After a week in office, President Donald Trump has signed over a dozen executive actions. Most were memoranda, but four were executive orders, which has the same weight as a law, and must be recorded in the Federal Register.
The use of executive actions in the beginning of a president’s term is not new. However, Trump is the first president since Bill Clinton to do so on his first day. The following are some of the actions signed during the first week of the Trump administration and what each one means for the American people.
“Extreme vetting” on immigration
Trump signed an executive action Friday calling for “extreme vetting” of immigrants coming to the U.S. The action caused the state department to stop issuing visas to Syrian refugees and to halt the processing of said refugees. The action also ordered a 120-day suspension of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and reduced the number of admitted refugees from 100,000 to 50,000. Trump said this was to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.”
Rebuilding of military
Trump signed an executive order Friday that would allocate more planes, ships and resources for the military. “As we prepare our budget request for Congress,” Trump said, “… our military strength will be questioned by no one.” Trump said the order would be a large rebuilding of the U.S. military.
Build the wall
Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that commands the Department of Homeland Security’s secretary to “take all appropriate steps to immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border.” The order also tells the secretary to find and allocate funding for the wall and to prepare a budget request to present to Congress.
Cutting “sanctuary cities”
An executive order was signed Wednesday to allow the attorney general and homeland security secretary to determine if a “sanctuary city,” a city that follows certain procedures to shelter illegal immigrants by restricting assistance to federal immigration authorities, is eligible for federal grants.
Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines
Trump signed a memorandum Tuesday, which will renew the construction on the pipelines. Barack Obama had previously signed an order to halt them from being built. Trump said he would “renegotiate” some of the terms for the Keystone bill. He also said the pipelines should be built with U.S. materials.
Withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
A memorandum was issued by Trump on Jan. 23 to remove the U.S. from the TPP. “I hereby direct you to withdraw the United States as a signatory to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to permanently withdraw the United States from TPP negotiations, and to begin pursuing, wherever possible, bilateral trade negotiations to promote American industry, protect American workers, and raise American wages.” It is not anticipated that Congress will agree to this, and the act was considered to be largely symbolic.
Reinstate Mexico City policy
On Jan. 23, Trump signed a memorandum that bans the use of U.S. funding to international health providers that offer abortion as a family planning option. Ever since it was introduced with the Reagan administration, Democrats have rescinded the policy and Republicans have reinstated it.
Hiring freeze for civilian government employees
A memorandum was signed on Jan. 22 that forbids any open positions in the executive branch from being filled or created “except in limited circumstances.” This was created to “reduce the size of the federal government’s workforce through attrition.”
On Jan. 20, Trump signed an executive order to “minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens” of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Trump ordered federal agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of any part of the ACA that caused a state, individuals or health care providers monetary stress.
For more information on executive actions visit Whitehouse.gov.