Lowlights of Trump’s America

A few of the administration’s cruel policies overshadowed by impeachment

The CN&R’s annual year-in-view issue is jam-packed with noteworthy local news from 2019, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t look back on the president of the United States on the eve of the end of his third year in office.

Where else to begin but with Trump making history last week? On Wednesday (Dec. 18), he became the first POTUS to be impeached during his first term in office. It would quite literally require a novel-length’s worth of paper—reams, that is—to properly unpack all the schemes that led to this point. And, quite frankly, many folks aren’t listening.

So rather than rehash the president’s deeply disturbing efforts to coerce a foreign ally into besmirching his political rival—threatening national security and encouraging our fiercest adversary to continue meddling in our elections—we want to remind readers of a few happenings getting overshadowed by impeachment. Our focus is on the lowlights: a few diabolically cruel policies that affect the most vulnerable among us. Who knows—perhaps one of them will hit a nerve or could even affect you?

Like kids? Trump doesn’t. In August, his administration attempted to strip protections from undocumented immigrants—yes, children—who live here under a special exemption allowing treatment for life-threatening medical conditions. Those who’d applied for extensions—as is common practice under the longtime program—were summarily denied and ordered to leave the country within 33 days.

While we’re on the subject of child abuse, let’s not forget that 4,000 underage migrants remain in government custody, some living in fenced-in communal quarters at warehouses. You know, cages. Worst yet, at least six children have died on the government’s watch.

Got SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps)? Maybe not for long. Despite the fact that 37 million Americans are food insecure, the Trump administration this year revealed drastic cuts to the program starting in 2020. The forthcoming reductions—said to total $4.2 billion over the next five years—will limit benefits for certain able-bodied adults, those between the ages of 18-49 who do not have dependents.

Another strike at vulnerable populations is a new effort to cut Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. It will come by way of new methods the Social Security Administration may use to determine whether a person continues to qualify. The goal: reduce benefits from those safety nets.

There you have it—a look at a few hallmarks of the Trump administration in 2019. Hell of year, readers.