This week editorial boards across the country slammed President Trump for his cowardly and indefensible decision to rescind DACA. In this one heartless move, Trump put the lives and futures of 800,000 young people in limbo as their fates rest in the hands of a Republican Congress more interested in building a wall than helping Dreamers. Adding insult to injury, thousands of DACA protectees received this news while dealing with the fallout of Hurricane Harvey and preparing for Hurricane Irma to hit.
Here’s what Americans read this week in their local newspapers:
San Francisco Chronicle: Trump’s Russia Reset Is A Bust
Thursday’s State Department order to close the San Francisco consulate and two other facilities by Saturday was a more potent response. But the administration did not force staff reductions and hoped to “avoid further retaliatory actions by both sides and move forward to achieve the stated goal of both of our presidents: improved relations.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday blamed souring relations on the Obama administration, which in December closed two East Coast Russian compounds in response to Moscow’s election meddling.
A few months later, the Russians’ preferred candidate explored returning the facilities. That Trump has instead been compelled to close more diplomatic posts shows his Russia strategy isn’t even working on its own naive terms.
Tampa Bay Times: Trump’s Missed Opportunity On Infrastructure
The rule Trump reversed was a commonsense protection, and it came after the United States had suffered more than $260 billion in flood-related losses over the previous three decades. It applied only to federal investment in new public works projects, and provided the flexibility for agencies to work with states, local communities and private partners in carrying out its intent. It also recognized the unique hazard that flooding poses to both life and property and the overwhelming costs for flood-related damages that are borne by the U.S. government. With more than $1 trillion in U.S. property at risk of anticipated sea level increases in the coming decades, it only makes sense to harden these facilities to prolong their useful lives.
Palestine Herald Press: Forget The Wall, Texas Needs Help Now
For now, the president and his congressional allies should forget about the proposed Mexican border wall. Forget about taking money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help build it. Forget about shutting down the federal government, if money in next year’s budget doesn’t include a down payment on the wall.
And forget about anything that inflames partisan divisions, when the nation should unite around a common purpose: Rescuing flood-ravaged regions struck by Hurricane Harvey.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Trump Has Failed Opioid Epidemic Pledge
Why hasn’t President Donald Trump followed through on his promise to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency?
Even as the nation mobilizes to help hurricane-ravaged Houston, it’s critically important to maintain momentum in combating the widespread abuse of these legal and illegal drugs — a public health crisis with a mounting death toll. More than 33,000 deaths each year are now linked to opioid overdoses.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Why Trump Must Explain Goal In Sending Troops To Afghanistan
“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts,” Trump said. “But all my life, I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.” It’s good to know Trump has come to that realization. But more important is knowing exactly what is his goal. What’s his criteria for leaving Afghanistan?
Racine Journal Times: No Excuse For Trump’s Pardon Of ‘Sheriff Joe’
President Trump’s pardon of Arpaio did not usurp the law, but it did undercut it. By doing so, Trump sent a message to his supporters that it was OK to pick and choose which laws they obey, so long as they are working toward his vision of what America should be. He will be waiting there, pen in hand, with a pardon if they cross the line.
Albuquerque Journal: Trump’s Wall Plan Shouldn’t Shut Down Government
Given the far more pressing challenges Congress will face when members return to Washington from this Labor Day weekend – including Trump’s promised rewrite of the federal tax code, raising the debt ceiling and reauthorizing programs for flood insurance and children’s health – shutting down the federal government over his border wall is sure to backfire on Trump and congressional Republicans.
San Jose Mercury News: Trump Sabotaging Obamacare Is Cruel To Low Income Americans
The end result will be higher premiums and medical costs for all Americans. Trump may still be confused by the complexity of the health care system, but even he has to know that the more people enroll, the more the risk and cost of care are spread, making it possible for insurance companies to lower premiums.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Mueller Finds Alarming Signs – And Sleazy People – In Collusion Probe
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and agents of the Russian government has been remarkably discreet, as it should be. But other sources have leaked three names — Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater and Eric Schneiderman — that indicate that Mueller’s team is probing very deeply. If there’s a smoking gun to be found, Mueller is getting closer to it.
Asbury Park Press: Let DACA Immigrants Keep Dreams Alive
While the United States continues to wrestle with a more coherent immigration policy, it should treat both the DACA and TPS immigrants with compassion and humanity. This should not be about arbitrary deadlines set to kick people out of the country, especially when a great many of these immigrants have lived here more than 20 years, contributed to the U.S. economy and are now living law-abiding productive lives.
