WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump called U.S. border laws "weak" in a tweet Wednesday and said he would take "strong action" to prevent people from crossing into the U.S. illegally.

Trump falsely wrote that Democrats want "people to pour into our country unchecked." Democrats have advocated for greater protections for undocumented immigrants, but the party has not advocated repeal of existing laws that limit immigration.

The White House wants Congress to pass laws that make it easier to detain and deport families and children arriving illegally from Central America, stripping away many existing legal protections.

Similar changes failed to pass the Senate in February as part of a White House-backed immigration bill that would have also protected from deportation about 1.8 million people brought to the country illegally as children. The bill backed by Trump received only 39 votes in the Senate.

Trump's rhetoric on border security is part of a return in recent days to his harsh tone during the campaign and comes as pressure mounts from nationalist allies who have hammered Trump for not insisting Congress fully fund construction of a wall along the border with Mexico.

On Tuesday, Trump called for posting U.S. military personnel on the border with Mexico until his promised border wall is built. Earlier this week, Trump said he was ending discussions with lawmakers about extending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.