As his presidency comes to a close, the lame-duck POTUS hasn't refrained from exercising his power while he still can.
As Donald Trump's presidency comes to a close, the lame-duck POTUS hasn't refrained from exercising his power while he still can – and also before he has to say goodbye to the White House. From putting caps on the length of stay for those on student visas to allowing transgender people to be barred from homeless shelters, Trump is really not wasting any time enacting last-minute regulations, clinging to power as much as he can.
These efforts he's exuding when making these drastic moves are not unnoticed, and it leaves many of us wondering if this will weigh down the Biden Administration adversely. Trump has no issue causing controversy within his presidency, even in his term's final stretch, which is not surprising in the slightest given his track record.
Below are some of the ways Trump could impact the nation in the final stretch of his presidency.
Modifying food stamp eligibility
This ruling would change household eligibility for the National Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) based on the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. If someone is involved in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families cash program or requires other methods of aid, they will not qualify for SNAP, which I personally feel not only poses challenges, it's just downright unfair to those that are genuinely struggling to put food on the table.
Does Trump not mind how this would alter the lives of the millions of Americans that depend on this kind of program to feed themselves and their children?
Can Donald Trump actually pardon himself? conversations.indy100.com
Trump will most likely never have to worry about where the next meal will come from or how much it will cost, ever.
Restricted Asylum eligibility
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs states that this allows the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to make changes as they see fit in the backdrop of asylum.
Essentially, the Departments would have the ability to make these changes based on what they believe is a determinant of fear or reasonable fear determinants.This can open the door to profiling on race and religion.
Reduced income for immigrant farm workers
Already finalized, this rule freezes the scale that farm employers will use to decide how much they want to give to their immigrant workers, encouraging a who are here in the country on an H-2A visa for the next two years. After that, the wages will be tied to a national index of worker pay that has been rising slower than the actual farm worker wages.
Farm workers, especially those who are immigrants, already don't make much to begin with, which adds more insult to injury.
Workers can be labeled as "independent contractors" instead of "employees"
As expressed by the Department of Labor website, the rule would decide whether or not a worker would be considered an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The factors include an "economic reality" test, which determines how dependent a worker is on their employer and how much control the worker would have over their work. It's basically another way for businesses not to have any obligation to pay for benefits such as health insurance, especially in today's day and age with the pandemic and health ailments that workers may already have.
Putting limits on student visa lengths
This rule strikes a chord because it reminds me of my cousins who have come to the U.S. for their education.
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs states that this rule proposed by ICE would make modifications for the duration of stay for certain categories of non-immigrants traveling to the US. Instead, it gives them a maximum period of approved stay and the options for those extensions. Again, it sounds like another way to make the US a place that isn't readily accepting of many kinds of people. How awesome.
Barring the Environmental Protection Agency from using certain scientific studies in policy-making
Even though the rule is in consideration, it would limit the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) use of certain scientific studies when cultivating new policies. The Washington Post, states that it would allow the EPA only consider studies where the underlying data is public, not the other way around. Many public health studies With raw data containing private medical information and epidemiology, air pollution, and much more could be restricted, making it difficult to conduct the research that can be beneficial to the nation collectively.
Allowing the prevention of transgender people from homeless shelters
This, unfortunately, would require transgender people to be assigned to shelters funded by the Housing and Urban Development based on their biological gender, not their gender identity, which is a cause for worry. Adding to the inherent discrimination and increasing the dangers of people who face oppression for owning their truth.
Expansion on the ways death row inmates can be killed
There has already been approval for the alternative ways that death row inmates can be killed other than the customary lethal injection within the Trump Administration. States can be allowed to use firing squads to carry out death sentences, poisonous gas. Within the Federal Register, it allows the change "by any other manner prescribed by the law of the State in which the sentence was imposed or which has been designated by a court..."
I personally don't understand why all these methods are necessary.
With public objection regarding the inhumanity of lethal injection and overall the death penalty, these ulterior methods seem like easier ways states can kill people faster, which bends ethics and morality in my opinion.