Even though President Trump has only been in office for one week, he's signed enough executive orders and created new policies to make it feel like it's been one month, or even one year. The new administration's first week in office was full of government memorandums, executive orders, television interviews, and of course, controversial tweets. Here's a look at seven of the most impactful actions of Donald Trump's first week in office and what they mean to college students.
Hiring Freeze on New Government Employees
If you were hoping to get a job with the federal government anytime soon, you're out of luck for a while -- unless you're applying to be in the Military. That's because one of President Trump's first actions as President was to instate a hiring freeze on almost all new federal employees. At this stage, it's unclear how long the freeze will last. Analysts note it could only last for weeks, while others state that Trump might be using this memorandum as a way to rid the federal workplace of his opposition, which would mean the policy could stay in place for years. Regardless, this act is meant to "control the growth of government," and is bound to affect college students aspiring to work in federal government.
Reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy
In August of 1984, President Ronald Reagan enacted the Mexico City Policy (thanks to a conference in Mexico City, Mexico), also known as the "Global Gag Rule," which bars the United States from providing monetary assistance to any international programs that offer abortion as a method of family planning. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation provides the original language for the policy:
Every President since Ronald Reagan has either discontinued or reinstated the policy based on partisan preference. Many Americans nowadays, however, are disgruntled with President Trump's decision to reinstate the policy because of Trump's prior derogatory comments towards women as well as fear that the Trump-Pence leadership will do little to protect and advocate for women's rights. Read more about the Global Gag Rule here.
Steps Towards a Repeal of Obamacare
It seemed like it was only moments after he was inaugurated that President Trump signed his first executive orders -- ones that paved the way for the rollback of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it is more commonly known. While Republicans have been intent on this repeal since the law was first put into action in 2010, many Democrats are frustrated at the lack of Republican cohesion towards a new healthcare plan. Other United States citizens are worried about what losing Obamacare coverage would mean for them. One brave Fresh U writer shared their story on this subject, because the repeal of Obamacare is bound to leave some college students in a bind. In fact, new healthcare legislation might prohibit citizens under the age of 26 from staying on their parents' healthcare plan.
Environment Executive Orders
On Tuesday, January 24, President Trump signed executive orders that allow for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), two projects that have been increasingly controversial. Public opposition to these two oil pipelines reached an all-time high towards the end of 2016 when protests against the DAPL made national news and caused President Obama to issue a federal injunction for a review of the DAPL plan. Concerns over its passage through the land of the Native American Standing Rock Sioux Tribe caused the former President Obama to ask for that review. But now that Donald Trump is in power, he took necessary action to allow these projects to continue. The Keystone Pipeline in particular raises numerous environmental concerns -- the strongest of those being the fossil fuel pollution it would cause, which according to environmentalists, would be equivalent to building eight new coal plants. In the same stroke of his pen, President Trump also expedited environmental reviews for federal infrastructure projects so the new administration could get moving on plans such as the wall between the United States and Mexico. These environmental actions will most likely leave damage for many generations to come.
Executive Action Towards Tighter Border Control
One of Donald Trump's favorite sayings on the campaign trail was, "Build that wall!" He made good on that promise this week when he signed an executive order on January 25 to begin "the immediate construction of a border wall with Mexico." He also plans to dramatically reduce the number of refugees that enter the United States per year, as well as block citizens from certain countries from entering the U.S. at all, at least temporarily. This raises some important questions about how new border control policies will affect international students who are looking to study abroad. Of course, the President tweeted about the occasion:
"Sanctuary City" Executive Order
Sanctuary cities are any city that decides not to follow the federal immigration laws and instead allows undocumented immigrants and refugees into their jurisdiction. President Trump plans to do away with this option by blocking any federal funding from city governments if they fail to comply with new federal immigration policies. In response to this executive action, many cities spoke out and said that a lack of funding will not deter them from protecting these immigrants. Do you live or go to college in a sanctuary city? Find out here.
Twitter War with the National Park Service
The latest Donald Trump news revolves around his insistence that his inauguration crowd was larger than it really was. On January 21, President Trump called the National Park Service director to ask for additional photos of the inaugural events to show the media that he wasn't lying about the crowd size. A Washington Post article notes that, "The photos, however, did not prove Trump’s contention that the crowd size was upward of 1 million." Later in the week the National Park Service twitter retweeted two posts that seemed critical of the Trump administration, and the Badlands National Park's twitter also published a series of tweets about the importance of climate change. Those tweets and retweets have since been deleted because of messages from Trump's team that asked the aforementioned groups to take the tweets down. A parody Twitter account emerged over the ordeal:
It's been an interesting week, to say the least. Stay tuned to learn more about Trump's presidency in the coming weeks, months and years.
Lead Image Credit: NBC Nightly News