Research Links & Critical Thinking Questions for April 2017 Issues

For further research, please see the links below. Links have been shortened for your convenience. Issue 1: Food Stamps & Junk Food USDA on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) USDA Food and Nutrition Service Report (Nov. 2016) American Enterprise Institute Cato Institute  New York Times Article Issue 2: Travel Ban President Trump’s Travel Ban Executive Order (3/6/17) White House Memorandum on Trump’s Executive Order (3/6/17) Hawaii Judge’s Ruling on Trump’s Revised Travel Ban (3/15/17) Facts on Immigration Order Constitution Center Blog
Help students develop their critical-thinking skills on legislative issues with these essay questions. Issue 1: Food Stamps
  1. Why do you think “food-insecure” (low-income) Americans spend more on sweetened beverages than people who make enough money?
  2. USDA requires able-bodied adults with no children to work or attend job training for at least 20 hours a week to receive food stamps. Is this fair, too strict or not enough? Explain why.
  3. One in six people is food insecure while two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. How do these two trends relate to each other? Is there a cause-and-effect relationship?
  4. Since the “N” in SNAP stands for nutrition, is the food stamps program failing its purpose?
  5. Where should the line be drawn between healthy and non-healthy foods? How do you define “healthy” and “non-healthy?
Issue 2: Travel Ban
  1. Read Trump’s executive order and decide whether it is good public policy. Will it help or hurt the nation’s efforts to prevent terrorist attacks?
  2. If Trump’s justification for his executive order was to prevent another 9/11 attack, why wasn’t Saudi Arabia in the list? Can you think of any reasons?
  3. Does the executive order comply with the First Amendment right of religious freedom for Muslims who seek to come to the U.S.?
  4. One of the main purposes of the judicial branch (the courts) is to interpret the Constitution. Why do you think judges keep objecting to Trump’s travel ban executive orders?
  5. While it is true that jihad terrorists are of the Islam faith, does the fight against terrorism justify putting all people of this particular religion under suspicion?