Donald Trump has attacked Mexico for failing to close its “Northern Border” and allowing “large caravans” of people to pass through the country and into the US.
In a series of characteristically aggressive early morning tweets, the US president said his own country has “no effective border laws”.
His statement caused confusion on social media, with many people responding that Mexico’s northern border was with the US. Others joked that he was suggesting that people should flee America and head south.
Mr Trump claimed Mexico had the “absolute power not let these large ‘Caravans’ of people enter their country.”
He added: “They must stop them at their Northern Border, which they can do because their border laws work, not allow them to pass through into our country which has no effective border laws…”
Calling on the US Congress to “immediately pass border legislation”, he said they should “use Nuclear Option if necessary” without explaining what that meant.
This he suggested would “stop the massive inflow of Drugs and People” into the US. Although he went on to praise US border patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, he said weak Democratic Party laws did “not allow them to do their job”.
The US President went on to announce that a deal to secure status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (Daca) recipients was “dead” and “no longer works”.
He added: “Must build Wall and secure our borders with proper Border legislation”.
Mr Trump has previously suggested that he was open to negotiating with congressional Democrats on the Daca deal, which affects an estimated 700,000 young people who entered the US without documents as children. Most of them are from Mexico and other Latin American countries.
Created by former President Barack Obama, his 2012 executive order shields the so-called “Dreamers” from deportation and provides work and study permits.
In order to qualify, applicants under the age of 30 are required to submit personal information to the Department of Homeland Security, including addresses and phone numbers, and they must go through an FBI background check.
They must also have a clean criminal record, be in school, recently graduated or honourably discharged from the military. In exchange, the US government agrees to “defer” any action on their immigration status for a period of two years.
Mr Trump abruptly ended the programme last year and in exchange for negotiations, he has called for funding to build a wall on the southern border between the US and Mexico and a series of other immigration measures.
The US leader has reportedly become increasingly frustrated with a lack of funding for the wall, which he promised would be funded by Mexico during his presidential campaign.
Last week he appeared to suggest that the US Department of Defence could fund it, a move that was quickly ruled out by experts.
His moves to end Daca by executive order were also thwarted by a federal judge, who ordered the administration to continue renewing applications.
In calling on Republican leaders in the Senate to “go to Nuclear Option”, Mr Trump was referring to Senate rules that require 60 votes for legislation to pass.
The US President has long called for the majority to fall to 51 – a move that has so far been resisted by Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader for his own Republican Party.