What Are Executive Orders?
Sometimes on the news we hear about policies made through executive orders. But what are executive orders and how do they work? An executive order is a directive handed down from a president or state governor without involvement from the legislative or judicial branches. Executive orders can only be given to federal or state agencies like the Department of Homeland Security or the State Department.
Even though executive orders are not mentioned in the constitution, they have been used by every President since George Washington—and more often in times of war or during national disasters when government policy needs to work more quickly than the traditional legislative process. Sometimes the Supreme Court has stepped in to rein back Presidential powers, like when Harry Truman tried to use executive orders to have the government seize America’s steel plants in the 50s.
Presidents have increasingly used executive orders to make policy that circumvents Congressional control. In recent years, George W. Bush used executive orders to approve more aggressive surveillance after 9/11, and President Obama has used them for several things, including immigration reform.
|Executive Order 13769
Protecting the Nation from Foreign
Terrorist Entry into the United States
|Date signed||January 27, 2017|
|Signed by||U.S. President Donald Trump|
|Date effective||January 27, 2017|
|Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965|