Contributor Post: A holistic look at Trump’s three immigration E.O.s

The executive order which POTUS signed on January 27th restricts immigration from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It affects travelers on all types of visas (other than diplomatic and UN ones) and refugees. On January 25th, POTUS also signed an executive order aimed at strengthening border security and immigration enforcement.


These executive orders, designed to curb the migration to the U.S. of “undesirable” (dangerous or unauthorized) immigrants and refugees, represent a piece meal approach to a global social problem and does not take into consideration the complexity of issues involved in this worldwide phenomenon of migration or its unintended consequences. The following are some of the important points, other than the legal/constitutional or moral arguments already described in other editorials, that make these measures objectionable. Continue reading “Contributor Post: A holistic look at Trump’s three immigration E.O.s”

Trump signed Pres. memo, “Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”

This memo details considerations to be made in a “new plan to defeat ISIS,” incl. a call for changes to U.S. rules of engagement

Read in full: Presidential Memorandum Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Continue reading “Trump signed Pres. memo, “Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria””

Trump signed Pres. memo, “Construction of American Pipelines”

This Presidential memo directs the Secretary of Commerce to develop a rule requiring all iron and steel products be produced in the U.S. with U.S. iron or steel

The attorneys at King & Spalding reports several ambiguities in the language of this order: no definitions for “pipeline,” “inside the borders of the United States,” and “materials and equipment.” Does pipeline only refer to pipelines transporting oil and natural gas products, or any commodity or substance? Does this rule only apply to pipelines within the three-mile territorial waters of the United States, and not pipelines located on the Outer Continental Shelf?  What effect does this rule have on a pipeline that crosses international borders?  What about retrofitting or expanding current pipelines? Continue reading “Trump signed Pres. memo, “Construction of American Pipelines””

Trump signed Pres. memo, “Withdrawal of the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement”

This memorandum directs the United States Trade Representative to withdraw the U.S. from TPP trade deal.

The President has complete authority to direct staff in matters of foreign affairs under Title 5 of the U.S. Code Section 553 without resorting to rule making procedures – he is only bound by existing statutes and the Constitution. Under the Constitution, the President, as Head of State, is free to negotiate and enter into international treaties, but for them to be binding on the United States, the Senate must ratify by a two-thirds vote. Even if Trump were to not withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it would have had to pass through the Senate.

Continue reading “Trump signed Pres. memo, “Withdrawal of the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement””

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””