President Trump’s first month in office
EXECUTIVE ACTIONS DEFINE NEW ADMINISTRATION
President Trump’s actions in the first weeks of his presidency have ignited controversy, condemnation, and political demonstrations worldwide. Before examining any of Trump’s executive actions, it’s important to point out that very few of the Executive Orders have had a direct impact on American civilians in such a short period of time.
Government policymaking is a Kafka-esque process. Most of Trump’s orders are vague by design and more symbolic than practical. Within hours of his inauguration, Trump signed an Executive Order targeting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), titled “Intent to Repeal the ACA.” It instructs federal agencies to “minimize economic and regulatory burdens.” The ambiguity of the mandate sets the tone and direction of how the Trump Administration wants to approach health care, but in terms of policy and enforcement the order did not include specifics.
On Jan. 23, Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, infamously known as the “global gag rule.” This is a Reagan-era policy that has been repeatedly rescinded by Democratic presidents and restored by Republican ones. The memo bans international aid to foreign organizations that “perform or actively promote abortion,” according to the White House website. Under President G.W. Bush, organizations can discuss abortion within specific contexts, but the Trump Administration might expand the scope of this policy, as Trump wants to decrease global aid overall. According to The Washington Post, poor women in Africa will be affected the most by reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy.
Groundwork has been laid out for national security as well. In one order, Trump requested that the Defense Department draft a plan to defeat ISIS in 30 days. A draft was in the works before Trump was inaugurated, however, and Iraqi forces have already converged on the last ISIS stronghold in Mosul, Iraq.
Vladimir Putin could become involved during the “identification of new coalition partners in the fight against ISIS,” according to the White House website, which could upset the sociopolitical balance between Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran.
Another order, according to NPR, invited the President’s Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, to attend all NSC meetings, but removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Director of National Intelligence from the same table. This gives Bannon, a Washington outsider, significant influence over national security.
In regards to the Executive Order made by Trump to decline entry into the US of people from seven countries for 90 days, titled “Immigration Security,” many conversations and fears that Auraria Campus Muslims are currently facing have been blown up massively. Nadeen Ibrahim of the Muslim Student Alliance was able to talk about how Muslim students are feeling recently. “Muslims have been greatly affected as they have been directly targeted by the recent Executive Orders,” Ibrahim said. “The immigration Executive Order targeted seven Muslim-majority countries. This has directly impacted student visas and individuals with green cards. This isn’t even to mention that Muslim-American US citizens have been targeted at airports by being subjected to additional questioning. Muslims with all levels of citizenship and ethnicities are being targeted more than ever, and it is leading to Muslim-Americans empowering themselves with their constitutional rights. We have seen a dramatic increase of bias-driven attacks towards Muslim-Americans, and these attacks continue to increase as Islamophobia is encouraged by the POTUS.”
Trump also put out a hiring freeze on federal jobs via a Presidential Memorandum, though this order is an attempt to curb wealth-influenced corruption, which could be an opportunity to push for downsizing government agencies. The New York Times speculated that this order “would undermine the efficiency of government operations by creating hiring backlogs and inadequate staffing levels, and it is unlikely to save any money.”
Trump established ethical standards for Executive Branch employees, which is possibly a front to prevent government appointees of the Executive Branch from lobbying for five years, in his Executive Order titled “Drain the Swamp.” NPR noted that this was plagiarized from similar Executive Orders that Presidents Clinton and Obama issued in the past. It’s yet to be seen if the Trump Administration will enforce this completely; Clinton reversed the ban, and Obama granted certain waivers.
In terms of economics, Trump has requested a plan to make the permitting process easier for domestic manufacturers. He has also proposed a reduction in regulation for controlling costs, which is part of his plan to cut two existing regulations for every new regulation that would be implemented. This wouldn’t necessarily result in fewer regulations, but longer and more complicated newer ones.
Several Executive Orders have an anti-illegal immigration agenda, the first of which is an Executive Order to enhance border security, such as building the wall on the US-Mexico border. Since the Mexican government refuses to pay for the wall, President Trump has proposed a 20 percent import tax on Mexican products to cover the cost, which would be paid for by American consumers.
The “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” Executive Order commands state governments to deal with illegal immigration or have their federal funding revoked. According to The Atlantic, some state governments see illegal immigration as a national responsibility, and some jurisdictions even refuse to cooperate with federal authorities. Denver is known as one of these “Sanctuary Cities,” even if it has no policy to that effect.
According to Reydesel Salvidrez, the president of CU Dreamers, most of the undocumented immigrants on campus are concerned about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) being revoked. DACA is an immigration policy created by Obama that allows certain undocumented immigrants to work within the United States and provides a two-year period of relief from deportation. Despite these fears, some people have noticed how the Trump Administration’s actions have united communities together against him.
“If anything, the only thing that the presidency and Trump’s actions have done is ignited a call to action,” Isabella Lopez, a prominent member of CU Dreamers, said. She voiced how surprised she was when the counseling center offered to set up a potential workshop regarding Trump’s actions on immigration. According to Lopez, the only time the school has reached out to students—involving current events—is in situations of mass violence, such as the Aurora theater shootings back in 2012.
Latin@ Student Services Center has been greatly affected by the rhetoric that Trump and his supporters have used in regards to immigration and Latin@ people currently in the US, whether they be legal or illegal citizens. “EOP has created several different spaces and hosted events for students to process some of the things that are happening nationally,” Dora Frias of Latin@ Student Services said.
The Latin@ community is trying to cope with the chaos that surrounds their culture and community, and the idea of reducing the issues down to a quote are incomprehensible as the issues students face are so complex. Frias mentioned that everyone is welcome to partake in the Latin activities and talks surrounding the Trump Administration and encouraged others to partake in these events.
Writers // Ashley Bauler and Jun Lee