Trump administration exploring police crackdown on homeless people

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September 17, 2019

The Guardian, by Sam Levin

The White House has said it is exploring using police to remove homeless people from the streets, a vague threat that has escalated concerns about Trump pushing a law enforcement crackdown in California.

A new report from the president’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said “policing may be an important tool to help move people off the street and into shelter or housing where they can get the services they need”. The policy document was published just before Trump’s visit to California on Tuesday and comes amid his increasing attacks on Democrats in Los Angeles and San Francisco over the homelessness crisis.

Advocates across the Golden State, which has a growing homeless population and severe affordable housing shortage, have urged the US government not to further criminalize people living in poverty and instead increase funding for housing and other services, some of which Trump has cut in his budgets.