Earlier today, January 25, 2017, President Trump issued two Executive Orders impacting immigration. As promised in his presidential campaign, the orders involve enhancing border security, but also include increased interior enforcement.
Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Initiatives
This Executive Order implements the following:
Plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border and allocate all sources of Federal funds to do so;
Construct, operate and control detention facilities near land border with Mexico to include assignment of asylum officers and immigration judges;
Consistently use detention authority and end release of apprehended foreign nationals;
Hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol Agents;
Requires agency reporting on U.S. foreign aid to Mexico within 60 days;
Empower qualified state and local law enforcement officials to function as immigration officers;
End perceived abuse of parole and asylum;
Mandates federal prosecutors give priority to prosecution of offenses with nexus to southern border.
Focus on Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
In the second Executive Order, the President claims sanctuary cities willfully violate federal law.
This Executive Order seeks to implement the following:
Prioritize removal of foreign nationals in the U.S who:
Have been convicted of criminal offenses; who have been charged with a criminal offense, but the charge has not been resolved, and who have committed acts that constitute a crime; engaged in fraud or misrepresentation in connection with an application to a government agency; abused a program related to public benefits; are subject to final order of removal, but have not left US; otherwise pose a risk to public safety.
The Executive Order further:
Calls for 10,000 more Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents;
Authorizes state and local law enforcement officials to act as immigration officers;
Makes sanctuary jurisdictions ineligible for federal grants;
Terminates the Priority Enforcement Program previously implemented in the Obama administration;
Allows for the collection of data on the immigration status of incarcerated foreign nationals in state and federal prisons.
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We anticipate the announcement of another Executive Order soon that is expected to focus on refugee admissions, a potential ban on entry to the U.S. for nationals of certain countries and related visa and immigration issues. We will update our readers as soon as we have definitive information on the content of the next Executive Order.