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Trump Executive Orders: 10 days of tearing Obama policies apart

Demonstrations, anger out bursts on social media is what greeted the newly elected US president Donald Trump’s policies in his first days in office. We bring you a round-up of the policies that caused uproar in the US and around the world.

 

US President Donald Trump meets former President Barack Obama to discuss transition recently.

US President Donald Trump meets former President Barack Obama to discuss transition recently. (Net photo)

 

Several people never imagined Trump’s presidency would come to pass. They thought it was a big joke and no one would take Trump seriously enough to make him president. But, it did happen. And just like they did not think the Trump presidency would become a reality, many people in the US and around the world, did not think he was serious about his extremist campaign slogans such us building the wall at the border with Mexico. Trump has been in office for about 264 hours and already made good on some of the campaign promises that were thought too bizarre to become a reality through executive orders and memoranda. Let’s look at some of them:

 

Although his bid for presidency was not against Barak Obama, President Trump always criticised the Obama administration and one of the first things he did on his inauguration Day January 20 was to sign an executive order weakening the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly known as the Obama healthcare, just as he promised he would.  Trump had always said the Obamacare would collapse and that It had resulted in “higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices”. Ironically, experts say Trump’s executive order on the Obama Care Act is likely to rise in higher premiums and may push some people out of the insurance business. Trump said he would completely repeal the Obamacare once he becomes president.  We should expect more changes to the healthcare Act whose future now hangs in balance.

 

US President Donald Trump signs Executive Orders in the Hall of Heroes at the Department of Defense Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in Arlington, Va. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS) 1196704

US President Donald Trump displays one of his Executive Orders in Washington recently. (Net photo).

 

The next notable thing on Trump’s agenda was signing of the January 23 presidential memorandum regarding the Mexico City Policy. Trump directed the secretary of State to ensure the US does not fund organisations or programmes that promote abortion. Most western countries unlike African countries, are pro-abortion so this will probably rub them the wrong way. However, for the pro-life activists, this is good news. Obama ended the ban in 2009, but like the Obamacare, Trump did not believe in funding abortion, so he reinstated the ban.

 

On the same day, Trump also signed a memorandum withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement (TPP). This does not come as a surprise as Trump seems to be anti-regional blocs and prefers individual trade negotiations with countries. Trump was one of the supporters of Brexit and had promised that his administration would pull out of the TPP when elected. Among the issues the TPP would deal with was trade barriers and fighting environment challenges such as pollution. Trump does not believe in environmental regulations and says global warming is a natural occurrence. During his campaign, he said the concept of global warming was created by the Chinese and for the Chinese to make US manufacturing non-competitive. Some economists predict an early death for TPP after the withdrawal of the US, which is the biggest economy in the bloc of 12-member countries. Down goes another project that the Obama administration invested a lot of energy in so that it would work for the American people.

 

January 23, and January 24, could be referred to as Trump’s days of memoranda. On these two days, he signed eight memoranda. On January 23, he signed a memorandum freezing hiring of federal civilian employees. However, this does not affect military personnel. According to the freeze, no vacancies existing by midday of January 22 should be filled and no positions should be created. There will also be a long-term plan to reduce the federal government’s work force. The freeze requires executive departments and agencies to utilise existing workforce and funds to improve service delivery.

 

Anti-Trump protesters demonstrate in Cardiff City recently

Anti-Trump protesters demonstrate in Cardiff City recently. (Anton Agejev)

 

Let us fast-track to the issues that have caused uproar in the US and around the world. On January 25, Trump issued an executive order Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States. Trump promised to fight the flow of immigrants in the US and he has kept true to his promise. The order gives immigration agencies the authority to get rid of any “aliens” they believe are a security threat to the US. The tightening of immigration laws in this order affects refugees and all those people with plans to relocate to the US.

 

If you thought Trump was joking about building a physical wall at the border with Mexico, on January 25 he signed an executive order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements. In this order, the executive will “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism”. This policy will also see the prosecution of Mexicans deemed a threat to the US and deportation of all illegal immigrants.

 

Mexicans and Americans in the US protest Trump Mexico wall order

Mexicans and Americans in the US protest Trump Mexico wall order. (Net photo)

 

In came the executive order which triggered protests across the US and UK – the order protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States. This order puts immigration restrictions on people from predominantly Muslim countries Trump’s administration believes to be harbouring terrorists or having religious extremist ideologies. In this order, Trump clearly states the suspension of the entry of Syrian refugees into the US. The policy will however, prioritise refugee claims by individuals persecuted for their religious beliefs if they are a religious minority in their country. This bit favours mostly Christians persecuted in Muslim majority countries.

 

A group of lawyers in the US challenged the travel ban on Muslim countries in federal court in Brooklyn. The judge’s ruling on January 28 saved some refugees from getting deported.

 

Trump is serious about his travel ban on Muslim countries he believes are a threat to the security of the US.  On Monday, he fired the US attorney general Sally Yates for refusing to effect this order.

 

Trump claims ISIS is a creation of the Obama administration and vows to fight it and other terrorist groups that are a threat to the US.  On January 28, he signed a memorandum plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Thirty days from when the memorandum was signed, the US secretary of defence is expected to submit a plan on defeating ISIS.

 

From what we have seen in his first 264 hours in office, Donald J. Trump will implement every policy change he promised, especially the fight against immigrants who he believes are a threat to the US.

 

Immigrants protest in the US recently.

Immigrants protest in the US recently. (Net photo)

 

Timeline of the full list of Trump’s Executive Orders and Memoranda

 Executive Order on January 30, 2017

Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

Executive Order on January 28, 2017

Executive Order: Ethics Commitments By Executive Branch Appointees

Presidential Memorandum on January 28, 2017

Presidential Memorandum Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council

Presidential Memorandum on January 28, 2017

Presidential Memorandum Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Presidential Memorandum on January 27, 2017

Presidential Memorandum on Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces

Executive Order on January 27, 2017

Executive Order: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States

Related OMB Material on January 26, 2017

Statement from Acting OMB Director Mark Sandy on Budgetary Impact Analysis for Executive Order Entitled “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects”

Related OMB Material on January 26, 2017

Statement from Acting OMB Director Mark Sandy on Budgetary Impact Analysis for Executive Order Entitled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”

Related OMB Material on January 26, 2017

Statement from Acting OMB Director Mark Sandy on Budgetary Impact Analysis for Executive Order Entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”

Proclamation on January 26, 2017

National School Choice Week 2017 Proclamation Related OMB Material on January 26, 2017

Statement from Acting OMB Director Mark Sandy on Budgetary Impact Analysis for Executive Order Entitled “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal”

Executive Order on January 25, 2017

Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements

Executive Order on January 25, 2017

Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

Related OMB Material on January 25, 2017

Memorandum: Immediate Actions and Initial Guidance for Federal Civilian Hiring Freeze

Presidential Memorandum on January 24, 2017

Presidential Memorandum Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing

Presidential Memorandum on January 24, 2017

Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines

Executive Order on January 24, 2017

Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects

Presidential Memorandum on January 24, 2017

Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline

Presidential Memorandum on January 24, 2017

Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

Related OMB Material on January 24, 2017

Memorandum: Implementation of Regulatory Freeze

Presidential Memorandum on January 23, 2017

Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Hiring Freeze

Presidential Memorandum on January 23, 2017

Presidential Memorandum Regarding Withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement

Presidential Memorandum on January 23, 2017

Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy

Presidential Memorandum on January 20, 2017

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

Executive Order on January 20, 2017

Executive Order Minimising the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal

 

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