Excerpt from the Associated Press
Trump’s Day One plan was an ambitious and specific list. It includes proposing a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress, imposing a hiring freeze for federal workers, and beginning to remove immigrants who are criminals and living in the country unlawfully.
The list includes “cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama.” Given Trump’s objections to many of Obama’s policies, that category could involve some dramatic changes.
Among those would be cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which has protected about 750,000 young immigrants from deportation. The program also offered those immigrants work permits.
If he makes good on his promise to terminate the program, Trump could chose to immediately cancel the deportation protection and revoke the work permits, or he could opt to block new enrollment and allow those already approved to keep their work permits until they expire.
Trump has said he plans to focus immigration enforcement efforts first on criminals, a group he said could including 2 million to 3 million people.
Trump also pledged to “move criminal aliens out day one” in operations with state, local and federal authorities. That promise will be harder to keep on his first few days in office. Jurisdictions around the country objected to helping enforce federal immigration laws. He will also face a shortage of jail space. The government has enough money to keep 34,000 people in immigration jails at a time and has recently detained more than 40,000 people because of a surge of immigrants arrested at the Mexican border last year.
Also on Trump’s list was labeling China a currency manipulator. But Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week that he no longer planned to do that on the first day. “I would talk to them first,” he said.
If Trump opts for a slower pace, it may be because he is still setting up his administration. He is awaiting confirmation of Cabinet choices and staffing federal agencies and has left vital spots such as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers unfilled so far. Instead of unveiling an updated series of policies, Trump devoted part of his transition to meeting with prominent CEOs and touting jobs announcements by their companies. His team has also spent weeks reviewing Obama’s executive actions to determine which ones can be eliminated quickly.
Trump’s team also faces the daunting process of naming a Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump has said he will announce a nominee in about two weeks.
Trump’s promises of swift changes have been cheered on by congressional Republicans, who have seen their agenda blocked by Obama for the past eight years. Pence and Trump aides have shared some details for the first few days with House leadership and told lawmakers to expect the incoming president to move quickly to undo Obama’s legacy.