soon after.
A few days later, Trump urged Congress to “get it done” right away, because “now is the best opportunity ever.” That night, however, the president appeared on Capitol Hill and left members more confused about his expectations.
Two days after that, the president tweeted that he didn’t understand “the purpose” of House Republicans even trying to pass an immigration bill, which was soon followed by Trump urging GOP lawmakers to give up on immigration for the year.
Last week, he changed his mind again, publishing another all-caps tweet, urging House Republicans to pass an immigration bill, only to reverse course again a few days later, insisting he “never pushed” House GOP lawmakers to support the plan he directed them to pass.
Yesterday, the president came full circle, pushing Congress once more to pass an immigration bill “now,” though anyone who expects Trump to stick to this position isn’t paying close enough attention.