While newsrooms rush to prepare for coverage of another powerful hurricane, the story that dominated yesterday was President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program that allows those immigrants brought to the US illegally as children to live and work without fear of deportation. Front pages of the nation’s largest newspapers carried multiple stories about Trump’s action, and by shifting responsibility for the 800,000 or so DACA recipients to Congress, he has ensured extended media coverage of immigration policy.
Trump made a hard line on immigration a central plank of his appeal to voters during the 2016 campaign, but he muddled his position on DACA with statements throughout the day yesterday. After dispatching Jeff Sessions to announce the end of the program after a six-month delay (Sessions did not take questions from the media), Trump issued a long statement in which he seemed torn about his decision. In a Tuesday-night tweet, he called on Congress to “legalize DACA,” promising to “revisit this issue” if it is unable to do so.
The decision to end DACA drew widespread condemnation from those on the left, while the response from conservative media seemed to mirror the president’s own mixed message. Breitbart’s headline credited Trump with showing “heart” by delaying the end of the program, while The Daily Caller accused Trump of calling for “amnesty.” Dozens of business leaders spoke out against the decision, and the two largest Spanish-language television networks, Univision and Telemundo, issued statements criticizing the end of DACA.
Below, more on Trump’s decision.
- “American Dreamers”: The New York Times has a collection of stories from those who have benefitted from DACA.
- A mixed response from conservative media: The Washington Post’s Robert Costa and Philip Rucker write that “Trump is hurtling toward a crossroads on immigration…where each path before him comes with significant political risks.”
- Cautious praise from immigration hardliners: The Atlantic’s Priscilla Alvarez writes that immigration-restrictionist groups and hardline Republican lawmakers offered tempered support for Trump’s action.
- Using Reagan’s words against Trump: The new owner of The Atlantic is wading into the battle to save DACA. Recode’s Theodore Schleifer reports that Laurene Powell Jobs’s philanthropic arm will be airing ads using President Reagan’s words to show support for immigrants.
Other notable stories
- The Miami Herald’s Carli Teproff and Jenny Staletovich are tracking Hurricane Irma, as the storm made landfall in the Caribbean this morning.
- The New York Times’s Sydney Ember and Michael Grynbaum have an update on the CNN story that led to the forced resignations of three staffers.
- A trade group representing several major outlets is calling out the NRA for inflammatory language that threatens journalists, reports CNN’s Brian Stelter.
- For CJR, Wendy Lu cautions journalists to avoid engaging in “inspiration porn” when reporting on people with disabilities.
- The New York Times Editorial Board offered praise for Kenyan institutions and a half-hearted apology for its August 13 editorial castigating the opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, for having “fanned the embers of ethnic strife.”
- The Cambodia Daily, a valuable independent newspaper in a country sliding into authoritarianism, published its last issue on Monday. For CJR, Holly Robertson spoke with a dozen current and former staffers about the paper’s legacy and the government crackdown that brought about its demise.
- The New York Times’s Michael Schmidt took a break from reporting on the Trump-Russia story to scoop that the Boston Red Sox were using Apple watches to steal signs from the New York Yankees, once again confirming that all Boston sports teams are evil.
Correction: An earlier version of this newsletter misspelled Laurene Powell Jobs’s first name. We regret the error.Pete Vernon is a former CJR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @ByPeteVernon.