Legislative History Post

A history of the Trump administration’s policies, from conception to action

January 20th 2017, Trump is inaugurated into office after having run on a platform utilizing immigration-critical rhetoric.

January 25th 2017, Trump signs executive orders to call for the construction of a border wall along the US/Mexico border, and simultaneously introduce fines for municipalities protecting non-citizens (sanctuary cities). 

January 27th 2017, Trump signs executive order barring citizens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days. This was carried out under the ideology that the American visa system had failed to prevent terrorists from entering our country after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This was soon after met with legal issues and had to be quickly revised. 

February 2017, the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security announce their prerogative to crack down on illegal immigration, hire 5,000 new staff, and create means of communication from which citizens can call suspected criminals living with illegal immigrant status. 

March 2017, Trump signs revised executive order barring citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days, but Iranian citizens were no longer included in this ban. 

April 2017, Trump signs executive order “Buy American and Hire American”, to encourage purchase and utilization of American manufacturing goods, and the employment of American citizens as opposed to non-citizens holding the H-1B visa (Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American 2017). 

September 2017, Trump ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and is immediately met with injunctions in the courts. The administration also issues the first in a series of changes to the H-1B visa program, intending to weed out persons who misrepresent or fraudulently cite their rationale for coming to America. Finally, SCOTUS gives its ruling on the travel ban, and while alterations are made on a case-by-case basis, much of the ban is allowed to pass. 

November 2017, Trump calls for an end to the visa diversity lottery. 

December 2017, Trump calls for an end to Chain Migration following a failed terrorist-inspired attack in the New York Port Authority. 

January 2018, The Department of Homeland Security announces an end to the temporary protected status for El Salvadorian Citizens, initially granted following a humanitarian crisis in 2001. 

January 2018, The Trump administration introduces its official policy on immigration, which includes border wall funding, strict limitations to chain migration, an end to the visa lottery, and citizenship opportunities for DACA recipients. 

April 2018, Trump deploys troops to the Mexican border.

December 2018-January 2019, Trump positions border wall funding as bargaining chip to prevent a government shutdown, to which Democrats in congress refused, and the government shut down.   

October 2020, President Trump announces changes to the H-1B Visa system, raising the requirements to be met for renewal of visas, including raising wage requirements by 28% depending of level of employment. 

Important Notes:

The administration’s policies have worked to end many outdated programs, but in doing so will be uprooting non-citizen people who have built their lives in America. The president had changed his position on DACA recipients in 2018, from trying to end the program to creating a pathways for citizenship. 


Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American. (2017). Retrieved October 21, 2020, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-executive-order-buy-american-hire-american/

Timeline of federal policy on immigration, 2017-2020. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://ballotpedia.org/Timeline_of_federal_policy_on_immigration,_2017-2020

A Timeline of the Trump Administration’s Efforts to End Asylum. (2019). Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://immigrantjustice.org/sites/default/files/uploaded-files/no-content-type/2019-08/Asylum_Timeline_August2019.pdf

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