US President Donald Trump has kept each of his campaign promises to this point, and when it comes to building the US/Mexico border wall, he once again, has not backed down!
Signing an executive order today, President Trump has confirmed that he will indeed BUILD THE WALL!
He will also end Federal grants which send taxpayer money to “sanctuary cities” that harbour illegal immigrants.
“A nation without borders is not a nation,” Trump said during a speech at DHS headquarters. “Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders.”
The president said his directive “will save thousands of lives, millions of jobs, and billions and billions of dollars.”
One of the orders signed by Trump calls for the construction of “a large physical barrier on the southern border,” according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
The other order deals with immigration enforcement and ends the “catch and release” policy that quickly returned border crossers back to Mexico instead of arresting and processing them for deportation. The policy was a fixture of the Bush administration and was later reinstated on an informal basis by former President Barack Obama.
“Federal agents are going to unapologetically enforce the law, no ifs, ands or buts,” Spicer said.
The immigration actions also seek to withhold visas from countries to make sure they take back people in the U.S. illegally who are found to have broken U.S. laws. It would also strip federal grants from “sanctuary” cities and states that do not enforce federal immigration laws.
“We’re going to strip federal grant money from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants,” Spicer said.
Here are seven other elements of the Trump immigration executive action today:
1. Broaden Enforcement Priorities. According to Section 5(c), the Secretary of Homeland Security has now been granted the power to prioritize for removal those who “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.” This means anyone who has crossed the border illegally. Whereas under President Obama, other crimes were prioritized, now illegal presence in the country has become a priority for law enforcement. The executive action also extends prioritization to false use of a Social Security number, for example (Section 5(d)), or taking public benefits illegally (Section 5(e)).
2. Add Agents. The order grants the Secretary the ability to hire 10,000 additional law enforcement officers with money to be found under current allocations.
3. Allow States To Help Police Immigration. Whereas the Obama administration sued the Arizona state government for aiding in enforcement of federal immigration law, Section 8(b) of the order allows States and local law enforcement officials to “perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to investigation, apprehension, or detention of alients in the United States.”
4. Kills Funding To Sanctuary Cities. The jurisprudence on federal grants to states and cities is rather complex, but this executive action seeks to remove eligibility to receive federal grants if those jurisdictions refuse to comply with federal immigration law. The executive order also creates a public shaming capacity for the feds: they are to “make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.”
5. Restoring The Secure Communities Program. The Obama administration originally had a program that allowed the feds to check immigration databases to see local offenders who were here illegally; Obama then killed this in favor of the Priority Enforcement Program, which put limitations on such communication. Trump is returning to the original system.
6. Make Foreign Negotiations Contingent on Acceptance of Repatriated Illegal Immigrants. Section 12 explicitly orders the Secretary of State to “ensure that diplomatic efforts and negotiations with foreign states include as a condition precedent the acceptance by those foreign states of their nationals who are subject to removal from the United States.”
7. Make Data More Transparent. The order directs the Secretary of Homeland Security and Attorney General to collect data on immigration status of all aliens incarcerated in federal prisons, as well as all federal pretrial detainees, as well as all convicted aliens in state and local prisons.