Thus far, Donald Trump’s presidency has remained a controversial topic of interest.
In the first 10 days as President of the United States, he has signed 15 executive actions, hoping to fulfill his earlier stated campaign promises while effectively undoing work that former President Barack Obama had worked his full two terms to enact.
It is within the president’s constitutional right to take executive action and utilize his administrative powers.
However, the question then arises of whether or not Donald Trump really knows what he is signing and the effects his orders have on American citizens and the global community alike.
A few of the standout orders Trump has made in the past few days include a rolling back of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, increased border security and improvements in immigration, the proceeding construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, immediate construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexican border and extreme vetting, effectively suspending refugee programs for 120 days and immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries for 90 days.
Along with these actions, Trump has indefinitely halted the flow of refugees from Syria to the United States. Although some of these actions may take a considerable amount of time to come to fruition, the fact that the president has put pen to paper, marking these actions as his own, is a symbolic confirmation of his willingness to move forward with the promises and plans he has made throughout his campaign.
So, moving forward, what does this mean for Americans? What does this mean for refugees already in the country? What does this mean for citizens who have relatives in a banned country? What does this mean for undocumented citizens already in the country? What does this mean for citizens who rely on the Affordable Care Act for healthcare benefits?
There are so many questions that we do not have the opportunity to find a definitive answer for quite yet, but the implications of these actions are truly terrifying.
America, a country that was founded on oppression and made up of people who were fleeing their own political, economic and social oppressions, is deliberately ousting those who need the same help and opportunities that “Americans” were looking for when they came to this land that was not their own almost 400 years ago.
It has been a common theme in American history for those in the majority and in positions of power to claim as their own something that was never rightfully theirs, investing in that, and then reclaiming that facet as part of their own personal success story.
So, if this is what our president means by “Making America Great Again,” I believe he has had a very successful first few weeks in office.
As citizens living in a country where the decisions being made today will have an effect on our lives for the next four years, it is important that we all stay informed and stand up for what we believe in, whether that means going out and protesting, voting in our local elections or sending letters to our congresspeople.
Regardless of political affiliation or background, it is undeniable that we should all be standing up for the fair and ethical treatment of all human beings.
Emani Kelley, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at EKelley19@wooster.edu.