6 Ways Trump Is Attacking Low-Income Americans

While some like to dismiss the Trump administration as too corrupt and inept to get anything done, it’s actually very good at using administrative processes to do damage that will take years to undo. The administration also has a knack for layering attacks on vulnerable communities, creating a steady tide of injustices to fight that can feel overwhelming.

I’ve rounded up some — but far from all — of the attacks on low-income Americans coming from the Trump administration, so you can see the larger sinister pattern at work.

If you’re disturbed, fortunately there are some things you can do. They include contacting lawmakers to ask them to restore the rights and protections Trump is trying to repeal, as well as submitting comments to the Federal Register when agencies introduce rules that raise concerns.

1. Undermining Trans Civil Rights

Trans people, especially trans women of color, are more likely to be poor. And attacks on the trans community tend to exacerbate these inequalities.

This is being demonstrated in the current attempt to reinterpret Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, a key antidiscrimination clause that counts trans people as a protected class. Under the clause, health care providers and insurance companies can’t deny care because people are trans, something that historically was a big issue. But the Trump administration wants to claim the law never actually extended this protection, so it can’t be interpreted this way.

Of course, the Trump administration also denied trans people the opportunity to serve in the military, something some trans people historically have used to build lives and careers when they’re cut off from other options. And the Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to rescind housing protections for trans people experiencing homelessness who need access to shelters.

2. Attacking Access to Housing

HUD isn’t just making it harder for trans people to find a safe place. A new proposal would bar housing assistance to anyone who’s not a legal resident, attacking mixed-status households. If a kid is a legal resident and her parents aren’t, they’ll lose their housing — whereas now they would be allowed to live with her.

Paradoxically, the agency says kicking people out of housing will help address the waiting list for housing and get more people into shelter. Plus, HUD has been giving unhealthy and dangerous housing a rubber stamp of approval, endangering residents who count on that housing.

3. Cutting Off the Food Supply

The Trump administration and Congressional Republicans alike are eager to attack funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), a highly effective social program that addresses hunger and helps lift people out of poverty. Using a variety of administrative and legislation approaches, Trump and his cronies want to cut down on SNAP recipients and limit their benefits.

Meanwhile, Trump’s trade war is devastating farmers, many of whom are also waiting on aid to help with flooding. That assistance was held up in part because of racist opposition to including Puerto Rico in any aid package. And for all that Trump claims to care about farmers and rural America, small farmers have not found the administration beneficial.

4. Instituting Work Requirements

Work requirements for government benefits were heavily promoted in the 1990s, when reformers claimed that a “welfare to work” program would help people graduate from benefits to meaningful employment if they got a little push. That’s not really how it worked out, and said requirements can be burdensome.

In 2018 alone, 18,000 people lost their Medicaid coverage in Arkansas because of work requirements, and many should have been exempt. By promoting work requirements and making it easier for states to implement them, the Trump administration is assaulting access to SNAP, Medicaid and other key benefits that help people thrive.

5. Cracking Down on Immigrants

The Trump administration’s cruel immigration policies hit low-income people especially hard. Many immigrants are low-income, and sometimes they’re joining family in the U.S. or hoping to send money back home to people in need.

The harsh crackdowns at the border endanger the lives of immigrants and their families. And they’re particularly challenging for desperate people with limited financial resources who spend weeks or months languishing in immigration detention, sometimes while their families on the outside are struggling to find and help them.

With a public charge rule still under deliberation, the administration wants to make it harder for people who have accessed government benefits to get green cards to reside in the U.S. legally. Meanwhile, the controversial citizenship question on the Census could result in a massive undercount, with Latinx communities in the crosshairs. That’s bad news for factors, such as redistricting, apportioning federal funding and understanding who lives where in America.

6. Stripping Financial Protections

The administration has also been busy rescinding Obama-era rules protecting people from exploitative payday lenders, undercutting the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and relaxing oversight of banks. Plus, the administration wants to roll back Obama-era overtime protections, making for less in every paycheck. And then it wants to undermine the way we define the poverty line to make it harder for people to qualify for social programs.

Photo credit: XiXinXing/Getty Images

95 comments

Alea C
Alea C19 hours ago

I wonder if Trump has rabies. I mean he literally foams at the mouth and it sure would explain a lot.

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Alea C
Alea C19 hours ago

tyfs

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Alea C
Alea C1 days ago

Care2 is still giving commenting points. (I said earlier that Care2 wasn't but I was wrong.

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Alea C
Alea C1 days ago

Care2 is still giving commenting points. (I said earlier that Care2 wasn't but I was wrong.

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Danuta W
Danuta W3 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Lesa D
Lesa D3 days ago

#12416 petition signed...

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Lesa D
Lesa D3 days ago

thank you s.e. ...

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Alea C
Alea C3 days ago

Posting for butterfly credits.

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Alea C
Alea C3 days ago

DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!!

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Sophie L
Sophie L4 days ago

thanks for posting

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