The following isn’t exactly fake news, but it’s certainly misleading. The New York Times (per Maggie Haberman, Katie Rogers, and Michael Shear) reports:
President Trump said on Wednesday that he is open to a path to citizenship after 10 to 12 years for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, days after rejecting a bipartisan plan with that as its centerpiece.
Mr. Trump once again seemed to undercut his administration’s message, telling reporters at the White House that he would allow the young immigrants, known as Dreamers, to “morph into” citizens over a period of time.
Further into the report, the Times informs us that Trump was talking about a period “of 10 to 12 years,” for “somebody who does a great job.” Whether this would mean a path to citizenship for “hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants” is far from clear.
Here, though, is the main problem with the Times’ story: Trump is not undercutting his administration’s message. As Tom Cotton tweeted in response to this misleading Reuters tweet — “BREAKING: Trump tells reporters he is open to the concept of giving DACA recipients citizenship in 10-12 years:
Not breaking, @realDonaldTrump & I & most GOP have said [this] for months. But it must be done responsibly, guaranteeing a secure & lawful border & ending chain migration, to mitigate the negative side effects of codifying DACA.
Near the end of the Times’ report, we learn:
Mr. Trump, once again, said he will insist on an end to the diversity lottery system, which encourages immigration from a variety of countries. Mr. Trump referred to the program as a “broken system” that brings the wrong kind of people into the United States. He said that he wanted to negotiate an end to so-called chain migration, but said he would work to allow nuclear families to stay together.
This statement runs parallel to what Sen. Cotton says in his tweet. Trump is not undercutting the position of those who demand significant immigration reform and fixes in exchange for a DACA fix.
Finally, the Times serves up this puzzling statement:
Despite the president’s pledge to the Dreamers, his administration cracked down earlier Wednesday on so-called sanctuary cities. The Justice Department asked the asked 23 jurisdictions across the country to furnish documents proving that they had not kept information from federal immigration authorities.
Why “despite”? There is no inconsistency between a “pledge” to the “Dreamers” (an overstatement, in any event, of what Trump said today) and the “crackdown” on sanctuary cities the Times describes (or any crackdown on them). One can, without the slightest difficulty, support relief for a segment of the illegal population most of whose members did not chose to enter the country illegally while also supporting what the Trump administration did today on sanctuary cities — demanding that they provide documents to show whether local law enforcement officers are sharing information with federal immigration authorities.
The Times’ reporters are intelligent enough to understand this. They are also intelligent to understand that Trump broke no new ground today when he said he is open to a path to citizenship for some of the DACA population under certain circumstances.
It isn’t lack of intelligence that distorts the Times’ reporting, it’s lack of objectivity. Haberman and her colleagues are rooting so hard against Trump, and for illegal immigrants, that it bends their reporting, sometimes to the point of incoherence.