Students react to Trump executive orders

Students at Cosumnes River College have been reacting to the controversial executive orders signed by President Donald Trump.

According to the White House website, Trump signed eight executive orders, 12 presidential memoranda and two proclamations as of Tuesday.

“Executive orders are granted in Article II of the Constitution,” said Elizabeth Huffman, professor of political science at Cosumnes River College. “And the idea is to allow the executive to take action to uphold or execute the law.”

Huffman said that the amount of executive orders Trump has signed is not unusual for a new president. What is unusual, she said, is how he’s using executive orders to address a scope of big issues.

“Typically, especially in the first weeks, especially in the first year, a congress of the same political party is going to be very willing to deliver the president,” she said. “So the fact that he chose to go this route, using executive order, rather than the legislative process, is unusual.”

Huffman referenced Trump’s executive order titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” The order suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and immigration from Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya for 90 days.

Isaac Coleman, a 23-year-old engineering major, said that the order was in line with what Trump promised during his campaign.

“I don’t support it at all because, yes I can understand the reasoning, these are nations chosen by the last administration as high for terror,” he said. “But you’re essentially accusing someone of a crime before they committed it.”

Jacob Goldman, 21, a nursing major, said that the order caused a lot of overreaction from both sides of the political fence.

“Personally I think the whole issue is a little blown out of proportion,” he said. “I don’t live in fear of terror attacks happening, so I don’t think his travel ban will do anything.”

Huffman said that while the content of the order was not surprising, Trump did not need to use an executive order to make changes to immigration policy because congress would have passed the legislation on the floor.

[H]e’s promised he’s going to go in there, he’s going to make changes, he’s going to get things done. And that’s exactly what he’s doing with these administrative [orders].”

— Elizabeth Huffman

“In some ways, you can see it as setting a tone for his administration,” Huffman said. “Alright, so he’s promised he’s going to go in there, he’s going to make changes, he’s going to get things done. And that’s exactly what he’s doing with these administrative [orders]. What he is not doing, which is equally telling, is consulting with State Department, Department of Justice, congressional republicans.”

Huffman said that it was important to note that the Department of Homeland Security was not consulted because that is the government organization that will be responsible for upholding the order.

This is evidenced by the resulting contention between the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.

According to Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Kevin Liptak in their article for CNN, the Department of Homeland Security ruled that the immigration ban did not apply to legal green card holders. The White House then overruled that judgment and said that green card holders arriving in the United States would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

“Let’s put it this way, had Trump even discussed [the ban] with some of his own staff, policy advisors, they would have told him that that’s not the way the system works,” Huffman said. “So there’s not evidence of consultation.”

Tre Murray, 23, a computer science major, said that he wasn’t happy about all the anger the immigration ban was causing.

“It’s already been super hard for Islamic people in a post-9/11 world,” Murray said.

Goldman said that so far in his presidency, Trump has succeeded in getting people involved with politics.

“The one good thing I’d say about it is that people are actually paying attention for once.”