Donald Trump has officially been president of the United States for a little over two weeks, and he has already begun on the changes he promised during his campaign.
His inauguration speech painted a dark America, speaking of “rusted out factories scattered like tombstones” leading mothers and children to live in poverty, youth deprived of knowledge because of the education system and the many lives taken due to gangs and drugs.
From an economic standpoint, the speech was also focused on protectionism. He wants America to make its own products, keeping jobs within the borders which will be protected from free trade.
“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families,” Trump said.
And so it began. On his first day as POTUS on Jan. 23, he pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. According to Time Magazine, the Obama Administration advocated for the free trade agreement because it was vital in order to compete with China. However, Hillary Clinton also opposed it during her campaign. Trump seeks to stray away from free trade and make one-on-one agreements with outside countries.
With the aim to create many more jobs for Americans, Trump has moved forward with plans to construct the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. The Army Corps of Engineers had stopped the Dakota Access pipeline construction after months of protest late in 2016. Protestors also included the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who hold that the project threatens the area’s drinking water. Time Magazine reports that both pipeline projects had been blocked by the Obama Administration due to such environmental concerns.
Trump also began construction on the wall separating Mexico and the United States, a campaign promise hard to forget. By building the barrier, the president hopes to control immigration to the United States, which according to him, is bringing in crime and drugs. He also expects Mexico to pay for it.
Since the beginning of the wall’s building, POTUS has taken even more action against immigrants and refugees who have potential to cause harm to the United States. According to White House spokesman Sean Spicer, this is Trump’s priority – to protect the people of his country.
Trump also ended federal grant funding to sanctuary cities and states. These places opt out of reporting undocumented immigrants. With this, the “catch and release” policy was ended, under which immigrants could be released from detention while awaiting their hearing with an immigration judge.
On Jan. 27, Trump issued an executive order banning entry to foreigners from seven Middle Eastern countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Even those who had valid green cards and visas were detained in airports upon their arrival into the United States.
To follow up the ban, Trump fired the acting attorney general on Jan. 30. According to the New York Times, Sally Yates was removed “after she defiantly refused to defend his executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries.”
After wrapping up January with a visit with the CIA, a friendly phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump plans to make headway on repealing Obamacare in February. As reported by The Hill, House Republicans plan to get a repeal bill on Trump’s desk by Feb. 20.