On a chilly winter morning, the world watched with bated breath as President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, welcomed President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania. The people of the United States had spoken and the Republican’s stage was all set.
Parallels were made about how Obama’s inauguration was attended by a far larger crowd than Trump’s. True, botches of white were seen on Capitol Hill that day, but the Trump administration threatened no one to tweet about it and openly attacked the media. Here are some key areas that the Trump office has touched upon in the first two weeks of its presidency.
Affordable Health Care Act: Trump’s campaign claimed a “terrific” healthcare system would replace Obamacare. Obamacare, aka the Affordable Health Care Act, caters to 20 million Americans and has been recalled by the Trump Administration. While the Law itself cannot be modified and the President has no authority to nullify the Act, there are possibilities to modify parts of the guidance. What was initially stated as a process that would span a few weeks, the Trump administration now claims the phasing out may take over a year.
Immigration and refugee ban: Trump’s campaign was dotted with a recurring mention of banning of Muslim immigrants from countries that have a “proven history” of terrorism. A week into office, his administration stayed true to its promise and passed an order that banned immigrants from certain Muslim dominated countries to enter the US.
Technology conglomerates, universities and hospitals have come out questioning their future and current recruitment strategies keeping in mind the brain drain with such a move! The silver lining of all this is the federal judge who lifted this ban for those who have arrived in the US, and those in transit with valid visas.
America has been known to be an inclusive country that fosters pluralism and it’s the diversity of the people that makes it what it is. Critics say that Trump’s outright venomous views towards Islam are proving to generate a positive attitude towards Muslims. With courts banning the multiple country ban, a new immigration policy is in the pipeline.
India and the H1B: The Republican Party has mentioned that there could be a potential increase of the annual income for H1B holders. The existing amount of USD 60,000 could more than double and go up to USD 130,000. With 62 per cent of technology exports coming from the US, this could be a huge blow. The companies would have to shift jobs elsewhere or do away with the jobs themselves. Further, changes to L1 and OTP allowances could be envisioned. While most of this is speculation, it is causing tension amongst big players in India. A new immigration bill that potentially touches upon these sensitive aspects is expected towards early March.
Lashes out on the media: Meanwhile Trump accused the news media as being “out of control,” saying “many reporters will not tell you the truth.” Hitting out, he remarked, “the press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it we are doing a tremendous disservice to American people.” And then he came out with his now infamous barb. “The media is alternately ‘fake’ and reports ‘real leaks’ coming from unnamed sources.”
Apart from these, President Trump has done much more in his whirlwind two weeks. Be it withdrawing America from the Trans-Pacific partnership trade deal, signing anti-abortion laws, stepping down of his National Security Advisor or keeping up his promise of setting up a wall against Mexico, the President has been nothing but swift, sharp and brutal. Controversies still plague him and his family– a stark difference to America’s much loved former first family.
All of the President’s moves have been matched with roars of protests nationwide. It is with these voices that the nation hopes to make a change. Trump’s administration brings with it a new era to American politics. An era that is still uncertain and dark.