Springfield Republican: Cloud Over White House Still Resembles Russia
So much of Trump’s diminution of his own standing as president has been of his own hand. His unceasing posts to Twitter. His needless provocations of those who ought to be his allies in Congress. His disjointed, ranting rallies for the faithful, the dwindling core of supporters who continue to stand by their man through thin and thin.
It’s all a part of the same sorry tale: Trump’s lack of discipline continues to spell trouble. As though firing Comey hadn’t been bad enough. But then came the TV interview during which he admitted that he’d been thinking of Russia when tossing the director overboard. And now the draft of the letter, described by some who’ve seen it as a “screed.”
Trump had once seen the Russia probe as a cloud over the White House that he’d hoped would eventually blow over. Not only is that not happening, the cloud keeps on growing ever darker.
Dallas Morning News: Want To Help American Workers? NAFTA, Not Protectionism, Is The Way To Go
NAFTA has resulted in lower prices for consumers, particularly for gasoline and food. The people who benefit most are the working poor. It’s one thing if you’re doing your grocery shopping at Whole Foods and buying gifts at specialty shops. But for people who need do their shopping at stores such as Wal-Mart, NAFTA helps keep those prices low.
Trump’s hints at protectionism — in the form of tariffs as offsets against trade deficits — hurt more than they would help, despite the rhetoric. Imposing tariffs would result in higher prices and leave the U.S. open to retaliatory measures, like tariffs on U.S. exports and complaints filed with the World Trade Organization.
Los Angeles Times: Ending DACA Was An Act Of Pure Cruelty By Trump
But on Tuesday morning, he made the decision he so often does: the wrong one. In a brief written statement, Trump killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an act of pure cruelty that threatens the well-being of nearly 800,000 people who live in the country illegally through no fault of their own but as a result of decisions made by their parents.
San Francisco Chronicle: Trump’s Futile Fire And Fury
Of course, no one should have expected Trump to solve a Korean conundrum that has defeated far more qualified presidents. The hope now has to be that he will avoid turning crisis into catastrophe.
Hartford Courant: 5 Reasons Trump Is Wrong On DACA
Yes, DACA beneficiaries are in the U.S. illegally, but through no fault of their own, as former President Obama said Tuesday. They’ve done nothing wrong. Yet soon they will be punished for pursuing the American Dream because the president believes they’re taking jobs away from Americans.
That’s not quite true, Mr. President.
One respected study found that immigration has “little to no negative effects on overall wages and employment of native-born workers in the longer term.” Even the conservative Cato Institute argues that immigrants’ contribution to the economy “allows for greater employment for more Americans.”
Quad city Times: Trump Is Weak, DACA Proved It
Ultimately, yes, it would be best for Congress to finally grapple with the immigration problem that’s dogged Republican politics for more than 30 years. It would be preferable for a legal solution outside of the executive order process. But, make no mistake, Trump’s move on Tuesday happened just because it would have been bad optics for his administration to defend DACA in court. Doing so would have eroded further the segment of his base that gets offended when they hear someone speaking Spanish at the super market. It was the action of a weak president cornered by his own nasty brand of political bombast.
The Register-Guard: Ending The Dream
From a political point of view, President Trump’s announcement that he is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for immigrant youth is probably a smart idea. He has passed the buck to Congress.
From just about every other point of view — economic, humanitarian, historical, geopolitical — it is a terrible idea. Congress has no proven capacity to act on immigration issues.
Park City Record: Trump’s Decision On DACA Runs Counter To Park City’s Values
When Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, Park City, Summit County and hundreds of other enlightened communities around the country said, “Hell no.” When Trump said he would throw transgender soldiers out of the military, even his generals argued against it. If Trump persists in undoing DACA, he will have one more fight on his hands and plenty of Parkites will be happy to join that battle.
Scranton Times-Tribune: Revive DREAM
In voiding the program, Trump ignored the advice of lawmakers from across the political spectrum and a wide array of community and religious leaders. As in many other matters, Trump saw the program as a zero-sum game.
He acknowledge the severity of punishing young people for their parents’ decisions. But, he said, “young Americans have dreams too.”
Indeed they do. But the dreams of immigrant and native children are not mutually exclusive. Rather, the United States is the world’s most successful nation due to the energy that flows from enabling everyone to pursue their dreams.
