Delta Air Lines will kick in money to help Clayton County Schools, which will lose millions in jet fuel tax collections at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on July 1. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

After NRA fight, Delta sidesteps immigration debate 

Delta Air Lines sidestepped what could have been another testy political debate on Wednesday. 

As four major competitors - America, Frontier, Southwest and United - declared they would refuse to fly immigrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border, the Atlanta-based company took refuge in President Donald Trump’s timely reversal of his policy.

“Recent reports of families being separated are disheartening and do not align with Delta’s core values," the airline said. "We applaud the administration’s executive order resolving the issue of separating children from their families at the U.S. border.”

Delta’s more cautious approach comes from experience. The airline provoked a backlash from Georgia lawmakers after cutting business ties with the National Rifle Association. Soon, a tax break on jet fuel designed to help the airline save $40 million annually was kaput.

Hours before Trump’s order was signed, chief executive Ed Bastian was at a “fireside chat” event with Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. He said the airline has flown a “very limited” number of children back to their homes to reunite with families. But he was wary of plunging deeper into the debate.

Our AJC colleague Kelly Yamanouchi has more: 

Watch Video from Inside the Border Protection's Processing Detention Center in Texas

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.