Washington, DC – The United States Federal Government is ready to clamp down on so-called “sanctuary cities” that shield migrants in the country illegally and also to build a wall on the Mexican border as the newly elected President Donald Trump signed a series of immigration-related executive actions Wednesday (January 25).
The signing ceremony took place during Trump’s visit to the Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington. In his hall mark style, Trump predicted in a tweet Tuesday night, saying, “Among many other things, we will build the wall!”
According to sources privy to the ongoing discussions, the latest moves are just the beginning of a series of executive actions to roll back President Barack Obama’s immigration policies, with more orders expected on refugees and status of people who immigrated to the United States as children.
“Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety,” said the executive order.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer noted threats of cutting off federal funding for sanctuary cities that willingly become havens for migrants in the country illegally, as well as expansion of detention space for migrants who have been caught and are being shipped back to their home countries.
“Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States. These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic,” the executive order read.
President Trump himself explained in his first TV interview with ABC News as president that construction of the wall will begin “in months,” and that the United States will soon commence talks with Mexico over his demand that it pay for the structure — a demand the Mexican government has consistently rejected. Trump is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on January 31.
“We’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico,” Trump told ABC. “I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form.”
Addressing journalists, Spicer said, “His priority is first and foremost focused on people who pose a threat to people in our country, to criminals, frankly.” But on childhood arrivals, he said, Trump is “continuing to make sure that his Cabinet level team starts to organize and create a plan to move forward with respect to that issue.”
There was immediate reaction from different organizations as some called the signing of several inhumane and draconian executive orders intended to endanger immigrants and create fear in immigrant communities.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, released a statement saying, “Advancing Justice is outraged by these targeted attacks on our communities that seek to scapegoat and marginalize immigrants, refugees, Muslim Americans and other communities of color. These harmful policies will waste billions of dollars, cause harm in communities across the country, and undermine our American values of liberty, due process, and equality.”
“Asian Americans Advancing Justice will use every means necessary to defend sanctuary cities and oppose these shameful executive orders,” it concluded.