What a whirlwind it’s been! The Washington establishment — let alone the world — has never seen anything like President Donald Trump. Perhaps as stunning as his election victory is the pace with which he’s motored through his “to do” list in just his first full week in office.
On Friday he sent shockwaves around the world when he signed an executive order to indefinitely suspend admissions for Syrian refugees and drastically reduce the flow of other refugees into the United States by instituting what he’s termed “extreme vetting.”
As CNN reported, The order bars all persons from certain terror-prone countries from entering the United States for 90 days and suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until it is reinstated “only for nationals of countries for whom” members of Trump’s Cabinet deem can be properly vetted.
The countries impacted are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, according to a White House official.
“I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry,” the order signed by Trump reads.
The total number of refugees admitted into the United States would also be capped during the 2017 fiscal year at 50,000, down more than half from the current level of 110,000.
But that’s only yesterday! Here’s the full list of what President Trump has achieved in his first week (H/T Vox):
> Changed existing policy to require every unauthorized immigrant caught crossing the border be detained.
> Expanded the Obama administration’s existing policy of prioritizing the deportation of unauthorized immigrants convicted of serious crimes.
> Beefed up border enforcement, adding agents to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations office and reinstating the Secure Communities program.
> Directed the Department of Homeland Security to begin construction on a wall on the US-Mexico border, to the extent that it can be paid for with existing funds.
> Signed an executive order promising to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities.
> Reinstated the “global gag rule,” that blocks federal funding from international family planning organizations that “either provide abortion or discuss abortion services with their clients.
> Withdrew the US from negotiations over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
> Announced a hiring freeze throughout the federal government except for the military and national security or public safety positions.
> Announced a temporary regulatory freeze.
> Put a freeze on public communications (like news releases and social media posts) and grant spending at several agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency.
> Suspended the Obama administration plan to cut interest rates for Federal Housing Administration–backed home loans.
> Issued an executive order telling agencies to waive or grant exemptions from Obamacare fees and regulations “to the maximum extent permitted by law.”
> Canceled advertisements urging people to sign up for Obamacare.
> Signed executive memos that will make it easier for TransCanada to construct the Keystone XL pipeline and for Energy Transfer Partners to build the final uncompleted portion of the Dakota Access pipeline.
And there are 207 more weeks left in his first term! This is going to be a heckuva ride.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]