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'Stop Using Our Young People As Leverage': Trump Slammed for DACA Remarks Ahead of Immigration Talks

"You ended DACA," the ACLU reminds Trump, referring to the terminated program that protected thousands of young immigrants from deportation

DACA protest outside White House

Several groupsdemonstrated in front of the White House during 2017 to protest the Trump administration's termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump was slammed by immigrant rights advocates and Democrats in Congress on Tuesday for declaring that "activists and Hispanics" would be "falling in love" with him and Republicans despite offering no coherent evidence for such a prediction.

Ahead of a Wednesday meeting at the White House to discuss reinstating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections that were previously granted to undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children, the president tweeted:

Outrage has continued to grow since Trump terminated DACA in September and thousands of Dreamers—a term often used to describe DACA recipients, because the program was inspired by the DREAM Act—have lost their protected status. Immigrant advocates were quick to fire back at Trump's remarks on social media:

Democratic lawmakers also chimed in:

In a follow-up tweet featuring a link to Tuesday's Boston Globe editorial—which calls on Congress to immediately address DACA and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) accused Republican lawmakers and Trump of wanting "to play political games" with Dreamers and children's healthcare. "Let's pass these bills now and stop using our young people as leverage," he said.

Despite the support from Lieu and Markey on Tuesday, Democratic leaders in Congress failed to deliver on their promises to force action on DACA before the New Year. As Common Dreams has reported, immigrant advocates are growing increasingly weary of what a final deal with the Trump administration will look like. 

Even so, they remain critical of Trump, who came under fire last week for positioning Dreamers as a "bargaining chip" for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and implementing other aspects of his immigration agenda. The outcry came in response to what the president had tweeted Friday morning:

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