War on Women Report No. 5

The War on Women is in full force under the Trump administration. We refuse to go back, and we refuse to let the administration quietly dismantle the progress we’ve made. We are watching. 

This is the War on Women Report.

Creative Commons / Liz Lemon

Monday 9/25

+ Over the weekend, President Trump expanded his travel ban to include three additional countries: Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. The new policy, effective October 18, replaces previous 90-day restrictions with an indefinite ban on new visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad and North Korea, and for a limited number of government officials from Venezuela. Due to the widespread gender-based injustice of warfare and resettlement—pre-existing gender-based violence proliferates in conflict zones—Trump’s ban hits women the hardest. Nearly 75 percent of the 13,000 Syrian refugees who have entered the US since 2011 are women and young children.

+ Following the Trump administration’s move to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program, three Senate Republicans introduced an egregious replacement that grants a 15-year pathway to citizenship for eligible undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Under the Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers Employment Education and Defending our nation (SUCCEED) Act, undocumented immigrants would be granted the potential for citizenship if they continuously meet specific criteria—such as working 48 out of 60 months—over a span of 15 years. This means DACA recipients—whose average age is currently 25 years old—would be 40 years old by the time they are granted full citizenship should the SUCCEED Act pass as federal law. Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), released a statement in which she calls out the Act for what is it: yet “another bill brought forward by Republicans that continues to criminalize immigrant communities.” In a direct targeting of DACA beneficiaries, also known as DREAMers, SUCCEED does not offer support to applicants who arrived in the U.S. after June 15, 2012, the day DACA was initiated, which leaves thousands of women vulnerable to deportation, discrimination, violence and abuse.

Tuesday 9/26

+ Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska yet again played a pivotal role in protecting the care and lives of millions of women across the country when they pledged to vote “no” on the latest iteration of Trumpcare, helping sink the bill before it could come to a floor vote. The Graham-Cassidy bill presented last week as a last-ditch effort to undo the gains of the Affordable Care Act would have stripped women of essential services that provide them with safe and affordable access to reproductive care.

Wednesday 9/27

+ On Wednesday, Trump unveiled his latest tax plan—which, despite the President’s public statements, would unabashedly favor corporations and the wealthiest Americans through massive tax cuts while increasing the national debt by trillions of dollars. Specifics include an end to the estate tax on inheritance for the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans and slashing the top corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent. While introducing his plan in Indiana, Trump remarked that it was “time for Washington to learn from the wisdom of Indiana,” but it is well known that during Vice President Mike Pence’s time as governor of the state, 1 out of 6 Indianans—the majority of whom were women—depended on food stamps and food pantries for basic sustenance.

Thursday 9/28

+ A week after Hurricane Maria ravaged through Puerto Rico, prodding by Hillary Clinton and other public figures and celebrities led Trump to finally waive the Jones Act, removing some of the barriers to disaster relief facing the island. Before Clinton’s call for Trump to dispatch Navy assistance to the U.S. territory, two Navy ships loaded with relief were unable to complete their mission due to the century-old shipping law.

But barriers remain. Trump is still blocking lawmakers from visiting Puerto Rico. According to congressional aides, authorization to access is a necessary part of implementing effective recovery missions, and the need for resources and rescue is dire—especially for women, who are more adversely affected by natural disasters than men. Women are more likely to die and suffer from domestic or sexual violence than other groups, and women of color in particular are overwhelmingly tasked with caring for children, elderly and people with disabilities in the midst of chaos.

+ Amidst rising controversy over President Trump’s judicial nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, White House officials announced Thursday that the Trump Administration has been advising all judicial nominees that they need not list religious affiliations on their Senate questionnaires. Barrett is a member of People of Praise, a tightly knit Christian group that teaches that husbands should take authority over their wives and family. The White House statement—which came in response to concerns from legal scholars over Barrett’s capacity for independence and impartiality—echoes the remarks of reverse racism, sexism and discrimination that have been used to advance attacks against civil rights by the Trump administration.

 

About

Jessica Merino is a former Ms. editorial intern.