Trump Achievements since the 2016 Election, Part 2

Yesterday we started a list of President Trump’s accomplishments since taking office. (“Trump Achievements since the 2016 Election, Part 1”)  Below please see the second part of that list.

At the end of the Accomplishment list posting, if you’d like a copy of the list, I’ll gladly forward it to you in a .pdf document. You’ll have to provide to me your email address if you want the list,  (I promise no sales attempts, no sale of your email address, and no one else will get it)  and of course there’s no charge.

We continue with Part 2:  Immigration and Education

Immigration

Legislation Matters

  • H.R. 244, which was signed into law by President Trump on May 5, 2017, and funded the government through September 30, 2017, did not include funding for several of President Trump’s priorities, such as defunding sanctuary cities and building new sections of the border wall. However, it did include an additional $1.5 billion in border security funding, including money to repair 40 miles of existing border barrier sections and to increase funding for ICE and CBP, among other conservative achievements.

Executive Actions

  • Trump signing his Jan. 27, 2017 order regarding refugees and travel from high-risk countries.
  • January 25, 2017—Trump signed two executive orders. The first one included ordering the “immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border,” the hiring of 5,000 additional border control agents, and ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants. The second order called for hiring an additional 10,000 federal immigration officers, re-establishing the Secure Communities Program and other local partnerships, making the deportation of criminal illegal immigrants a priority, directing the State Department to use leverage to ensure countries-of-origin take back illegal immigrants, and stripping federal grant money from sanctuary cities and states.
  • January 27, 2017—Trump signed an executive order indefinitely banning the admission of Syrian refugees, suspending the overall refugee program for 120 days, suspending entry and the issuing of visas from seven failed Middle Eastern countries for at least 90 days, and reducing the number of refugees allowed into the nation during the fiscal year from 110,000 to 50,000.  Additionally, Trump made clear that he would help Christian refugees, a reversal from the Obama Administration.  Despite criticism from leftists and non-conservatives, 49 percent of the American public supported the decision compared to 41 percent opposed, according to the “mainstream” Reuters, and 57% percent of likely American voters supported the ban according to Rasmussen.  Additionally, while the leftist establishment European leaders opposed the ban, a strong majority – 55% average – of Europeans supported the ban, according to a poll in 10 European Union nations.
  • January 30, 2017—President Trump appointed Thomas Homan, someone with a reputation for enforcing immigration laws, as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  As the head of ICE, Homan took a strong stance on illegal immigration enforcement, even though some conservatives criticized him for his role in the Obama Administration and its lax illegal immigration policies.  On January 31, President Trump appointed Ronald Vitiello, who was endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council which also endorsed Trump in the 2016 election, to lead U.S. Border Patrol.  On April 25, 2017, Vitiello was appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.
  • March 6, 2017—President Trump signed a second executive order regarding the temporary suspension of refugees and others from certain high-risk countries after the first one was blocked by the courts. The second order made some clarifications and minor improvements over the first, such as exempting green card holders from the ban and excluding Iraq from it as it had developed an acceptable vetting process.  After being blocked in federal courts, the Supreme Court on June 26, 2017, partially reinstated the ban and allowed key portions of it to continue pending a hearing on the ban’s constitutionality in October.
  • On March 31, 2017, after talking tough against “sanctuary cities” and illegal immigration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a plan to speed up the deportation of imprisoned illegals.  On April 11, 2017, Sessions issued a memorandum to U.S. attorneys, instructing them to enforce much stricter guidelines against immigration crimes, and he announced the Justice Department would hire 125 immigration judges in the next two years.  As a result of Session’s decision, the DOJ resumed the criminal prosecution of first-time illegal border crossers, something which the Obama Administration stopped.
  • In late March/early April 2017, the Trump Administration cracked down on H-1B visas in a series of actions, making it much more difficult for entry-level programmers to enter the U.S., combating corruption in the program, and making sure that Americans were not discriminated against.  On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order restricting the H-1B visa to give the hiring preference to American workers and enacting stronger enforcement of laws requiring the use of American-made materials in federal projects.  Experts on the H-1B visa supported his order.
