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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Trumps First Month Proves Controversial

Written by: Bernadette BeckerFebruary 15, 2017

After a tumultuous election, there has been a decidedly controversial first month for President Donald J. Trump in office. In addition to Election Day protests, there has already been an attempted filibuster in the Senate and protests throughout the U.S.

“No Ban, No Wall” protests have been popping up across the country to pushback against the refugee ban and Trump’s immigration policies, which is one move that has garnered much of the overall attention. Thus, “The Trump Executive Order on Refugees & Immigrants” panel at IPFW was a hasty way of informing the community and student body about Trump’s ban on travel on those from seven majorly Muslim countries and all refugees into the U.S.

Executive orders are a necessary part of the U.S. political system, Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department Michael Wolf said at the panel. But recently executive orders have been poorly understood.

The main provisions of the ban include a 120-day suspension of all refugees and a 90-day suspension of refugees from seven Muslim countries,  James Toole, assistant professor of political science, said at the panel.

Farah Combs, continuing lecturer of Arabic and the moderator of the panel, said that Arabic newspapers are not favorable to Trump although Arab leaders have made diplomatic gestures, such as congratulating Trump on the election.

James Lutz, professor of political science, said the ban could prove to be empowering to terrorist groups as a source of propaganda, since it could be deemed an anti-Muslim act. Lutz  said the ban adds fuel the “clash of civilizations” viewpoint, which was utilized by Osama Bin Laden in recruitment, because it presents Islam as the enemy rather than terrorism.

Georgia Wralstad Ulmschneider, associate professor of political science, said the question of legality comes down to whether the ban is unconstitutional and/or unlawful. She said a 1889 Supreme Court case, the Chinese Exclusion Act, offers a possible Supreme Court precedent for barring group’s entry into the U.S. More recently, however, the 1980 Refugee Act was a law that prohibited discrimination by race, ethnicity or other identifiers. These conflicting understandings must be dealt with in order to navigate Trump’s ban.

The structure of the executive order itself has been under fire, and as Toole explained at the panel, many agree it was poorly structured, leading to confusion as to how to implement it. This order’s provisions were so difficult that a dissenting State Department diplomatic cable was leaked to show the dissatisfaction from within the federal government at Trump’s policy. It also contained concrete ideas for immigration reform, Toole said.

Now the various federal courts are battling over the executive order, with an injunction currently stopping the ban’s implementation, according to The New York Times. It is expected that the case will go forward to the Supreme Court.

Other Executive Orders and Backlash 

Controversially, Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as part of his first week in office, which was a deal to support smaller Asian nations to balance the power of China in the region, while instituting a federal hiring freeze, according to Business Insider.

Trump also signed an order to minimize the economic burden of Affordable Care Act; it is anticipated that this is one step towards repealing the ACA, according to the BBC.

An executive order was signed to move forward with both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline, despite protests and outrage. Trump mandated that only American steel can be used in the new project and argued that thousands of jobs would be created, according to the BBC.

Trump’s move to reinstate the “Mexico City” Policy to remove federal funding for abortion providers abroad, and promise to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, has sparked both activism and support.

Planned Parenthood protests and rallies have been raging across the U.S. including the Fort Wayne area. Local events included a Valentine’s Day Party to Support Planned Parenthood and a Defund Planned Parenthood Rally.

Additionally, major stores such as Nordstrom have removed Ivanka Trump’s clothing line from their stores, according to the Wall Street Journal.