So let me start by saying I apologize. On behalf of all decent people in America I am sorry that we have inflicted Trump on the world. Trump won the election with a minority of the votes, but due to the electoral college system he was elected President. He is unwise, unintelligent and of poor personal character. He doesn’t represent the best of America, and most people in the USA are horrified by him. That said, he is our president. Yuk. So I apologize for that.

Yesterday he has issued two executive orders. In addition there was another DRAFT executive order that was published by a newspaper.  Among other things, that order calls for a ban on immigrants from certain countries for 30 days. Many are assuming that executive order is already signed. It is not. Let me repeat. This executive order is not yet signed. It is not yet in force.  Now I am not saying Trump won’t sign it, but he hasn’t yet. So right now, it is just a rumor.

However, he is an unwise man, so he may sign it at some point. So – people are concerned about what it will mean.

I thought I would post it here and explain a little of what it might mean.

So what is an executive order anyway. The President doesn’t make laws in the USA. He is charged with implementing laws. He has day to day control over the federal resources. So – he can’t just create a new law on a whim, BUT he can direct federal agencies on how they operate within the law. So – for example, he can’t pass a law that says all Mexicans are now considered illegal immigrants, but he can (and has) direct federal agencies to increase the rate of deportation of people here illegally or already subject to deportation. He would do that by increasing the resources available to the agencies and directing them to take action on laws we already have. OK, so what he has done to day is decide how some agencies will act.

An executive order might not always be followed. Some aspects might be an intention, but for whatever reason might not be followed through. For example on Jan 22, 2009 Obama issued an executive order to close the Detention Facilities at Guantánamo within 1 year of that date. Obama really believed that was the right thing to do and wanted to do it. Obama, unlike Trump, was a good president.  But, those facilities were never closed and remain open to this date. So, despite the strength and clear meaning of an executive order it does not always mean that will happen.

The DRAFT executive order calls for a number of changes. Some of the changes are directives to tighten security controls in ways that may require further changes in the future, but for there would be one immediate impact. If he were to sign the order as drafted, there would be a temporary (30 day) ban on entries for people “from” the 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.) The language is imprecise, and I am guessing it will need to be more clearly specified. But the point is that, initially at least the ban would be temporary.

Now, as I said, people need to wait until any such executive order is signed. Even now I am sure there are powerful teams working to either stop Trump signing that order or challenge it if signed. For now, nothing has changed. Even if the executive order does get signed, the effects won’t be immediately clear. That means it is not worth speculating on what the impacts could be. So – let’s stay calm, and wait and see what happens.

If you want to read the text of the DRAFT order, it can be found here.