search
Sections List
American Journal News

Trump unveils his border wall executive order, mysteriously fails to bill Mexico

Donald Trump signed two immigration-related executive orders on Wednesday, and followed those signings with a speech at the Department of Homeland Security in which he announced the construction of his long-promised border wall, fearmongered about crime, and promised to crack down on “sanctuary cities.” TRUMP: The Secretary of Homeland Security, working with myself and my […]

By Tommy Christopher - January 25, 2017
Share
Donald Trump

Donald Trump signed two immigration-related executive orders on Wednesday, and followed those signings with a speech at the Department of Homeland Security in which he announced the construction of his long-promised border wall, fearmongered about crime, and promised to crack down on “sanctuary cities.”

TRUMP: The Secretary of Homeland Security, working with myself and my staff, will begin immediate construction of a border wall. [applause] So badly needed. You folks know how badly needed it is, as a help, but very badly needed. This will also help Mexico by deterring illegal immigration from Central America and by disrupting violent cartel networks. As I’ve said repeatedly to the country, we are going to get the bad ones out, the criminals and the drug dealers and gangs and gang members and cartel leaders. The day is over when they can stay in our country and wreak havoc. We are going to get them out, and we are going to get them out fast. And John Kelly is going to lead that way. [cheers and applause]

Our order also does the following: Ends the policy of catch and release at the border; requires other countries to take back their criminals — they will take them back; cracks down on sanctuary cities; empowers I.C.E. officers to target and remove those who pose a threat to public safety; calls for the hiring of another 5,000 border patrol officers; calls for tripling the number of I.C.E. officers.

Incidentally, here is a notable fact: The immigration reform bill that Republicans blocked under President Obama would have added 23,000 Border Patrol and Border Protection officers.

What Trump did not say at this speech, though, may be the bigger story.

Curiously, he made no mention of his common campaign claim to make Mexico pay for, or reimburse the United States for, the border wall. And his executive order also leaves that out, instead offering this bluff at Mexico’s foreign aid:

Sec. 9. Foreign Aid Reporting Requirements. The head of each executive department and agency shall identify and quantify all sources of direct and indirect Federal aid or assistance to the Government of Mexico on an annual basis over the past five years, including all bilateral and multilateral development aid, economic assistance, humanitarian aid, and military aid. Within 30 days of the date of this order, the head of each executive department and agency shall submit this information to the Secretary of State. Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall submit to the President a consolidated report reflecting the levels of such aid and assistance that has been provided annually, over each of the past five years.

As we have previously reported, Trump’s dubious proposals to recoup costs from Mexico amount to a drop in the bucket, even if he managed to enact them. But the key point here is that he does not even mention them from the podium, or in his order, despite his consistent adamant declarations on the matter throughout the 2016 campaign and after the election.

Trump’s separate order on “sanctuary cities” is, like the border wall order, mostly a restatement of existing law and policy, with one troubling exception (emphasis mine):

In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.  The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction.  The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.

It is doubtful that this order actually empowers the attorney general to deny grants or take any “enforcement actions” (the statue cited contains no penalties) against “sanctuary cities.” And the attempt itself could tie up funding for a slew of public health and safety priorities that do not fall under that narrow exception for “law enforcement purposes.”

Many Democrats denounced Trump’s executive orders, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who released this statement:

With today’s sweeping and constitutionally suspect executive actions, the President is turning his back on both our history and our values as a proud nation of immigrants. Wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on a border wall Mexico will never pay for, and punishing cities that do not want their local police forces forced to serve as President Trump’s deportation dragnet does nothing to fix our immigration system or keep Americans safe.

Law-abiding, hard-working immigrant families deserve better than the Trump Administration’s radical xenophobia. Who is made safer when immigrant families cannot go to the police when they are witnesses or victims of crimes? In San Francisco and across the nation, we will fight for the right of any community to choose humane and effective law enforcement strategies that work to protect and serve, not deport and intimidate.

House Democrats will continue to stand our ground in the face of this Administration and House Republicans’ schemes by fighting for comprehensive immigration reform and fiercely protecting American families.”

The practical effects of Trump’s immigration orders are very limited, but as Pelosi notes, their intent is simply incompatible with American values, and with our laws.

And as Trump’s speech makes clear, it also happens to be incompatible with his own campaign promises — but it is right in keeping with his pattern of lies and hateful demagoguery.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Biden rallies Democrats in Las Vegas: ‘Imagine the nightmare’ if Trump reelected

Biden rallies Democrats in Las Vegas: ‘Imagine the nightmare’ if Trump reelected

By April Corbin Girnus, Nevada Current - February 05, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
White House calls for focus on tutoring, summer school, absenteeism as pandemic aid winds down

White House calls for focus on tutoring, summer school, absenteeism as pandemic aid winds down

By Kalyn Belsha, Chalkbeat and Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado - January 22, 2024
Trump legal problems abound as first test of 2024 presidential campaign nears in Iowa

Trump legal problems abound as first test of 2024 presidential campaign nears in Iowa

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom and Jacob Fischler, Georgia Recorder - January 08, 2024
December jobs report: Wages up, hiring steady as job market ends year strong

December jobs report: Wages up, hiring steady as job market ends year strong

By Casey Quinlan - January 05, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
AJ News
Latest
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024
Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024