  • April 14, 2017—President Trump appointed two conservatives on immigration issues to senior positions in the Department of Homeland Security.  Like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly (with the full support of President Trump) also adopted a strong position against illegal immigration.
  • April 26, 2017—The Department of Homeland Security established the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE), created to help support victims of illegal immigrant crime, and it established the DHS-Victim Information and Notification Exchange, which was created to help those victims track the custody status of those criminal illegal immigrants.
  • It was reported in May 2017 that the Trump Administration, due to his previous executive orders, had ended Obama’s “home free magnet” policy, where illegal immigrants who did not commit a serious crime (other than crossing the border illegally) did not need to fear deportation because ICE needed to gain permission from the Field Office Director before deporting them; and the Trump Administration expanded the use of expedited removal proceedings, which is the deportation of illegals without a hearing unless they request one.[37] Thus, illegal immigrants “without violent criminal histories” could be arrested and deported.
  • May 5, 2017—ICE established a policy that would give illegal immigrants stays of removal only if the chairs the House and Senate Judiciary Committees or the relevant subcommittees requested them, as opposed to the earlier policy of issuing stays of removal whenever a private bill to legalize illegals was introduced in Congress. This would allow ICE to deport illegals without having members of Congress obstruct deportations.
  • May 9, 2017—The Department of Homeland Security reported that it had implemented tougher vetting policies at U.S. border crossings.
  • Early in Trump’s presidency, it was clear the U.S. government was cracking down on criminal illegal immigrants and gangs.  For example, between March 26 and May 6, 2017, ICE conducted a crackdown on gangs, including MS-13 and other illegal immigrant gangs, that arrested nearly 1,400 people – the largest such operation conducted up to that point.  The Trump Administration also cooperated with Central American countries in order to combat MS-13 recruitment in the region.
  • May 2017—In order to avoid misreporting and distortions by the media, ICE established a Spanish media presence.
  • Despite the large drop in illegal immigrant apprehensions, the amount of illegal drugs seized by Customs and Border Protection saw large increases in the beginning of Trump’s presidency.  In addition, the number of immigration arrests increased, with a 38% increase in Trump’s first 100 days.  The DHS had arrested 66,000 illegal immigrants by late June 2017, and it was reported in early July that arrests had doubled from the Obama Administration.  By May 2017, the Trump Administration also was able to reduce the number of countries “that habitually refuse to take back immigrants whom the U.S. is trying to deport” from 20 to 12.  In one widely-reported incident on June 15, U.S. Border Patrol agents had to obtain a warrant and raided an Arizona desert camp to arrest four illegal immigrants.
  • President Trump worked to eliminate Obama’s legacy of giving privileges to illegal immigrants in detention centers.  At the same time, the Trump Administration expanded immigration enforcement efforts, such as through building additional detention centers.  (The inspector general reported on June 7, 2017, but based on July 2016 inspections, that the facilities used by the DHS to detain illegal families were overall in good shape and met federal standards)
  • Late May 2017—The State Department introduced new and much stricter rules for vetting all people seeking a visa to enter the U.S., with the introduction of social media vetting being among the changes.
  • It was reported in June 2017 that the Trump Administration began repatriating illegal immigrants given “administrative closure” by the Obama Administration, a form of “quasi-amnesty.”
  • June 2017—The Department of Homeland Security ended a program where 21 officials cooperated with anti-deportation and pro-amnesty organizations, and reassigned those officials to the new VOICE office which helps victims of illegal immigrant crimes.
  • June 15, 2017—The DHS canceled the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program created by the Obama Administration in November 2014 that would have given amnesty to about 4 million illegal immigrants but was blocked by federal courts before its full implementation.
  • June 21, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order, rescinding a guideline signed by former President Obama to speed up vetting times for people seeking visas, in order to improve vetting standards.
  • June 23, 2017—The DOJ threw its support behind Texas’s sanctuary city ban that was challenged in court.
  • June 30, 2017—It was reported that the Trump Administration was cracking down on illegal immigrant parents who paid to have their children smuggled into the United States.

