Every other Thursday, the Equal Voice News digest, “Making It in Trump’s America: People, Policy & Poverty,” will track the latest from the Trump administration and whether its policies are creating poverty or prosperity. We’ll have reports from families and grassroots organizations working on those issues around the country. Here’s our latest:
The Lead: It’s starting. Trump targets immigration policy.
Putting the first bricks in the president’s wall, sort of: President Trump broke ground Wednesday on the giant wall he promised to build on the U.S.-Mexico border by putting pen to an executive order, “Trump Approves Massive Border Wall and Boosts Number of Agents.”
It remains to be seen how he will pay the entire bill for a wall expected to cost tens of billions of dollars. Remember, Trump wants to spend a lot, such as $1.5 trillion on crumbling bridges, road and other infrastructure.
Not in my backyard: One Texas mayor, and Trump supporter, doesn’t want a giant wall in his backyard, which happens to be the border with Mexico, NPR reports in A Texas Border Town Mayor’s Take On Immigration, Trade And The Wall.
No sanctuary: Trump made a lot of moves on immigration Wednesday.
He moved to halt funding for sanctuary cities, generally local jurisdictions that don’t cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and ordered even more border patrol agents. (Check out this story for more details.)
Despite the administration’s threats, sanctuary cities are more important than ever, the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S.-Mexico Border Program says.
Waiting on DACA: In recent days, Trump dropped a few encouraging hints about his plans for immigrants brought to the U.S. without documents as children, or DREAMers, including: “President Donald Trump has no immediate plans to end DACA program” Let’s see if he pivots…
The new president also is keeping us guessing on his bigger ideas about immigration, promising a ‘firm’ immigration plan with ‘a lot of heart,’ during an interview on Fox News.
Meanwhile, folks are not waiting for the rest of his plans.
Tracking hate: With reports of anti-immigrant and hate crimes on the rise, Asians Americans Advancing Justice has launched a new website “to collect and track incidents of hate targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” Check it out: “Tell Us Your Story. Help Us Track Hate.”
Health Care: One man’s block grant could be another man’s lost health care.
Trump may have tweeted “insurance for everybody, but it isn’t sounding that way.
The New York Times says “Trump’s Health Plan Would Convert Medicaid to Block Grants, Aide Says.”
Those Medicaid block grants could mean cuts that hit kids, families and seniors, Think Progress adds in “The people who will be hurt the most by Trump’s Medicaid plan.”
It turns out not everyone is happy about the block grant idea, including at least one Republican governor.
There was also this: “With executive order, Trump tosses a ‘bomb’ into fragile health insurance markets.
Work and Wages: Action is in the cities and states.
Working Americans were at the heart of the new president’s inaugural address, but fights for better wages and work schedules are breaking out in cities and towns, not Congress: “These Cities Are at the Forefront of the Next Big Labor Struggle: the Fight for a Fair Workweek.”
Meanwhile, in the Southwest, “Failure to Enforce State Wage Theft Laws is Subject of Lawsuit Against New Mexico.” Somos un Pueblo Unido helping to lead the way.
Minimum wage debates keep rising:
- One battle for a $15 minimum wage is lost in a Maryland county.
- “Rift between minimum wage sides grows at Flagstaff City Council”
- “Missouri Supreme Court orders KC to put higher minimum wage on the ballot”
Environment: That was fast, or was it…
Less than two months after work halted on the Dakota access pipeline, Trump seeks to revive Dakota Access, Keystone XL oil pipelines.
It may not be that easy, The Atlantic warns in “Legal experts aren’t sure the president can succeed in his attempt to revive Dakota Access and Keystone XL.”
What we are listening to.
“Busted: America’s Poverty Myths” This five-part series by On the Media takes on and takes down some of the biggest myths about poverty, like upward mobility. (It turns out we are not as mobile as some thought.) It’s a good listen and timely, as the White House and Congress try to blaze a new policy path.
Sources: Jobs With Justice digest; Amazon.com daily digest, Twitter, Associated Press, news outlets, and, of course, our neighbors.