Trump Signs Executive Actions on Border Wall, Sanctuary Cities

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday will start to reshape US immigration enforcement policies via executive order, taking his first steps toward fulfilling some of the most contentious pledges that defined his campaign.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday started to reshape US immigration enforcement policies via executive action, taking his first steps toward fulfilling some of the most contentious pledges that defined his campaign — building a border wall and punishing “sanctuary cities.”

Trump signed what the White House described as executive orders that begin moving towards building a wall on the US-Mexico border, boosting border patrol forces and ordering an increase in deportations of undocumented immigrants.

“This is border security. We’ve been talking about this from the beginning. This is going to bring it over the top,” Trump said as he signed the first of two orders during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that would implement those actions.

The executive orders also seek to end sanctuary cities and the practice of releasing undocumented immigrants detained by federal officials before trial. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the executive action directed at sanctuary cities would strip grant funding for cities that “harbor illegal immigrants.”

Construction of the wall could begin in months, but planning for the massive project is “starting immediately,” Trump said Wednesday in an interview with ABC News.

Trump confirmed his plans to build the wall with federal funds and then seek reimbursement from Mexico, an idea Mexico has resisted. But negotiations, he said, would begin “relatively soon.”

“I’m telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form,” Trump said.

Trump’s moves sent alarm bells ringing in immigration activist circles, where questions had continued to swirl about whether Trump would truly implement many of the hardline immigration policies he articulated during his campaign. Trump’s actions leave little doubt about whether his immigration policies as president would differ from his campaign rhetoric.

There remained little question, for example, about whether Trump would push to increase deportations of undocumented immigrants. One of Trump’s executive actions was expected to call for tripling “enforcement and removal operations/agents” of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which is charged with arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants living in the US. And his executive action also called for a 5,000-person increase in Customs and Border Protection personnel, a source familiar with the plans told CNN on Tuesday.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, called Trump’s planned executive actions Wednesday “extremist, ineffective and expensive” and accused the president of using lies about immigrants to drive US policy.

“Trump is taking a wrecking ball to our immigration system. It shouldn’t come as a surpise that chaos and destruction will be the outcome,” Hincapié said, adding that her organization has already drafted legal papers to challenge Trump’s moves.

And Greisa Martinez, advocacy director at the United We Dream Network, argued that Trump’s executive actions “lay the groundwork for mass deportation.”

Trump’s executive actions on Wednesday did not address those of his predecessor President Barack Obama that signed safeguarding undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children or who are parents of lawful US residents from deportation, which Trump during his campaign signaled he would repeal.

Spicer has said Trump wants to prioritize the removal of undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes in the US, but has refused to say whether deportation priorities would change. Trump during his campaign called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants living in the US, though he signaled the “good ones” could return to the US under an expedited process.

Trump’s hardline immigration rhetoric and policy proposals during the campaign often put him at odds not only with Democrats but with many in his own party who called his proposal to build a wall on the US-Mexico border unnecessary and his calls for mass deportation cruel.

Trump persevered in his hardline rhetoric throughout the campaign, resisting efforts to pivot to a more moderate stance on the issue in the general election despite calls to soften his rhetoric.

Now, his actions on Wednesday took a big first step toward satisfying his political base of support that hitched to his campaign amid Trump’s bold promises of building a wall, deporting undocumented immigrants and in the process creating a safer country, despite a total lack of evidence tying undocumented immigrants to higher crime rates.

Trump catapulted his campaign into controversy and relevance with his announcement speech in June 2015, in which he pledged some of the hardline immigration policies he was set to enact and decried undocumented immigrants as criminals and “rapists.” Trump never apologized for those comments.


  • J anonymous

    Thank God he’s in…. why should he apologize for his comments he’s 100% correct..can’t wait till the wall goes up

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    When I heard 2 years ago that Trump was running, I thought “oh hell yeah!”

    I didn’t even have to pay any attention to any of the other candidates this past election. It was great!

