Holding fast to his campaign promise to “build the wall” along the U.S./Mexico border, President Trump’s executive order directs U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border.” The order also advises the hiring of 5,000 additional border patrol officers.
There’s no word on how the wall will be paid for, but officials have suggested using a portion of U.S. foreign aid to Mexico over the past five years to finance the partition’s construction. Congress would also be tasked with approving any new funding for the wall.
Enhancing Public Safety Within the United States
In addition to the border wall, this executive order specifically takes aim at “sanctuary cities,” or cities that provide certain protections to undocumented immigrants, by stripping them of their federal funding. The order also expands the enforcement powers of immigration officials, granting them almost unlimited discretion in launching deportation proceedings, to include any noncitizen not yet charged with a crime but who, in the eye of an immigration officer, poses a risk to public safety/national security.
Who will it affect? This order will likely result in an increase in the number of undocumented immigrants being deported.
Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the U.S.
In a highly controversial move, President Trump on Friday, Jan. 27, signed an executive order barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States and temporarily suspending travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The immigration ban sparked intense public backlash, sparking protests at international airports all across the country. An emergency stay issued by a federal New York judge temporarily halted the ban, protecting Muslim travelers detained at U.S. airports.
Trump has insisted his executive orders aren’t a ban on Muslims but stated that Christians and other religious minorities fleeing persecution would be given priority admission into the U.S. It also should be noted the president’s new immigration policy conveniently excludes Muslim-majority nations in which he has multimillion-dollar business deals.
Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs
Trump’s so-called “one in, two out” executive order would mandate agencies to quash two existing regulations for every one new regulation, making sure that the regulatory costs of the new regulations balance out. Moreover, the order would tighten the president’s grip on the regulation process, providing each agency with an annual quota of regulations through the federal budget.
Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Employees
This executive order imposes a lifetime ban on administration officials lobbying for foreign governments, as well as a five-year ban on other types of lobbying. However, the ban only includes individuals who were lobbyists prior to joining the administration, creating a loophole for nonlobbyists, ethics experts contend.
Who will be affected? Some of Trump’s Cabinet picks may have to submit new ethics agreements if they have financial ties with companies affected by the actions of their departments. They’ll now have to agree to a two-year ban, instead of the original one year.