What will happen to the most vulnerable in America if Donald Trump keeps his election promises?
- President Elect’s first 100 days in office will be a defining moment and answer a lot of unanswered questions about key policy.
- Trump claims to be a champion of the poor in America, but they are the ones that stand to lose.
- Children of illegal immigrants, recipients of Obamacare and LGBT+ Americans wait nervously.
- What role will “Sanctuary Cities” like San Francisco and Chicago play?
His fiery promises and populist pledges to crack down on illegal immigration and repeal Obamacare won him a place in the White House, but will Donald Trump keep the promises he made to an expectant electorate? It also begs the question of how Trump would even go about deporting millions, especially as mayors of major US cities such as San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles promise that they will fight any deportation of their illegal residents.
Similarly bombastic promises to repeal Obamacare, removing access to healthcare for millions of Americans, presents further logistical problems. It seems at least that Trump is backtracking on Obamacare, and this has given a glimmer of hope to many who fear for their future in America.
The irony is that the groups that voted Trump into office stand to lose a lot if Trump keeps his promise to them. The older, lower-income white demographic that Trump exploited so ruthlessly might see access to health care if the Affordable Care Act, otherwise know as Obamacare, were repealed.
Particularly worried are the children of illegal immigrants. Brought at an early age and committing no crime themselves, these naturalized second generation illegals had enjoyed lax immigration controls spearheaded by Obama.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act protected the children of arrivals. A Hillary Clinton victory would have extended the protection afforded by DACA, but Trump promised to immediately repeal the act.
The prospect of mass deportation is a frightening one. There are again questions about the feasibility of removing millions of law-abiding second generation, often who have no experience of their mother country, without the cost of such an operation running into hundreds of billions.
A further volatile situation would be the status and relationship between America’s “sanctuary cities”, major urban centers such as San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and president-elect Trump.
All have promised that they will oppose any of Trump’s crackdowns on illegal arrivals within their boundaries and the prospect of a president at war with his cities would make Trump’s position a difficult one.
One potential counter that Trump could impose would be to cut funding to any city that doesn’t implement immigration reforms, a drastic move that has been used before to ensure speed limits on roads were adhered to.
What is the Best Case Scenario?
The best case scenario for those affected by his potential policies is an apathetic president who needs the wounds caused by his election to heal. Trump’s need for the crowd to cheer his name could lead him to continue to modify or even repeal his most drastic promises. He has mentioned that he would serve his presidency as a kind of CEO of America, which brings up further questions about how much influence vice president-elect Pence, a rabidly anti-gay and anti-woman firebrand, will have in the creation of policy.
The USA can expect a turbulent first term in Donald Trump’s presidency. The developments in his first 100 days affect the lives of millions and it is sure to be an anxious time for every observer.