Joely Feder ’19
It’s been almost a year since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. Figures like Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz have faded back to their original statuses. Hillary Clinton released a book about her campaign and loss. There have been what seems like a million natural disasters, another mass shooting and lots and lots of attempts to change laws in America. But, has anything major changed? Has President Trump actually carried out any of the plans he promised his supporters before he won the election?
- The Wall: there has been no actual wall built along the whole southern border of the United States. There are already some areas with fencing or structures to block people from entering or exiting the country, but these are not connected into one cohesive “wall” and most of them existed before President Trump became president. Plus, Mexico hasn’t paid for anything of the sort.
- Obamacare Repeal: For months, the Republican congress, with President Trump’s support (heavily through Twitter), attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act through different bills, most notably the American Healthcare Act. They all failed. Repeal was close to passing at one point until Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona voted no.
- Trade Reform: Within his first few days as president, President Trump managed to abandon the trans-Pacific Partnership, one of his major goals. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) still stands, but reform on other trading policies is in the works.
- Muslim Ban: As for actually removing Muslims from America, President Trump has been unsuccessful. However, in January of this year, President Trump signed an Executive Order banning people from certain countries to enter the U.S. Although not officially labeled a “Muslim ban,” the countries targeted in the Executive Order have largely Muslim populations. While some states blocked the ban, the Supreme Court has allowed parts of it to stand and is reviewing the case now.
- Deporting Undocumented Immigrants: The number of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and arrests of undocumented persons has increased since President Trump became president, but deportations have not drastically increased. In fact, the data is in line with numbers from Barack Obama’s presidency, in which thousands of undocumented immigrants were arrested, raided and deported, too. For now, there has not been radical change in this area, though President Trump has announced plans to “review” and possibly get rid of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that protects undocumented immigrants who moved to the United States at a young age.
So, has Trump’s presidency been lucrative so far? Ultimately, that’s for you to decide. Are you satisfied with the amount of change he’s made? Upset about the amount of change he hasn’t made? On many of these five radical goals, President Trump has made little progress, but success is not always cut-and-dry or simply based on numbers. Besides, few presidents are able to fulfill every single promise made on their campaigns, especially not in their first year — often, presidents cannot achieve such a goal even if they serve two terms.
Only time will tell how successful Trump’s presidency will be in terms of his goals, but for now, it is safe to say that there is work to be done by his administration.