Trump admin is pushing rule changes on its way out attacking vulnerable populations

Trump admin is pushing rule changes on its way out attacking vulnerable populations

The new rule that freezes wages for seasonal farm workers for two years hasn’t been the only policy change the Trump administration is grossly pushing in its final weeks. ProPublica has tracked dozens of rule changes the administration has continued pushing as impeached president Donald Trump’s days in office tick down (thank the Lord). At least one dozen of these “midnight regulations” have been finalized; and at least 13 others are under White House review.

“It’s common for outgoing administrations to rush through last-minute rules,” the report notes. What’s not common is the disturbing, cruel, and downright evil nature of some of the new shit. Example: one rule finalized since the election “would broaden the acceptable forms of federal capital punishment to include methods that are or may soon be legal in various states, such as firing squads and electrocution,” the report said

Other horrific rules moving forward would result in more people going hungry in the middle of a pandemic, and a disgusting, hateful rule discriminating against unhoused transgender people. The former “would remove about 3 million individuals from food stamp rolls by changing eligibility so that recipients of other types of benefits do not automatically qualify,” ProPublica said. “Advocacy groups say the change will put more people at risk of hunger during the pandemic.” The latter “would allow Housing and Urban Development-funded homeless shelters, when segregating men and women, to assign transgender people to an area based on their biological sex, rather than the individual’s self-identification.”

Another rule would block undocumented immigrants with deportation orders from work permits that allow them to work legally, meaning families will have no way to support themselves legally as they are potentially still fighting their cases here in the U.S. 

ProPublica notes that the rule attacking transgender people is expected to move ahead by Inauguration Day, while the rule blocking work permits from undocumented immigrants has moved ahead since Election Day but may not be finalized by January. But what unites them all is that there’s no valid reason for any of these rules, other than to inflict cruelty on some of the most vulnerable populations among us.

“The government has designated farmworkers as essential workers; they’re expected to work during a pandemic,” Farmworker Justice President Bruce Goldstein told HuffPost about the farmworker wage freeze. “The federal government refused to mandate safety standards to protect farmworkers and others against COVID-19. Now the administration is punishing farmworkers by effectively cutting their wage rates. It’s just cruel and unreasonable.”

ProPublica notes that last-minute rules “can sometimes shortchange public input or thorough analysis,” but another result is that they “may tie the hands of the incoming president.” That’s clearly been a goal of the outgoing administration, which used the General Services Administration in an attempt to trip up the incoming Biden administration even before it’s officially in place. 

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