WALLED OFF: How Trump’s plans may affect students’ lives

CLARABELLE WALKUP Staff Writer


  After President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in November, some students and teachers are wondering what new policies he will implement and how they will affect the campus and its culture.

  Some of the more controversial policies he has championed during his election, including a U.S.-Mexico border wall, deportation of illegal immigrants, as well as lesser-known ideas concerning education and child care.

  The wall and immigration

  The current border consists of a fence, drones and border patrol agents. Some parts of the border include some underground tunnels where drugs are smuggled in and out of the country. In a recent interview, he was stated that some parts of the wall may now be a fence.

  The National Border Patrol Council, which represents about 1,800 border patrol agents, endorsed Mr. Trump.

  “Trump’s wall will allow the patrol agents to more effectively control and supervise who enters,” said Shawn Moran, the border group’s vice president to Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

  Trump also said that he will deport all undocumented immigrants, a population totalling 11 million people. He has since stated that he is focusing on a smaller subset: illegal immigrants with criminal background.

  Half a million illegal immigrants are from the Bay Area alone, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Even though Mr. Trump said that he wants to enhance the immigration system, he hasn’t proposed a specific plan yet.

  His official website states that the United States should select applicants on likelihood of success in America as well as vetting applicants to ensure they support America’s values. It mentions temporarily suspending immigration from regions that have many terrorist groups or where safe vetting cannot be promised. Many experts say that that ban targets immigrants from primarily Muslim communities.

  Some say that this may create a larger division in race and ethnicity among citizens and it could alienate immigrants and prevent them from living the American dream.

  “The United States is a nation of immigrants woven to fabric, protected by the Constitution,” said Mr. Aaron Sherrill, the World History teacher.

  There is already growing tension between Hispanic immigrants, Muslims and the white American population. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Muslims have increased 67 percent within the past couple of years. Hate crimes in general have risen 6 percent.

  Opposed to Common Core

  Though Mr. Trump’s proposed wall has received a lot of airtime, but some of his lesser known stances include changes on education, child care, and college tuition.

  Trump is against the Common Core education system; he claims it is a “total disaster” and that “We (American people) can’t let it continue,” he said.

  The Common Core is a set of standards in mathematics and English language. The goals provide what a student should understand and should be able to perform after completing each grade. They were developed to ensure all high school graduates obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the future.

  California is one of the 42 states that has implemented Common Core system. While most of American parents are in opposition (54 percent according to a Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll), most of California is in support of the system.

  “Most Californians are hopeful about the effect of Common Core,” in a press release.

  Mr. Trump has stated his disdain for Common Core, and wants to leave it up to the states to determine the education system.

  “We’re bringing education to a local level,” he said in February. “They don’t want bureaucrats in Washington telling them how to educate their children.”

  Though Mr. Trump wants to eliminate Common Core, but the truth is that he can’t; the power is way outside of the executive branch’s jurisdiction.The Constitution doesn’t give national government the power to control education; this is a reserved power for the states. California will still be allowed to control its individual education systems, regardless of what Trump thinks. Government teacher Mr. Salberg states, “There is a check on him. Congress is the body that creates legislation. He’ll make some changes, he can try to get it through. But, I’m optimistic that Congress will prevent him from doing certain things.”

  Tax cuts for parents, student investment

  Mr. Trump wants to rewrite the tax code to allow working and stay-at-home parents to deduct childcare expenses for as much as four children and elderly dependents. The plan will offer childcare spending rebates to lower-income taxpayers through the existing Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Eligible families could receive almost $1,200 annually. Trump’s plan will ensure stay-at-home parents will receive the same tax deduction as working parents, offering compensation for the job they already have, and allowing them to select the child care scenario that’s in their interest.

  This will benefit about 46 percent of families living in California that qualify for low income. Housing is extremely expensive, and this will allow families to take care of expenses and care for their children.

  For the many students who have college on their minds, you’re in luck. Student debt has grown exponentially and Trump wants to make college more affordable.

  In other words, he doesn’t want paying for college feel like a burden or a curse. Mr. Trump’s administration plans to target big endowments which colleges have built up like as tuition and student debt. He expects colleges to reduce spending and control costs to invest in students.

  A right to protest

  Although many people across the country have decried Mr. Trump’s victory through protests, sometimes violently, Mr. Trump will still be the 45th president of the United States.

  “Everyone has a right to protest but they can’t protest against Trump being president,” said Mr. Sherrill.

  Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, has asked for a recount in Michigan and Pennsylvania, with the recount in Wisconsin under way. However, it is highly unlikely that the states will overturn their electoral votes. So far, Stein has raised more than $7 million dollars for the recount, which is more than she raised for her presidential campaign.

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