What we’re reading on Trump’s budget proposal

Last week, the Trump administration released the full version of their proposed 2018 federal budget. The budget includes large increases for immigration enforcement and for the military, and sweeping cuts to education, health care, food assistance, and other valuable social programs. Here's what we're reading to learn more.


The Trump budget neglects basic protections and funds a deportation force instead, by Sharita Gruberg, Philip E. Wolgin, Tom Jawetz, Jamila Taylor, Danyelle Solomon, Frank J. Bewkes, Michela Zonta, Jackie Odum, and Harry Stein via Center for American Progress

"President Trump calls for spending $1.5 billion on additional detention bed space and deportations, $2.6 billion to start building a wall and enhance other infrastructure along the U.S.-Mexico border, and $300 million to recruit and hire new agents. Taken together, the funding amounts to a blueprint for pursuing mass deportation.

"At a time when apprehensions at the southern border are near a 40-year low; when the unauthorized population as a whole is declining; when the unauthorized immigrants who remain in the country without status are increasingly long-settled into families and communities; and when the United States already spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement combined, this additional funding would be unnecessary at best and malicious at worst."


Trump budget proposal would circumvent courts to target undocumented immigrants, by Pema Levy via Mother Jones

"Included in the White House's budget proposal is language that would allow the administration to circumvent a court order and take away funds from state and local governments that protect undocumented immigrants. The little-noticed provision, tucked into the 1,300-page proposal released Tuesday, would permit the Justice and Homeland Security departments to withhold funding for jurisdictions that do not aid in the enforcement of the nation's immigration laws."


What Trump’s ideal Justice Department would look like, by Matt Ford via The Atlantic

"The proposed axing of these programs and others like them drew strong reactions from criminal-justice reform groups. 'The budget advances the law-and-order narrative of Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, prioritizing scarce resources for enforcement and prosecution,' Faiz Shakir, the ACLU's national political director, said in a statement. 'It includes a $77 million cut to Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, which will mean even scanter resources for right to counsel, diversion programs, and constitutional policing. It also includes a $17 million cut to Second Chance Act grants, which mean fewer resources for communities helping formerly incarcerated persons reenter society.'"


Trump’s budget is ruthless to disabled and poor people, by Casey Quinlan via Think Progress

"Trump's budget assumes the more than $800 billion in cuts from the House Republican health care plan would take effect. On top of those cuts, however, the budget draft document published Monday would call for an additional $610 billion in cuts over the next decade. Those cuts, combined with cuts to SSI and SSDI, would spell disaster for disabled and low-income Americans. Medicaid and both of these programs help ensure that disabled people have options and independence, Vallas said, which would mean 'setting the clock back 50 years or more.'"


A tale of two budgets: Trump’s atrocious nightmare, and the amazing (if imaginary) progressive alternative, by Paul Rosenberg via Salon

"The People's Budget is a vivid expression of that consciousness, laying out what it proposes in terms of the vision of America that it strives to realize and including some priorities, such as 'Justice and Fair Elections,' that are rarely understood as budgetary concerns. As explained in its executive summary, the People's Budget 'provides a practical, progressive vision for our country by investing in 21st century infrastructure and jobs, tackling inequality, making corporations pay their fair share, and strengthening essential public programs. The People's Budget will put millions of Americans back to work and will guarantee a strong economy for generations to come.'"


"What We’re Reading" is a weekly feature on AFSC’s News and Commentary blog, where we share a curated collection of recent articles on timely issues. "What We're Reading" is meant to spark discussion, debate, and knowledge sharing, and the articles we highlight do not necessarily reflect the official organizational positions of AFSC. We encourage you to tell us what you're reading on these issues in the comments below.