President Donald Trump wasted little time in issuing an executive order on border security and immigration law enforcement.
The issues were the subject of two executive orders issued on January 25, 2017.
The orders were titled Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements. They directed the Department of Homeland Security to start building the wall between the United States and Mexico immediately.
Although the executive order called for an immediate start to the building of that wall, it’s not that simple. Initial funding for the wall could be derived from the existing Secure Fence Act. However, Congress would have to agree to foot the whole bill. By February the anticipated cost rose to $21.6 billion, reported USA Today.
The figure is double that given earlier by Trump. The cost of acquiring private land, predominantly in Texas, pushed up the estimate.
Other aspects of Trump’s executive order on border security as follows.
- The ending of the “catch and release” policy.
- The hiring of more than 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents.
- The setting up of increased detention space at the border to allow the return of detainees to their home countries.
- Promotion of further agreements with local and state law enforcement to enforce immigration laws.
- The identification of all sources of direct and indirect federal aid or assistance given to the Government of Mexico.
Border Security to be Bolstered by More Immigration Officers
The executive order entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” focuses on enforcement. It includes provisions to:
- Add another 10,000 immigration officers to perform law enforcement functions.
- Compile a quarterly basis a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by undocumented immigrants;
- Identify and defund ‘sanctuary cities.’
- Establish an Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens which would provide support for family members.
- Reinstate a Secure Communities Program focusing on the deportation of people who threaten to public safety.
The Secure Communities Program replaces the Obama Administration’s Priority Enforcement Program which more narrowly focused deportation on certain criminal offenders, gang members, and people judged to be a danger to national security.
Trump’s executive order provides a legal framework for increased deportations. At Peek & Toland , we help immigrants in Austin, Round Rock, San Antonio and further afield with their cancellation of removal actions. You can read more about the process here. Call us at (512) 474-4445.