Democratic strategist says Republicans are turning immigration debate into 'political football'

Democratic strategist Chuck Rocha said Monday that Republicans are turning the immigration debate into “political football" instead of working with Democrats to stem the influx of migrants at the U.S. southern border. 

“You’ve got Democrats controlling the House, Republicans controlling the Senate, let’s get together and get it fixed,” Rocha, the founder and president of Solidarity Strategy, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Saagar Enejti on "Rising."

“But the Republicans want to continue making political football,” he added.

Rocha was responding to news of Trump’s border security deal with Mexico.

President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE cancelled his plan over the weekend to enact a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican imports over the recent surge of Central American migrants at the southern border.

Trump later touted the agreement as a victory, but warned that he could potentially reinstate tariffs if Mexico doesn't hold up its end of the bargain. 

“….We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!” Trump tweeted.

Democrats, meanwhile, seized on a New York Times report, which said that Trump's deal with Mexico mainly included pledges that it already made with the U.S. in recent months. 

"The game-show president strikes again," Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a tweet sharing the Times report. 

Trump promptly hit back refuting the newspaper's findings. 

"When will the Failing New York Times admit that their front page story on the the new Mexico deal at the Border is a FRAUD and nothing more than a badly reported “hit job” on me," Trump tweeted. 

⁠—Tess Bonn