Northampton Daily Hampshire Gazette: After President Trump Ends DACA, Congress Must Preserve The Dream
Trump said he wants to help “the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system” by removing immigrants competing for jobs and other benefits of legal residency. While Trump was referring to Obama’s system of allowing young immigrants to stay in the United States as long as they were productive residents, the president’s words could just as easily apply to his latest effort to marginalize foreign-born children, women and men.
Falls Church News-Press: F.C.’s Staunch Defense Of DACA
Now it is looking like Trump intends to have Congress use the DACA issue as a bargaining chip in upcoming legislation on the budget, perhaps most significantly on funding for his border wall and with the threat of a government shutdown also looming. But this is only a jaundiced and cynical willingness to use vulnerable young lives to bargain for some horrible programs. Every American, including all Latinos, should never forget how the Trump administration and Republican allies will use this cruel tactic to get their way. Virginia, like Texas, is on the verge of becoming like California, where the growth of the Latino voting population has turned that state “Blue” forever.
Sarasota Herald Tribune: DACA Participants Deserve To Stay
So why do anything that would subject them to deportation if they participate in the program, have jobs or are in school, pay taxes and have not committed serious crimes?
There is no good reason.
Los Angeles Times: Here’s A Solution To the DACA Crisis: Pass A Dream Act. And Soon
President Trump’s decision to end protections for immigrants who have been living illegally in the country since they were children was heartless, cynical and counterproductive. But there is one simple way for the damage to be undone: Congress should acknowledge its obligations to the 800,000 young immigrants whose status has been put in peril and pass legislation restoring their protection.
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier: NAFTA’s Demise Would Hurt Iowa
If he does so, struggling Iowa farmers will feel the impact. Trump nearly opted out of the agreement in April, but was dissuaded from doing so because of its impact on farm states. Agricultural exports to Mexico and Canada, which were $8.9 billion in 1993, now surpass $38 billion.
It has been a boon to Iowa corn, soybean, pork and poultry producers, but a mixed bag for others. Fruit and vegetable producers have complained about competing against Mexican subsidies. Cattle ranchers, wheat farmers and dairy producers have accused Canada of blocking imports.
The real facts here are that President Trump ginned up his base during the campaign by pledging to “immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties” but later expressed sympathy for the “absolutely incredible kids.” On Tuesday morning, he tweeted “Congress, get ready to do your job — DACA” and then “Make no mistake, we are going to put the interest of AMERICAN CITIZENS FIRST! The forgotten men & women will no longer be forgotten.” Then on Tuesday night, he tweeted that he would “revisit this issue” if Congress can’t “legalize DACA.” He trotted out his hard-line, anti-immigration attorney general to kill DACA, but not without trying to put a smiley-face on his cruelty. It doesn’t wash. DACA didn’t prompt a humanitarian crisis. It prevented one.
Asbury Park Press: More Mixed Messages From Trump
There’s a Trumpian logic to all of this. If Trump’s great skill is to make deals, then why should he limit himself to working with Republicans? But while progressives who despise the Trump presidency can be excused for feeling a tiny bit of satisfaction, it would be foolish to read much of anything into the latest deal. We can dream about opening doors to bipartisan solutions, but this particular impulse on Trump’s part was an easy one to act upon.
Akron Beacon Journal: Trump Misses His DACA Opportunity
President Trump missed his opportunity. Polls show a large majority of Americans support protecting from deportation young immigrants brought illegally to this country by their parents. A troubled Trump White House would have been helped by the president bridging differences and acting with the “heart” he earlier deemed necessary.
Unfortunately, this president of many colliding views also described the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as “amnesty.” Thus, he appeared caught between positions as he announced this week his intentions for DACA going forward.
San Francisco Chronicle: Hurricane Donald’s Unpredictable Path
Does this mean Trump is a Democrat (again)? Or that he has acquired an appreciation for the orderly governance of the country and the humane treatment of its people?
Of course not. This is the same man who two weeks ago threatened to shut down the government over funding for his border wall. His latest reversal demonstrates the same disdain for anything beyond his short-term aggrandizement. Trump remains about as hard to predict as a hurricane and as heedless of what lies in his path.
Virginia Pilot: Deliberate thinking still missing from White House
Bannon, a Norfolk native, Virginia Tech graduate and U.S. Navy veteran, returned to Breitbart, where he pledges to wage a withering campaign against the “globalist” forces who, to hear Bannon tell it, seek to put a stop to Donald Trump’s virtuous agenda of ethno-nationalism.
But the unpredictable, schizophrenic White House he helped to lead continues to operate using Bannon’s edict to keep opponents — in this case the almost 70 percent of Americans who oppose the administration — off balance.