Trump's budget makes cruelty a top priority.
If a president's budget is a statement of priorities, then Trump clearly cares more about being cruel to children than about serving their needs.
The White House's 2020 budget, released Monday, calls for more money to jail immigrant families and children — and less money to fund America's schools.
In the budget request for the Department of Justice, Trump announced his desire to expand "immigration detention capacity to 60,000 — including 10,000 family detention beds — and the hiring of 15,000 Department of Homeland Security law enforcement officers."
After Trump shut down the government for 35 days, the number of detention beds became a major sticking point in congressional negotiations over border security. Democrats wanted to jail fewer immigrant families and cap the number of beds at 35,400.
"ICE has been overspending and overjailing," Kerri Talbot, an advocate with Immigration Hub, a group supporting the lower number, told the Washington Post in February. The Post noted that a lower number of beds would force the Trump administration to focus on detaining violent criminals rather than rounding up undocumented immigrants who had not committed any serious offense.
But despite calls for a more reasonable approach, Trump, who implemented a cruel policy of ripping immigrant children away from their families, is prioritizing jailing even more immigrants.
Trump is laser-focused on hurting immigrants — but he can't seem to find room in his $4.7 trillion budget to prioritize American students and teachers.
Trump wants to slash the overall overall budget for the Department of Education by $7.1 billion, or 10 percent from current levels. Cuts are targeted at programs that help teachers and fund after-school programs.
For example, the budget would eliminate $3.3 billion in funding for teacher development, academic supports, and enrichment programs. An additional $1.1 billion would be cut from a program that helps fund after-school activities.
For those looking to go to college in the next few years, the news gets worse. Trump wants to cut $207 billion from the student loan program — a move that will "cripple college affordability," according to Bobby Kogan, a mathematician with the Senate Budget Committee.
Overall, Trump wants to eliminate 29 separate programs in the Education Department.
In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the budget a "gut-punch to the American middle class," full of "cruel and unthinking budget proposals."
Trump's 2020 budget shows just how twisted his priorities really are.
Published with permission of The American Independent.