Republican candidate Donald J. Trump finally assumed his position as the United States of America's (U.S.A.) 45th president on Jan. 20 and he has been busy signing Executive Orders in his first week in the White House. Many have expressed their concern for a Trump presidency, considering the Republican candidate's statements during the campaign period, and now those concerns have been proven.
The majority of people knew since the election results were announced that there will be a lot of changes once Donald Trump officially begins his presidency. The majority knew that the changes the U.S. and the rest of the world would see will most likely not be according to what America is supposed to stand for. Unfortunately, the majority was right and the new president of the U.S. (POTUS) has already toppled down many achievements people worked so hard to gain.
In his first ten days alone, President Trump had signed Executive Orders that trample on the rights of refugees and LGBTQ+ communities and these were enforced immediately, while those who choose to defend the discriminated parties are threatened with a criminal case or refused federal grants.
Here is a list of things the POTUS has done so far.
Obamacare and FHA Mortgage Program
On his first day in office alone, President Trump skewered former President Obama's programs on healthcare and housing. Both Executive Orders slashed the government's obligation to the low-income Americans by cutting down the financial burden of the government when it came to people's health. Likewise, he also ordered the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to cut back on support for mortgage insurance.
Ordered the building of a physical border wall
During the campaign period, one of the things Trump promised to do was to build a wall in the U.S.-Mexico border and, on Jan. 25, the POTUS signed an Executive Order to have the Department of Homeland Security lead efforts into planning, designing, and building a physical border wall between U.S. and Mexico.
President Trump originally wanted to have Mexico pay for the wall but Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto made it clear that they condemn the idea and will not cough up funding for it, which is actually sensible because who in their right mind would pay for something that would not benefit them and would be the physical manifestation of discrimination against them.
The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
This led POTUS to "remind" President Peña Nieto that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Mexico and that if the Mexican leader is unwilling to pay for the wall he wants to build, he would be better off not showing up at their scheduled meeting. Of course, President Peña Nieto cancelled their meeting.
Freeze on hiring and government regulations
POTUS released a memorandum imposing a hiring freeze of civilian employees in government offices across the board. This means that existing vacant positions will remain vacant and offices that need more staff will be forced to work with the people they currently have because it is no longer allowed to open up new positions. The only exception for this is the military since the strength of the U.S. apparently rests on the size and firepower of its military. The U.S. also needs some 5,000 border agents to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border.
On another equally ultra-controlling move from POTUS, all government regulations submitted to the Federal Register have been withdrawn because no regulation can take effect unless the people selected by Trump to assume top office in their respective agencies, gets a chance to review and approve them. No, POTUS doesn't care if the regulation has already been approved previously because, as long as it has not yet been enforced prior to his inauguration and even if it is already supposed to be enforced today, it has be postponed and go through the process again.
Reinstating the Mexico City Policy
The Mexico City Policy was a move by former President Ronal Reagan in 1984 to ban institutions from receiving federal funding if it discusses and supports family planning and abortion. Yes, the U.S. has just been set back 30 years and all it took was one signature from the man who wanted to make America great again because there is nothing greater than being stuck in the past and being unable to comprehend and accept scientifically proven truths.
Withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Remember the trade deal that began negotiations under President Obama's administration? It doesn't matter anymore because POTUS already ordered the Trade Secretary to withdraw from it. He now wants to focus on bilateral trade deals. It could be a smart move, except POTUS has not been too friendly to many countries so we will all just have to wait and see how things go with international trade.
Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines
The construction and operation of crude oil pipelines that affected the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's drinking water was halted under the Obama administration and even Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton opposed the project. However, since POTUS could envision billions of dollars coming in to the U.S. via that pipeline, he encouraged TransCanada to resubmit their application. Why? Because Climate Change is not really a true concern so going back to crude oil instead of investing on clean energy is the better option.
Defunding Sanctuary cities
Several "Sanctuary" cities such as Boston, Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose have assured refugees that they are welcome to reside in their towns and cities despite the negative changes occurring all over the U.S., but Trump is not happy about that. So what the POTUS did is to sign another Executive Order threatening these Sanctuary Cities with refusal of federal grants if they do not comply with his rules on immigration.
Extreme immigration screening
Not only did POTUS list down several countries he considered as terrorist countries but he also enforced extreme measures for the people seeking refuge in the U.S. The more recent Executive Order on immigration is too... appalling that it deserves a list of its own.
- In the Executive Order Trump signed on Jan. 27, Trump banned citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.. It doesn't matter if the citizen only flew to the U.S. under legitimate and legal business, such as being invited by in one of America's most prestigious universities to join its scientific research team, because as long as they're from one of those seven countries, you're not stepping out of the airport.
- The ban on seven countries is only the beginning because the EO also instructs the secretary of Homeland Security to review other countries within 30 days and expand the current list of countries to be banned.
- There's also the 120 day suspension of America's refugee program, as well as the reduction of allowed refugee entry from President Obama's 110,000 to 50,000 and it doesn't matter if a refugee family has already been approved, they're all going back to the starting point to be put under another screening approved by Trump, which is basically an anti-Muslim one because the new system will supposedly favor refugees whose religion is the minority religion of the country. Basically, Christians and other non-Muslim religions would be prioritized because they would be coming from a Muslim-majority country.
- POTUS specifically banned Syrian refugees from entering the country.
Several lawyers are on stand-by at various airports to help out those who have been held against their will by the immigration because the EO doesn't care whether a person is already a legal citizen of the U.S., or have legally lived in the U.S. for years, as long as they came from a Muslim-majority they're not allowed to leave the airport.
Luckily, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is much more open-minded and accepting of refugees since he understands and remembers his country's history.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
If you're outraged over the Executive orders but can't join any of the protests for whatever reason, you can consider lending support to organizations that help them out. You can also learn how to respond to ideas from narrow-minded folks by considering this seminar created by University of Washington Professors, Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West.
The scene from above as thousands chant and scream, draping banners from above at JFK international arrivals shouting "LET THEM IN!" pic.twitter.com/ugU8zbKYiv — Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) January 28, 2017