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How will Trump’s policies affect the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene region?

President Donald Trump holds up an executive order for border security and immigration enforcement improvements after signing the order during a visit to the Homeland Security Department headquarters in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)
President Donald Trump holds up an executive order for border security and immigration enforcement improvements after signing the order during a visit to the Homeland Security Department headquarters in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)
From staff reports

Presidents usually use their first 100 days to highlight promises they made in the campaign and emphasize progress on their agenda. Donald Trump is no exception, becoming the first president since Bill Clinton in 1993 to issue an executive order the same day he took office. Since then, he’s issued numerous policy changes, often moving the country in an opposite direction from Barack Obama. Here’s a look at some of his orders and their effects on the Inland Northwest:

Trans-Pacific Partnership

In a presidential memorandum issued Monday, Trump withdrew the United States as a signatory of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Washington’s economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade, and some state business and agricultural groups criticized the decision to withdraw from the trade agreement, which sought to lower trade barriers and deepen economic ties among 12 member nations. The Association of Washington Business estimated, for instance, that the agreement would have increased the state’s exports by $8.7 billion annually and created up to 26,000 additional jobs. Some officials on the left and right, however, have fought the agreement, arguing that it put American manufacturing jobs in peril by making it more attractive to make products overseas. FULL STORY

Sanctuary cities

In an executive order issued Wednesday, President Donald Trump called for a reduction in federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” throughout the United States that have opted not to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement agencies.

City leaders say they don’t believe Trump’s funding ban would apply to Spokane, because local law enforcement cooperate with federal immigration agencies. Spokane’s ordinance codifies a police department policy not to ask about immigration status. FULL STORY

Refugees and immigration

In an executive order issued Wednesday, Trump called for the hiring of 10,000 more immigration officers and 5,000 Border Patrol agents and announced broader criteria for prioritizing people eligible for deportation. The New York Times reported Trump is expected to sign an order later this week banning people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen from entering the U.S. for a period of time, and halting all refugee admissions for several months.

The moves are causing uncertainty and fear among people who have pending immigration applications for residency or legal status. World Relief resettled 597 refugees in Spokane last year. Iraq, Syria and Somalia were among the top countries of origin, with 106, 64 and 48 refugees, respectively. Bans on admissions from those countries could cut resettlement numbers significantly. FULL STORY

Environmental projects

The Trump administration has temporarily suspended grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post.

In a brief statement issued Wednesday, EPA officials said the freeze would not affect the Superfund cleanups that are underway in Washington, such as Hanford, or in North Idaho, such as the Silver Valley. Nor would the freeze affect loans and grants to states or tribes. FULL STORY

Higher education

According to a leaked budget proposal, the Trump administration appears ready to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. And uncertainty looms over the future of scientific research, as the administration this week barred the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture from awarding new research grants.

Those actions – coupled with media blackouts and the Trump administration’s refusal to acknowledge scientific conclusions about pollution and climate change – have left many academics, including those at Washington State University, scrambling to understand how the new presidency will impact publicly funded programs and research. FULL STORY

Voter fraud

On Wednesday, President Trump said in a tweet and in a television interview he was ordering a major federal investigation into voter fraud, and depending on results, could strengthen voting procedures.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican, said she was confident the state’s election system is secure, with multiple safeguards and “there is no evidence that illegal voting took place anywhere in our state during the 2016 election.”

Compiled by Jim Camden, Becky Kramer, Kip Hill, Chad Sokol and Jonathan Brunt

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