A Week of Trump

Less than a week into his term, President Trump has signed at least 12 executive orders dealing with issues such as immigration and abortion. Perhaps the four most controversial executive orders passed under the Trump Administration have been the signing of an anti-abortion policy and anti-immigration policy, the order to continue construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone Oil Pipeline and halting the hiring of federal workers.  These are among the many things that the President promised the American people, and it appears he has not wasted any time in implementing his policies. While many are hopeful of the results these orders will have on the economy, many worry about the negative effects that they may bring.

At a time when the unemployment rate is at an all-time low, President Trump’s decision to halt the hiring of federal workers could have an extremely detrimental effect on the job market.  Federal jobs are an integral part of the reason Obama was able to lower the unemployment rate, and restricting agencies from hiring people for new and existing posts may cause a sharp increase in the percentage of unemployed citizens in the coming months.  He and his administration believe that this bill will be the first step in making sure citizens do not have to suffer through high taxes at the expense of hiring government workers.  They have, however, failed to realize that this bill will cause more harm than good.  The slight decrease in what Americans will have to pay in taxes is incomparable to the impact that a loss of jobs could have on families and even on the economy.

In what clearly is an effort to push his own personal agenda, Mr. Trump has decided to use executive action to continue the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, an act he says will create many jobs around the country.  The President and proponents of this order have chosen to sacrifice the environment and native lands in order to combat a possible increase in unemployment rates.  The pipelines could risk contaminating the water of around 17 million Americans, in addition to infringing upon sacred native land which is legally protected. A group that, for over 600 years, has been killed, abused and completely overlooked by Americans will continue to be violated if the DAPL is built.  This selfish decision will only serve to further divide a broken nation and send the message that the American government not only does not care about the environmental impacts their actions will have, but that they will do what is beneficial to large corporations rather than their citizens.  Furthermore, Trump’s blatant disregard for the massive opposition surrounding these pipelines demonstrates his indifference towards opinions that challenge his personal agenda.

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In my opinion, this bill gives the impression that we no longer care about our neighbors, we are gonna do what suits us best, and that to me is not American. I feel that President Trump is making a selfish decision that I don’t think will be environmentally sound.

— Chemistry Teacher Ms. Kiely said

Several days after millions of people gathered at Women’s Marches around the world, President Trump took the first step in restricting female rights.  In reinstating the “Global Gag Rule”, he effectively cut off funding to international organizations that perform services such as abortions and reproductive health care.  The Trump Administration has restricted access to ministrations that are vital to the well-being of women around the world.  Referred to as the “Global Gag Rule” because it limits health care providers from speaking to their patients about the full range of options that would be available to them in terms of contraceptives and abortions; the bill could cause the deaths of millions of women around the world. In addition, their anti-abortion policy will not reduce the number of abortions that women undergo, rather, it will simply increase the number of back-alley abortions, putting many women’s lives at risk.  At the time of signing, Mr. Trump was surrounded by white men, without a single female present.  Once again, men in power have proven that when it comes to a woman’s body, the choice does not belong to them, but to the government.

“Removing our international aid because of one possible moral conflict is ignorant because not only is the money not used for abortions, only sent to organizations that offer them, it will deprive so many women of important reproductive services,” sophomore Isabella D’Ottone said.

Perhaps the most disheartening order Mr. Trump has passed has been his extremely restrictive immigration policy.  The order calls for an extreme vetting process for refugees, temporarily denies entry for people from seven Muslim-majority countries and indefinitely blocks Syrians from crossing into the United States.  In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, the President stated that Christian refugees from Syria will be prioritized, making it clear that this law is based on an incorrect and preconceived notion that views all Muslims as terrorists. The United States is a country founded on the principles of religious freedom and diversity. With this religiously prejudicial order, we turn our back on those constitutional ideals. The country sends the message that it is indifferent to the atrocious conditions people in Middle Eastern countries face, and will help to persecute these individuals, simply because they belong to the Muslim faith. With this order, the country closes its doors to desperate children and families who simply seek refuge from their unlivable conditions. Throughout history, the United States has been this place, the land of freedom and opportunity which provides the ability for people from all around the world to seek a better future. This executive order singles out people based on their faith and denies them the right to life-a right guaranteed by the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution to all persons, not only citizens.

In only one week, the United States government has passed orders that could potentially violate many of the ideals the country was founded upon. President Trump has overturned religious toleration, reduced women’s rights, encroached upon Native American’s rights, cut jobs, and possibly impacted the environment. The importance of making your voice be heard cannot be overstated. Executive orders do not have the power to replace laws previously approved by Congress and do not always get implemented, meaning that now is the time when those who are unhappy with their government officials must take action to ensure that everyone, no matter their religion, gender or ethnicity, is guaranteed equal rights.