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Image: Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention in Indianapolis on April 14.Michael Conroy / AP

Trump says he'll ban homeless camping, create "tent cities"

Trump proposed banning "urban camping," arresting those who violate the ban and offering them space in government-run tent cities staffed with doctors and social workers.

By and

It may not be what’s making the headlines for former President Donald Trump’s comeback bid, but Trump has put forward a slew of policy proposals in recent months as he looks to sell voters on his presidential bid, with his latest proposal focused on combatting homelessness.  

His campaign has made a concerted effort to release more policy prescriptions and hold more smaller issue-focused events, like the education round table he held in Iowa in March, on top of the traditional large-scale rallies that have become synonymous with his brand.

This week, the former president put out a new platform on homelessness, and added to his immigration proposals. 

In a video on homelessness released by his campaign, Trump says that "our first consideration should be the rights and safety of the hardworking, law-abiding citizens who make our society function.” And Trump criticized many cities' policies on homelessness for "making many suffer for the whims of a deeply unwell few."

Central to his policy would be to “ban urban camping” and the creation of “tent cities” on “inexpensive land” for homeless people that will be staffed with doctors and social workers to help people address systemic problems. That said, he also cast doubt on whether people would take him up on that offer, saying “many of them don’t want that, but we will give them the option.” 

And in an interview with Breitbart News, Trump said he would nix the Biden administration’s recent decision to expand health care coverage for undocumented immigrants who qualify under the DACA program. Money saved from doing so, Trump says, coupled with the money his administration would amass from “ending mass unskilled migration” would help fund these policies.

Mr. Trump has made criticizing crime and homelessness in “Democratic-run cities” a central message of his campaign. In the video, he said his strategy would be more effective and fiscally responsible than “spending vast sums of taxpayer money to house the homeless in luxury hotels.” 

And on the campaign trail, he often references the high crime rates and increased homelessness in “our once great cities” including San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., cities all with Democratic mayors who have been faced with significant issues relating to homelessness.

Trump also often ties his indictments and investigations in New York City and Atlanta to the local district attorneys' lack of attention to these issues. 

And last week, at the National Rifle Association convention, the former president advocated for federal control of Washington, D.C., saying:

“And at the top of the list is Washington, D.C. itself which is absolutely plagued by numbers and crime that nobody’s ever seen before. We’ve never seen anything like what’s happening in Washington, D.C. Can you imagine these foreign leaders coming over from from countries and they’re looking at this filth and squalor and crime in our capital? And I think we have to take it over. We have to take over management of our capital because the people that are running including the mayor who didn’t nothing about Jan. 6.”

While most presidential candidates spend the early months of their campaign focused more broadly, loath to nail down the specifics, Trump has put out about a dozen similar proposals, staking out some of the most conservative policies on immigration, gender identity and homelessness of the possible GOP presidential field

For example, the former president released one of these videos vowing to “stop” gender affirming care by punishing doctors and pushing schools to “promote positive education about the nuclear family” and “the roles of mothers and fathers” among other policies. In the same video, he equates gender-affirming care for minors to "child abuse” and “child sexual mutilation.” 

He's also called for sentencing drug dealers to the death penalty, a policy he floated while in the White House and one he highlighted during his announcement speech in November.