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Today in Conservative Media: Trump’s DACA Wobbles This Week Still Have Republicans on Edge

President Donald Trump listens to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin speak at the White House, on January 11, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and President Donald Trump speak at the White House, on Thursday in Washington.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Conservative media were still deep in the DACA debate Thursday, as negotiations continued on broader immigration issues, including the wall. The editors at National Review penned a staff editorial arguing that Republicans should work to limit the scope of whatever deal is agreed to on DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as young children to remain in the country. “A DACA deal should be a DACA deal—not a broader amnesty,” the editors write. “It should seek to give relief only to those illegal immigrants who were caught up in the mess created by Obama’s lawless act and brought themselves forward to apply for the program.” Republicans, they write, “shouldn’t be passing any form of amnesty until we have a fully functioning system of enforcement.”

The Weekly Standard’s Michael Warren sums up the lingering wariness conservatives feel two days after Donald Trump took a conciliatory stance on DACA during a high-profile meeting with lawmakers Tuesday, with the president saying he would sign “almost any bill [Congess] agreed to pass.” “Even with the assurance that any DACA fix won’t get signed without tough border measures, many conservatives are concerned about Trump’s Tuesday comments,” Warren notes. “Radio host Mark Levin called it a ‘complete surrender’ while Ann Coulter called Tuesday the ‘lowest day in the Trump presidency.’ ”

Neil Munro at Breitbart sees the Thursday leak of Trump’s comments expressing frustration at the U.S. taking immigrants from “shithole” countries as an effort to “wreck the amnesty talks.” The leak means Democrats “do not expect to make a deal that they can sell to their base,” Munro writes. “Without that deal, the Democrats are using Trump’s “sh*thole” comment to blame his supposed racism for their failure to persuade Trump to abandon his base by accepting a big amnesty.”

In other news

But what about the places Trump called “shithole” countries? “[T]he implication that Trump is a racist because he favors some countries over others is somewhat silly,” Ben Shapiro writes for the Daily Wire. “The diversity visa lottery assumes precisely the same thing – that countries that are worse off ought to send us more citizens because they are worse off.” Shapiro argues that it’s a statement of fact that some countries are better off than others, but it’s not necessarily a value judgment on the individuals attempting to immigrate from those countries.

We certainly shouldn’t be evaluating people solely based on the countries from whence they spring; we should be evaluating them as individuals, if possible. Some of our best and brightest immigrants come from countries that could easily be termed “s***holes” – that’s why they’re leaving their countries of origin. The entire purpose of ending the diversity visa lottery would be to stop treating immigrants as classes from particular countries, and instead treat them on a one-by-one basis.

David Byler at the Weekly Standard assessed what former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio means for the Arizona Senate race, which, he notes, could play a major factor in which party controls the Senate in 2019. “[O]ddly enough, his entry into the Republican primary might end up helping establishment-friendly Republicans,” Byler writes of Arpaio’s entrance into a race that already has a far-right anti-establishment candidate in Kelli Ward and an establishment favorite in Rep. Martha McSally. “But it’s possible to imagine a scenario in which one anti-establishment candidate manages to win despite another candidate siphoning off some of his or her votes.” The takeaway? It’s complicated.

Both Breitbart and the Federalist devoted coverage to a newly released undercover video from James O’Keefe and Project Veritas that purports to show a Twitter employee saying that the company bans “political opinions they don’t like.” The Federalist dissected the video’s contents, including a so-called “shadow ban” where the employee alleges Twitter can effectively ban an individual by downplaying or minimizing a user’s tweets without technically banning them from the site. Project Veritas has a reputation for covert setups—some of which have failed or backfired—of so-called liberals in the media, politics, and elsewhere, where it entices people to say embarrassing or damaging things while secretly recording the conversations.

“The Project Veritas investigation, which mainstream tech news outlets have ignoredconfirmed years of Breitbart Tech reporting on Twitter, which has frequently been accused of censoring conservatives, libertarians, and classical liberals,” Breitbart’s Charlie Nash concludes. “In one secretly recorded video, Twitter engineer Pranay Singh admitted to mass-banning accounts that express interest in God, guns, and America, while others explained Twitter’s shadow banning system, which they claimed was frequently utilized against conservatives and Trump supporters.”

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