Is Trump Right About DACA?

This weekend, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to voice his concerns about the Central American migrant “caravans” trying to enter the U.S.

In a related tweet-storm the next day, Trump pushed for Congress to reinforce the border and enforce immigration law more thoroughly, and blamed Mexico for the caravan.

 

The President also blamed Democrats for the death of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) bill because of their inaction and pushed harder for a border wall to secure the U.S. border.

While the tweets sparked some sympathetic features about the caravan Trump disavowed, there is evidence to suggest that the media has moved on from DACA, the issue that was previously advocated for so strongly that it prompted a brief government shutdown in January.

For example, check out the front page of the New York Times’ website circa April 4 around 3:15 p.m.

Screenshot of New York Times online front page Wednesday, April 4 as of 3:15 PM — where are my hard-hitting pieces breaking down DACA/why the Prez shouldn’t criticize the free press (hint: there ain’t one today; that my point).

Any coverage of DACA and immigration is conspicuously absent, replaced by Trump’s new pet projects: international quarrels and accusing Amazon of hurting U.S. Post Office revenue.

Since the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., gun control has dominated headlines, and rightly so considering how the Stoneman Douglas High School student activists seem to have changed the tone of that debate and prompted marches and student walkouts nationwide.

MediaFile’s coverage has followed suit, with four of our 10 most recent Politics stories being devoted to gun control, the Parkland activists and attempts to silence them.

With the latest shooting at YouTube’s headquarters just this week, gun talks will most likely continue to take up valuable news real estate.

Trump’s tweets seem to have been newsworthy in their own right, as they have inadvertently sparked new coverage of DACA and immigration for some mainstream publications.

In addition to its regular pundits, CNN’s “New Day” invited Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., to discuss possible compromises to get DACA through Congress.

“I know that the president just said something, but I don’t think that’s a hard, fast position,” said Taylor. “I still believe there is a deal to be had that has more security, that has more disincentives for future illegal immigration and that has a fix for DACA.”

The Atlantic’s Olga Khazan wrote a substantive piece on how DACA can curb teen pregnancy, prompted by and featuring Trump’s inflammatory tweet on the program’s alleged abandonment by Democrats and the media.

Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle condemned both parties for keeping legislation that the majority of the public supports hostage for re-election purposes.

“DACA plainly has died as a matter of humane public policy, and risen as a lively political football,” he wrote. “It’s a game the Democrats are just as happy to play as Trump is.”

“The inability of Washington elected officials to resolve issues, even when the public strongly supports a certain outcome, is a major factor in the collapse of civic confidence,” he continued.

Even though these pieces are a good start in making the conversation relevant to Americans once again, it’s worth asking whether or not the media can afford to take time away from other, more hot-button issues to reignite discussion of DACA and immigration.

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