  • Givemeabreak

    This never should of been a partisan issue. Invaders are invaders. Could you imagine what Genghis Kahn or Vlad the Impaler would of done with these people. The crazy part is Reagan was the one who originally amnestied about 3 million illegals back in the mid 80’s. Ronald Reagan: “For one, we very much need in any immigration bill — we need protection for people who are in this country and who have not become citizens, for example, that they are protected and legitimized and given permanent residency here. And we want to see some things of that kind added to the immigration bill.” He basically invited them in. That statement right there says come on in illegally and we will protect you with giving you citizenship. Both parties have been at fault, it has just become a hot button topic for the right to get the base fired up and angry as of late. Then someone from the right insults someone on the left and then they win and we lose, because we are angry and can’t think clearly. We then go out and vote on emotion, from being afraid of terror or angry. No difference between Democrats and Republicans in Washington. They just keep passing the blame back and forth when they are both at fault. Great way to keep the two party system going and their power. Divide and conquer politics has been going on since Caeser. We are far from fixing this country. A wall is a good start as long as they don’t build one on the Canadian border too. Then you have to ask. Is it to keep people out or in? Trusting the government or your party is not patriotism.

  • snarf snarf

    To Common Sense’s earlier post. You do not have a trademark on such name. Anyone can use it. Get a grip. A person can use one name, two names, no name, or your name. Now go back to your safe place and start a new coloringbook.

  • Nope, no, and nonsense

    A country without borders is no country at all. We as Americans have built a lifestyle that is the envy of the world. Those that would take any action to diminish that not only fault us, but show themselves to be what they truly are. You really have to appreciate the edited quote in this last paragraph suggesting he labeled “all” illegals as criminals. They really don’t get that slapping us in the face is waking more people up, do they? It wasn’t “ist’s” that voted for this man. It was the law abiding citizens of this land that were sick of getting bullied and were losing over 50% of their hard work to the “magical mist” that is an authoritarian government. Let Freedom come back to us, because we are natural born fighters. Wars of words can do many things.

  • Writer Girl

    Yes, Yeah, Good!!! It’s about time someone in power concentrates on America and Americans, instead of letting the rest of the world take advantage of us.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Trump is the friggin man!!

    Look how the stock market has responded 2 days open after him being elected!!

  • Comecon

    I get a kick out of today’s so-called “leftists” who get upset about a wall being built.

    Ever hear of the Berlin Wall?

    • WarningFakeNews

      First rule of having a communist country, build a wall to keep your citizens from escaping. Different walls serve different purposes. In this case, it’s to control immigration and do it through a lawful process. Only a fool or a thug would object to that.

    • YEP YEP

      Not sure what you think the wall will actually accomplish. I agree illegal immigration is a problem, but have you ever heard of tunnels?

      • Really?

        England has several hundred thousand illegal immigrants. And they essentially have a moat being an island. So build a wall if you want. Waste time and resources. Maybe I’ll go the Republican route and complain that we should use the money for homeless veterans instead. The wall is a stupid idea that only stupid people like.

  • Snapper

    Build the wall ASAP Mr Trump and use all of the Illegal Aliens and convicted criminals to labor- mix the mortar they already work for pennies on the dollar now!

  • Trump's the man!

    I could care less if Mexico pays for it. I’m willing to take a big tax hit if we do have to pay for it. It needed to be built 50 years ago. The price of a wall will still be less expensive than the cost of the illegal criminals on a daily basis.

    • Common Sense

      Will this wall still solve the issue that illegals are here mainly because companies still hire them to take advantage of the lower wage they can pay? (Maybe tell companies to stop hiring illegal immigrants??) What about the fact that there are more illegals here because of expired visa’s that came here ON A PLANE?

      • The Uhrsker

        That’s when you start fining companies who knowingly hire undocumented illegals. The money they save by hiring them will be used to pay the fines for giving them the jobs.

      • Writer Girl

        Trump said in past speeches, that he will address those issues, with E-verify, fines and tracking systems. We can’t do everything on every issue, overnight, but it happen. The AMERICAN CITIZEN, will make sure of that!

      • Common Sense

        Do tell, Mr. “Common Sense”,
        How did you happen to suddenly become me?….I’ve been using that name for months and in the last few days you’ve been dropping comments in my name. Please, just be brave and don’t post under false pretenses.
        Just asking, Wnep can tell by the Email address.

      • JessicaInWilliamsport

        Let’s start with Trump’s companies then — he’s one of the biggest employers of foreigners who work for less. This man is such a hypocrite. Also where are all those who screamed “executive overreach” and “tyrant” when Obama was bypassing Congress and doing a few executive orders?

    • Its a plan

      I say make all the people on welfare help build that wall too. Why should they be sitting on their butts waiting till their next government check comes in?
      Mexican Government would not even need to pay for the labor Costs back to US, just the supplies.

  • pepe

    I’m glad he’s getting the Wall up ASAP, of course the left are going to just focus on the fact Mexico hasn’t paid for it. Who cares, it’s better than waiting around for years and it never getting built. (of course that’s probably what they want to happen)

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