One theme emerging from President Donald Trump’s policies has the appearance of disdain toward children, as numerous aspects of the White House agenda target or otherwise negatively impact America’s youth.
“I love kids. I have kids and grandkids,” Donald Trump said shortly after his inauguration, discussing his struggle dealing with undocumented minors and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). But while the president has called children “beautiful” several times, he is likely also aware that they don’t vote, and they’re not very deep-pocketed political donors.
The Trump administration has demonstrated in numerous ways that America’s future generations are not of the utmost importance, from decisions adversely affecting children’s health insurance to protecting the environment.
Cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
In his $15 billion “rescission” of federal spending (the president’s proposal for cuts in federal spending that lawmakers had already approved), Trump suggests cutting $7 billion from the CHIP program.
The Trump administration justified the drastic cut by pointing out that the money is sitting in an account not currently in use by the program and therefore will not affect CHIP’s funding, but this claim is misleading.
Though indeed that money was left from last year, it could be required to face emergencies in the future.
Cuts to Welfare Benefits
[Trump’s] budget proposed severe cuts from food stamps (27.4% cut by 2028), housing assistance (20.1% cut by 2028), and other forms of financial support for low-income families. Drastic cuts will also be made to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program that provides nutritious food to impoverished pregnant women, infants, and toddlers.
How does this affect children? America’s youngsters comprise the relative majority of means-tested benefits, Quartz notes, and welfare benefits afford them an average of $443 per month.
Turning His Back on DACA Kids
Trump indicated he genuinely wanted to help individuals who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, but several months after taking office, the president opted to terminate the DACA program.
This put hundreds of thousands of kids at risk of deportation. He deferred to congress to reach an agreement to fix the program, but so far that agreement hasn’t been reached.
While a federal judge has ordered that the administration keep accepting DACA applications past the date Trump had vowed to end it (Mar. 5), there is no guarantee what will happen once Congress comes up with a permanent solution.
Trump has also taken steps to make student loan repayment more difficult, ignored the pleas of American youth fighting to end gun violence in their schools and communities, and moved to separate immigrant children from their parents when families illegally cross the southern border.