What a week. Fans of Donald Trump’s aggressive campaign platform like what they see from the new President. In the first seven days of the Trump presidency, Obama’s legacy is under the gun. Here’s what’s different.
Much of what President Trump has accomplished has come in the form of executive actions aimed at upholding his promises. First on that list was the end of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
Trump has a bullish approach to the repeal of the ACA. While there’s no clear proposal for replacement (which is also part of his promised reform), Trump signed actions to begin the repeal process. While the signature was largely symbolic, it makes his intentions clear.
And what about the wall? That may be his most vocal campaign promise. On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order that authorizes the construction of the wall. The big road block is still how he plans on funding this project. The embattled administration took heat for suggesting that Mexican imports would be taxed here in the United States. Critics rightfully noted that Americans would be paying such taxes, which would mean Americans were paying for the wall.
Conversations with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto broke down, and the official canceled a planned visit to Washington.
The wall is a notable departure from Obama’s immigration policies, and just the start of Trump’s isolationist plans.
Another bit of Obama’s legacy that may be undone is the stalled Keystone XL & Dakota Access Pipelines. President Trump notes the job creation the pipeline will provide. Critics point out that the pipeline’s purpose is to take Canadian oil to the international market, and that we stand to gain less domestically than those producing and receiving the oil.
Trump also made stipulations in the executive order mandating the use of American steel in the construction of the pipeline.
Though the pipeline doesn’t fit with Trump’s new isolationist agenda, nixing the Trans-Pacific-Partnership does. The TPP was all-but-dead as it had failed to be ratified. Yet President Trump officially ended U.S. involvement Monday, January 23rd.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just a continuing rape of our country. That’s what it is, too. It’s a harsh word: It’s a rape of our country,” Trump had said from the campaign trail.
President Trump has signed another executive order called “Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Attacks By Foreign Nationals.” This fulfills another of his promises by banning, temporarily, immigration by refugees (and those with travel and work visas) from Syria and other countries known to harbor Islamic terrorists.
Once the administration has had a chance to evaluate the how these immigrants are vetted, people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen will again be permitted in.
President Trump is just as committed to sending illegal immigrants home as he is keeping terrorists out. Late in the week he enstated strict deportation policies. Any illegal immigrants slated to be deported will now face a trail process that President Trump hopes will help build a deeper record of the immigration problem, and repeat offenders.
His new process does away with Obama’s process of simply rounding up illegals and returning them with no trial or record.In order to make this happen, President Trump has asked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to triple its number of agents.
To ensure that his policy has teeth, Trump has put “sanctuary cities” on notice. If municipalities won’t participate in the immigration effort, Trump will strip them of the federal funding. Miami, Florida has already signaled the end of its sanctuary practices, so President Trump’s plan is obviously working.
This is just the greatest hits of President Trump’s first week. He also began solidifying existing laws that prevent federal funds from being used for abortion, and even requested that Vice President Mike Pence address the March for Life on Friday.