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What Republican voters say they want, and what former President Trump has offered so far

When it comes to the Republican party, the choice for many voters is clear.
Former President Donald Trump
Posted at 3:04 PM, May 06, 2024

'Tis the season for political ads. Over the next several months you'll hear a lot of political promises and accusations from all sides, but sometimes the best predictor of the future ... is the past. When it comes to the Republican party, the choice for many voters is clear.

"We are 100% behind Donald Trump and want to see America great again," Trump supporter Vicky Fukes told Scripps News.

They're also pretty clear on what matters most.

"Immigration, abortion issues and, you know, definitely the economy," said Trump voter Susan Hudson.

So what has former President Trump done on the issues?

When it comes to immigration, his administration implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols, or the "Remain in Mexico Policy," prohibiting some unauthorized immigrants from immediately entering the country, whereas before they were allowed to wait in the U.S. for days, even years, until a court date.

Then there's the wall he promised to build along the U.S.-Mexico border. About 458 miles of wall was completed, mostly including fixes to preexisting structures, according to a report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It was largely funded by taxpayers through the Defense Department's budget. The wall was hit by lawsuits and halted by the Biden administration.

There was Title 42, implemented in March of 2020 at the start of the pandemic, allowing the U.S. to quickly deny asylum-seekers access to the country due to the public health emergency. That policy was lifted in 2023 after the public health emergency ended.

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And perhaps the most headline-gaining initiative was the so-called "family separation" or "zero tolerance," policy, a 2018 policy which separated migrant parents from their children at the border. Trump signed an executive order halting the practice months later. "We're going to keep the families together. I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated," the former president said at the time.

Today, Trump hasn't ruled out reimplementing the practice again, promising to "restore all Trump border policies."

"It's a border bloodbath and it's destroying our country. It's a very bad thing happening," he said at a recent campaign stop.

When it comes to the economy, the former president's signature plan was the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts, a tax-code change that cut corporate and individual tax rates and got rid of penalties requiring people to maintain health care coverage.

He also ended the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, implementing a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada known as the USMCA that renegotiated trade and auto manufacturing agreements between the three countries.

So what's on the horizon should Trump be reelected?

He's promised tariffs on foreign producers — that includes a focus on China and a four-year plan to phase out all imports of essential goods.

On crime, he's promising a return to "stop and frisk," a law allowing law enforcement to stop and pat down a person they deem reasonably suspicious.

And on reproductive rights, he told reporters he will not sign a federal ban on abortion — saying instead states should enact their own laws.