As President Trump fires more policy salvos, many Americans push back.
As dawn broke on another week in what Steve Bannon, senior advisor to President Trump, described as the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” the nation scrambled to adapt, adjust and in some cases resist the latest salvos from the Trump administration.
Trump returned to the White House fresh from Mar-A-Lago and armed with a new immigration directive: to unleash the federal government to find, arrest and deport those in the country illegally, including some who have not committed serious crimes.
The next day, Trump rescinded the Obama administration’s guidance that told school districts to allow transgender students to use the bathroom and locker room of their choice, bracing LBGTQ advocates for battle.
Increased immigrant enforcement also led to renewed pushback from numerous immigrant rights organizations throughout the state, including trainings conducted in South Philly to disrupt raids.
The ominous feeling created in communities from Trump’s directives has also prompted undocumented immigrants and their families to tell their stories in an effort to enlighten the public about their individual plight.
Meanwhile, about 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia, 80 to 90 women and children being held at the Berks County Detention Center have received their final deportation orders.
Pennsylvania’s congressmen and senators were on break from Washington last week — and some got an earful from their constituents at home.
And while polls showed that a majority of Americans disapproved of Trump’s job performance, that wasn’t the sentiment of some Pennsylvanians who voted for him. For them, the president was doing what they expected him to do, and is keeping his campaign promises.
Two stories bubbled up that proved that words and images really do matter.
Pennsylvania State Sen. John Eichelberger (R, Cumberland County) learned such a lesson after suggesting that “inner city” students would be better served by being held to a lower academic standard, and that money spent preparing them for traditional four-year college was being misspent. Eichelberger’s remarks propelled a swift response from State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D, Philadelphia) who called for Eichelberger’s removal from the Education Committee chairmanship.
Lesson also learned by Philadelphia ad executive Cliff Ross, whose font design depicted North Philadelphia as a blight-ridden neighborhood. That elicited an outcry by community residents.
More from Philadelphia: With more than 900 overdose deaths in 2016, a small group of community activists is hoping the city will be the next to host “supervised injection sites.” A squalid stretch along the railroad tracks in Kensington has long been ground zero in Philadelphia’s opioid epidemic — and has become the focus of the city’s new efforts to fight it.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is re-emerging into public life in Scranton. She’s scheduled to speak St. Patrick’s Day event in her late father’s hometown March 17. The appearance is one of several she’s expected to make in the coming months.