Other achievements

  • Drop in illegal immigration, early 2017
  • Illegal immigration declined dramatically after Trump took office.  According to data released early in Trump’s presidency, illegal border crossings decreased by 40% in the first month of Trump’s presidency – a remarkable achievement, considering that illegal immigration usually increases by 10 to 20% in January and February. In March, illegal immigration had fallen by over 60%. By Trump’s 100th day in office, levels were reported to have fallen by 73%. The declining trend of border apprehensions (an indicator of the level of illegal immigration) continued through May. It was reported in April that illegal immigration levels had fallen to the lowest point in 17 years.
  • It was reported in May that the number of child illegal immigrants entering the nation monthly had fallen below 1,000, the first time in several years, and that total illegal immigration levels had fallen by 76%.[76] In six months, the illegal immigration of Haitians, specifically, into the U.S. declined by 97%.  Although not solely due to President Trump, illegal immigration from Cuba dropped dramatically in the beginning of Trump’s presidency.[78] Illegal immigration dropped so much that U.S. Customs and Border Protection was able to close one of their temporary holding facilities.  As another illustration, a non-profit shelter organization for illegal immigrants, Southwest Key Programs, was forced to lay off nearly 1,000 of its employees due to the drop.[80] The drop in illegal immigration was probably due to the Trump effect and tougher illegal immigration and deportation policies by the Homeland Security Department.
  • Illegal immigration levels rose in June 2017, but they were still much lower than the previous year and at a six-year low.
  • Drop in refugee admissions, early 2017
  • Regarding refugees, it was reported in May 2017 that the number of refugees entering the U.S. had sharply fallen from the peak during the Obama Administration. According to DHS numbers released in June 2017, the number of refugees admitted in the first three months of Trump’s presidency was half of that of the last three months of Obama’s presidency (even though refugee admissions increased at the end of Obama’s presidency). Although the number of refugees admitted in May increased, the proportion of Muslim refugees declined from 34 to 28 percent compared to April.
  • Due to President Trump’s travel ban, which the Supreme Court ordered partially reinstated in June 2017, refugee admissions to the U.S. declined dramatically.
  • President Trump gave victims of illegal immigrant crimes a voice in his administration, as could be seen in the DHS’s establishment of the VOICE office.

Education

Executive actions

  • April 7, 2017—A Presidential proclamation celebrated this day as “Education and Sharing Day USA” recognizing the conservative principles of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, to use values-based education to drive our Nation’s children toward the American Dream.
  • April 26, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order ordering Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to review Department of Education regulations, with the intention of returning power to the states and local governments.
  • May 22, 2017—Although Education Secretary Betsy DeVos supported school choice and stated the Administration would create a school choice plan, she stated she would not force the states to expand school choice and would let them decide their own policies – this showed the Trump Administration’s respect for state sovereignty.  It was a wise decision, considering the ability of liberal and Democrats to hijack such a federal program.
  • Adam Kissel, a noted critic of the 2011 Title IX “Dear colleague letter” was hired as deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs, and the staff of the Title IX enforcement office was reduced in the 2018 budget.

Proclamations

  • January 22–28, 2017—National School Choice Week, as proclaimed by President Trump

So that completes the second day of President Trump’s accomplishments through mid June.  The above totals 2450 words.  We only have 4000 more to go!  Tomorrow I’ll give you Part 3 of the list that will probably require 2 more parts.  Again when complete I will gladly forward you a .pdf of the total list if you like.  Feel free to email me at dan@dnewman.org if you want that list.  Your email address will remain private.  And there’s no cost to you.

Thanks for reading!

Dan


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