Here’s a look at some of the president’s more controversial decisions and statements in February.
Trump Signs Executive Order For HBCUs:
President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order that commits to a request by the United Negro College Fund that Trump move the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which has been part of the Department of Education, to the White House. Every president since President Jimmy Carter in 1980 has signed an executive order reorganizing the HBCU initiative. But Trump said moving the initiative into the White House will make it “an absolute priority.”
Not everyone was pleased.
A day before Trump signed the executive order, some Black college presidents complained that they didn’t get enough time to speak during a White House “listening session” with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. They said the meeting was cut short for a photo-op with Trump in the Oval Office.
“I’m still processing that entire experience,” Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University, said in a statement. “But needless to say that threw the day off and there was very little listening to HBCU presidents today- we were only given about 2 minutes each, and that was cut to one minute, so only about 7 of maybe 15 or so speakers were given an opportunity today.”
Forceful Immigration Plan:
Trump is making good on his campaign pledge by ordering his administration to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively, which means Department of Homeland Security officers will begin to round up, arrest and deport people who are in America illegally.
“The immediate impact of that shift is not yet fully known,” according to The New York Times. “Advocates for immigrants warned on Tuesday that the new border control and enforcement directives would create an atmosphere of fear that was likely to drive those in the country illegally deeper into the shadows.”
There are more than 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States and Trump wants to hire 10,000 agents and officers to carry out his deportation plan. But Trump hasn’t explained where the money will come from – perhaps billions of dollars — to pay for the additional agents and officers.
A Pledge Of Racial Unity:
Trump toured The National Museum of African American History and Culture last week and promised to help heal a racially polarized nation.
“Today and every day of my presidency I pledge to do everything I can to continue that promise of freedom for African-Americans and for every American,” Trump said.
Many Black Americans scoffed at Trump’s pledge, saying that he offended Black folks during the campaign; has not met with the Congressional Black Caucus; and characterized all Black neighborhoods as crime-ridden ghettos.
“Look at what’s happening in Chicago — hundreds of shootings, hundreds of deaths. I’ll tell you what’s happening in Chicago, and many other places,” Trump told a Florida rally last week.
But The New York Times clarified Trump’s statement.
“Chicago did experience a surge in homicides last year, with more than 750 people killed,” the Times reported. The country’s third-largest city, along with three other urban areas, contributed to a jump in the national homicide rate in 2016. But, overall, both violent crime and property crime have fallen since the early 1990s.”
Trump’s Executive Order To Dismantle Obamacare
President Trump’s executive order on Obamacare made good on another campaign promise to dismantle President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Trump confused Democrats and Republicans last week when he said that a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will come “in a couple of weeks.”
“We are going to be submitting in a couple of weeks a great healthcare plan that’s going to take the place of the disaster known as ObamaCare,” he said at a campaign rally in Melbourne, Fla. “It will be repealed and replaced.”
“Just so you understand, our plan will be much better healthcare at a much lower cost,” he added. “OK? Nothing to complain about.”
Really? Even his own constituents are complaining. Opposition to a repeal of Obamacare at GOP town halls has been swift and strong.
Trump’s Support For Controversial U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
Jeff Sessions, who was confirmed by the Senate as the new U.S. Attorney General, was opposed by 150 civil rights groups because of fears that a Sessions-run Justice Department will target Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, gays, and women. Social justice advocates are also concerned that Sessions will enforce “Stop and Frisk,” the outlawed street policy where police pull over and detain innocent African-American and Hispanic motorists.
“Senator Sessions has a 30-year record of racial insensitivity, bias against immigrants, disregard for the rule of law, and hostility to the protection of civil rights that makes him unfit to serve as the Attorney General of the United States,” according to a letter the groups sent to U.S. senators.
Trump’s first month in the White House already feels like a year.