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Donald Trump - executive orders

If you're the leader of one of the biggest countries in the world, do you have the power to do whatever you want? Not that kind of stuff, more the power to make decisions without needing anyone else's approval. Well, that's a subject people are talking about right now, because of this guy, Donald Trump.

He's only been in the top job for a little while, but he's already made some big changes that affect not just America, but the rest of the world. One of those is a travel ban that's stopped people from seven different, mostly Muslim countries, entering the United States for 90 days.

Thousands of people travelling into and out of the US, some who had lived there for years, were stopped from boarding flights home or held when they landed. It even affected some Australians like this teenager from Melbourne, Pouya, whose parents are from Iran, and was supposed to go on a school trip to the States but had his visa application denied.

POUYA, STUDENT: Maybe mid-last year we started preparing for this trip, so it's been quite a while and to just over one night have that overturned is quite disappointing.

Pouya found out a week later he'd be allowed to travel after the rules were relaxed but the ban's still upsetting many people.

Here in Australia, the Prime Minister would need the approval of the rest of his party, and then need to win votes in the House of Reps and the Senate to change things up like that. But President Trump was able to make this decision without needing anyone else's approval. He did it using something called an "executive order". Basically, with the stroke of a pen, the President of the United States can tell government agencies, like those in charge of immigration, what he wants them to do, and how they should enforce existing laws. Since becoming President, Trump has already used executive orders to control immigration and refugees, to request a wall be built between Mexico and the US, and to make changes to the healthcare scheme former president Barack Obama brought in.

It might sound like an awful lot of power for one person to hold, but there are rules the President has to follow. One, executive orders can't be used to create new laws or to go against existing ones. And two, they can't go against anything in America's constitution which is a document that spells out exactly how the country should be run. But even with those two limitations, it's still a powerful, well, power.

Lots of Presidents have used them in the past. Obama made 275 of his own during his time in office. But still, many don't agree with executive orders, and how they're sometimes used. For example, the head of the US Department of Justice refused to support the executive order on immigration, saying it's against the constitution. Trump's response to her?

DONALD TRUMP: You're fired.

Yep, she lost her job. But several courts have demanded the ban be put on hold until it can be looked at more closely. It seems the debate over executive orders, and how much power they hold, won't be going away any time soon.

Created By
Andy Chen


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