Trump signed E.O., “White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities”

This executive order moves the White House initiative created by Obama from the Department of Education to the Executive Office of the President.


At the end of this executive order, there is a revocation of the Executive Order 13532 signed by Barack Obama on February 26, 2010, entitled “Promoting Excellence, Innovation, and Sustainability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” It makes sense to look at the Trump order in context of how it was already set up under the Obama administration.

In Obama’s executive order, the White House Initiative on HBCUs was directed to track progress and report on funding for HBCUs. It also defined the scope of the Presidential Board of Advisors to consist of 25 leaders chosen by the President.

This executive order signed by Trump uses the same language as the Obama order with some significant changes: (1) the location of the Initiative, and (2) an increased emphasis on private funding sources.  Continue reading “Trump signed E.O., “White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities””

Trump proclaims 1/22-1/28 of 2017 as “National School Choice Week”

Trump is calling for a week-long national observance regarding the “school choice” movement.

The President has the authority to call for national observances under 1 C.F.R. § 19.4. Procedurally, the President must submit 60 days before the date of observation to the Director of OMB. This proclamation was released four days after the first date of observation. Notwithstanding,  National School Choice week has been in full swing since 2011.

What is School Choice?

At the New York Times, Kevin Carey describes the two types of “market-based” school reforms which build the “school choice” platform: voucher programs and charter schools. Continue reading “Trump proclaims 1/22-1/28 of 2017 as “National School Choice Week””

Trump signed E.O., “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”

This executive order covers several areas: (1) immigration law enforcement priorities, (2) increasing the number of immigration officers, (3) targeting sanctuary cities, and (4) eliminating privacy of undocumented immigrants.

1. Immigration Law Enforcement Priorities (Sec. 5, and 10(a))

The executive order first strikes down a Nov. 2014 memo which laid the framework for the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). The memo detailed the DHS enforcement priorities and outlined three priority levels: Priority 1 (threats to national security, border security, and public safety), Priority 2 (misdemeanants and new immigration violators), and Priority 3 (other immigration violations). This memorandum is a “guidance” document under 5. U.S.C. § 553(b) and as such, it did not go through notice and comment rule making to become a regulation. Without those procedures, it is not protected and can be easily undone with an executive order.

At Lawfare, Shannon Togawa Mercer reports that by striking the 2014 memo this executive order has replaced the priority list from to cover the following classes of undocumented immigrants: Continue reading “Trump signed E.O., “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.””

Trump signed an E.O., “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”

This E.O. begins the process of building a wall on the Mexican border, allocating resources to detention centers, and targeting asylum seekers

Read in full: Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements

Continue reading “Trump signed an E.O., “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements””

Trump signed Pres. memo, “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy”

This Presidential memo reinstated a broader “Global Gag Rule” to ban federal funds for NGOs that support abortions abroad

At the Hill, Mark J. Rosell reports that the “Global Gag Rule” has been a tennis match of repeals and restorations since the Reagan administration issued what is officially called “The Mexico City Policy.” Considering its history, this is a routine first-day directive by any new administration, yet it has significant implications for international health organizations.

At the NY Times, the Editorial Board reports that this Presidential memo makes one major departure from the other “Global Gag Rules” of past administrations. In the past, the restrictions only applied to family-planning funds, around $600 million in use today, and activities of the Agency for International Development and State Department. Here, the restrictions apply to “global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies.” This significantly broader language puts limitations on around $9 billion across every department and agency. Further, it bars funding from organizations that provide abortion (with no exception for cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother’s life) or abortion referrals, even if the service has a different source of funding or if abortion is not the focus of the organization. Continue reading “Trump signed Pres. memo, “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy””