President Donald Trump has signed twenty-two (22) documents thus far. They have come in varying forms; some are executive orders and others are memoranda or proclamations. They have had very far-reaching effects on American lives. If you’re having trouble keeping up with the hourly developments and rapid changes, you’re not alone. They can be confusing, and they cover all sorts of subjects, including immigration, health care, national security, energy, and manufacturing. Here we present you with our overview President Trump’s THREE executive orders regarding immigration, along with updates on what has happened since they were issued.
1) Executive Order, Jan. 25: Increase border security measures
This order directed the Secretary of DHS to begin planning, designing and constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This includes working with Congress to obtain additional funding. He further ordered the construction and operation of additional detention centers near the order to adjudicate asylum claims. Additionally, it authorizes the hire of 5,000 additional border patrol agents, ends the “catch and release” policy, and empowers the state and local law enforcement to act as immigration officers.
This order outlined President Trump’s intentions to build a wall, one of his main campaign promises. While he’s claimed Mexico will pay for the wall, his administration has since softened this and has indicated that U.S. taxpayers will have to foot the bill for now.
2) Executive Order, Jan. 25: Pursuit of undocumented immigrants
This order directed DHS to prioritize certain undocumented immigrants for removal, including those with criminal convictions and those charged with a crime. It also ordered the hiring of 10,000 additional immigration officers at ICE, sanctions countries that refuse to accept the return of undocumented immigrants that are deported, and created an “Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens” to “provide proactive, timely, adequate and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens and family members of such victims.” Perhaps most notably, the order also prohibits federal funding to “sanctuary” jurisdictions where local law officials have declined to help enforce federal immigration law.
The order has prompted a mixture of support and resistance from different cities across the U.S. Traditionally cities are called “sanctuaries” when they refuse to honor federal requests to detain people on suspicion of violating immigration law even if they’re arrested on unrelated charges, including many minor offenses. The City of San Francisco is already filing suit against President Trump, claiming the order is unconstitutional. Meanwhile, the Mayor of Miami has caught heat for publically announcing his intention to fully cooperate with President Trump’s order.
3) Executive Order, Jan. 27: Reevaluating visa and refugee programs
This was arguably President Trump’s most controversial order to date, cutting the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. by more than half, suspending the U.S. Refugee Admission Program for 120 days, and instituting broad travel restrictions. The order suspended all entry of “immigrants and nonimmigrants” from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria for 90 days. It also suspended the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allows certain people renewing their visas to skip an in-person interview, and directed the Secretary of DHS to implement a biometric entry-exit tracking system.
Federal Judges in several states have declared the order unconstitutional and have since forced the release of hundreds of people stuck in custody at airports nationwide. The White House defends its order and has stated that it was “not about religion” but about “protecting our own citizens and border.” Protests have occurred at airports nationwide, and company executives have come out against the order. Many top Republicans have also criticized President Trump’s radical approach. On Friday February 3rd, a federal judge in Seattle temporarily halted Trump’s executive order on immigration and travel from some Muslim-majority countries. The order is effective nationwide. As of Saturday February 4th, airlines resumed allowing travelers once affected by Trump’s travel ban to come to the U.S. Trump tweeted in reply that “the opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” He later added that because of the “terrible decision… many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country.”