Donald Trump has spent decades in the spotlight, as wealthy real-estate
developer, a reality-television star, and, in the past year and a half,
an extremely effective political agitator, if not a smooth political operator.
We know what he is like, and it is unreasonable to think that the office
of the United States president will change much of it. The question now
is what he will do.
The 2016 election campaign was always long on personality, and even important
moments for discourse—the debates, for instance—felt woefully
short on substance. But Trump
has signaled his intentions on several key issues. And now we’d best start paying attention.
Trump’s first actions on immigration will likely be overturning the
policies that US president Barack Obama put in place to protect undocumented
Under the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),
implemented by Obama as an executive order in 2012, more than
700,000 immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children have been allowed
to temporarily stay and work in the US. DAPA is a similar policy for the
undocumented parents of American citizens; it has been challenged in court
by several states.
Trump has vowed to end DACA, DAPA, and so-called “catch-and-release”
policies, or the practice of not detaining immigrants while they wait
for their cases to be processed. He’s also said he’s going
to triple the number of US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents
and will “move criminal aliens out day one.”
None of this will result in mass deportations in the short term—the
US Department of Homeland Security does not have the funding to deport
all 11 million people who are thought to be in the country illegally,
and it’s unclear where Trump would get it. There’s also a
question of physical resources; thousand of Central American women and
children who showed up at the border in the summer of 2014 quickly overwhelmed
existing detention facilities.
It would take more funds still to build that wall between the US and Mexico
that Trump has talked about from the start of his campaign. Aside from
being very expensive, it would require congressional approval, and logistically,
it would be very complicated to erect a barrier across the length of the
But Trump doesn’t need a physical symbol like a wall to communicate
his policy objectives. His tone alone will immediately destroy the fragile
peace of mind that Obama’s approach had given millions of immigrants.
Obama in essence had told them, if you don’t have a criminal record,
we’re not coming after you. That assurance is gone under Trump.
It’s no secret the US needs to invest in its crumbling bridges and
highways. The backlog of infrastructure projects is expected to cost $3.6
trillion by 2020,
according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. The need is so stark, and
the benefits to the economy so obvious, that it was one of the few areas
where Trump and Clinton agreed this campaign season. But while rebuilding
crumbling bridges and highways may be a smart long-term investment, it’s
unclear whether Congress will have the appetite for what is essentially
another stimulus program.
Trump hasn’t given a precise figure for how much he wants to spend
on infrastructure, other than to say he would at least double the $275 billion
Trump says he would develop US transportation, water, telecommunications,
and electricity systems, using “American steel made by American
workers.” He would dangle tax credits to attract private investment
and streamline permitting for pipelines and other energy projects. He
is vague on how to pay for his plan, but has suggested he would issue
bonds and support an infrastructure bank.
“We’ll get a fund, make a phenomenal deal with low interest
rates, and rebuild our infrastructure,” he said. Then there’s
the funding option he unveiled at a Nov. 7 rally, near the tail end of
his campaign trail.
How you view Obamacare is a litmus test for your political leanings. Liberals
see the program as a basic success, one that has provided millions of
previously uninsured Americans with healthcare, but just needs a few tweaks.
Conservatives see a disaster, with soaring premiums, failing state co-ops,
and a two-tiered insurance system that is leaving many on Obamacare plans
with fewer options. But both sides agree on the core problem with the
current system: not enough young, healthy people are enrolling, meaning
the insurance pools have too many sick patients who are driving up costs.
But whereas Clinton had promised to recalibrate and expand the Affordable
Care Act, Trump has said he’ll repeal it, and end the individual
mandates requiring health insurance. As a replacement, he has proposed
expanding health savings accounts, which allow families to set aside money
tax-free to pay for insurance premiums and drug costs, and would let them
fully deduct medical expenses from their taxes. He also wants to let insurance
companies sell policies across state lines, generating more competition,
and would allow drugs to be imported from overseas.
Trump’s plan is mainly achieved through rewriting the tax code, which
would likely need bipartisan support, and does little for low-income families
who are not paying taxes. According to one
analysis, the net effect could mean 25 million Americans could lose health insurance.
One thing we know about Trump is that he isn’t for free trade. The
Mexican peso has been tracking Trump’s odds of winning; when they
improved, the currency frequency would plunge on the expectations that
Trump will begin his promised demolition of the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA). You can assume that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
is over, too.
The TPP, intended to cover a dozen countries and roughly one-third of global trade,
promised to lower tariffs and set standards on a broad range of trade issues, from labor and environmental
regulations to the treatment of intellectual property. It was potentially
a counterweight to China’s strength as a manufacturer to the world.
The deal was
endorsed by president Obama and, at one time, Clinton. But that was before the pact was fully negotiated,
and before influential senators to the left of Clinton, namely Bernie
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, forced her into the skeptics’ corner.
Trump needed no such nudging. From the early days of the campaign, his
full-throated critiques of the deal helped brand it as a refutation of
core American values.
His threats to hike tariffs on Mexico and China by 35% or 45% will be difficult
without collaboration from lawmakers in Congress. Major US corporations
will fight Trump’s trade threats tooth and nail, since every complication
in the global supply chain means losses to their bottom line.
But even if Trump just uses presidential powers to punish countries for
currency manipulation (whether real or perceived), a trade war could ensue.
This could entail challenges before the World Trade Organization, retaliatory
tariffs, and other penalties on big US companies doing business abroad—which
is most of them—and would hit the pocketbooks of the American people,
whether they are buying cheap goods at Wal-Mart or expensive goods at
the Apple store. And a US assault on the foundations of global commerce
will no doubt fray relationships with major allies when it comes time
to dealing with non-economic challenges facing the globe.
The US Supreme Court
Trump made an unprecedented move in electoral politics (one of many, to
be sure) this past August, when he
released a shortlist of potential replacements for the late US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. Heeding the call
of conservatives, who are desperate to prevent a liberal majority on the
court, his list drives hard to the right; he reportedly consulted the
ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society in compiling it.
Notable names of possible nominees include
conservative Utah senator Mike Lee (who
refused to endorse Trump) and Charles Canady of the Supreme Court of Florida who in 1995, as a
congressman, introduced the first proposed federal ban on “partial-birth”
abortions. Also on the list is 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judge Timothy
Tymkovich. He wrote the opinion in
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which held that privately owned corporations could not be forced to provide
contraception to employees as part of health-insurance packages.
A continued Republican majority in the Senate means that whoever Trump
picks to fill the court’s ninth seat will likely be quickly confirmed,
reestablishing the ideological balance of the last few years: four sure
conservatives, four sure liberals, and moderate-conservative justice John
Roberts as the perennial tiebreaker.
REVILLA LAW FIRM, P.A.
Miami immigration lawyers
The 2016 presidential election is now over and Donald J. Trump was elected
to become the 45th President of the United States. During the campaign,
Mr. Trump made it clear that immigration will be a key issue during his
presidency, which could affect current policies and create new ones. Our
Miami immigration law firm is prepared to field any questions or concerns
you may have in light of Mr. Trump's victory.
Please contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation in our
Miami office. We also offer telephonic consultations for a nominal fee.
Call (305) 858-2323 or toll free (877) 854-2323