Obama pushes through string of laws

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON: In the past week, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion over­turned a decades-old pol­icy to­ward Cuban im­mi­grants, forged two ma­jor agree­ments to ad­dress racial bias in big-city po­lice de­part­ments and ap­proved an un­ex­pected cut in mort­gage pre­mi­ums for thou­sands of low-in­come and first-time home buy­ers.

In the fi­nal days be­fore Obama leaves of­fice, ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials are rush­ing to com­plete dozens of tasks that will af­fect mil­lions of lives and so­lid­ify the pres­i­dent’s im­print on his­tory.

But in many cases, their per­ma­nence is un­cer­tain, and Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is al­ready pledg­ing to undo some of them af­ter tak­ing of­fice.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion took away one of the spe­cial im­mi­gra­tion priv­i­leges Cubans ar­riv­ing in the US with­out visas have en­joyed for 50 years; an­nounced sanc­tions des­ig­na­tions against 18 se­nior Syrian of­fi­cials for their role in the use of chlo­rine as a chem­i­cal weapon in 2014 and 2015; and awarded the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom to Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den.

Last month, 23 GOP sen­a­tors wrote to Obama ask­ing that his ad­min­is­tra­tion “cease is­su­ing new, non-emer­gency reg­u­la­tions given the elec­tion re­sults of Novem­ber 8”.

Many de­part­ments have also ac­cel­er­ated hir­ing in re­cent weeks, hop­ing to bring on as many em­ploy­ees as pos­si­ble in case Trump pro­ceeds with a planned freeze for fed­eral em­ploy­ees. Wash­ing­ton Post

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