Immigration Related Executive Orders

On January 25, 2017, President Trump signed two executive orders regarding immigration.

The first executive order entitled” Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure the U.S.-Mexico border by constructing a physical wall immediately. The order also instructs DHS to construct and operate detention facilities at or near the Mexican border and assign asylum officers and immigration judges to such facilities. Furthermore, the order seeks to create additional detention space so as to ensure the end of the practice termed “catch and release,” the release of people detained at the border while they await a hearing in immigration court.

The second executive order entitled, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” deals with interior enforcement. The order threatens to withhold Federal funding from jurisdictions termed “sanctuary cities,” cities which have adopted a policy to protect undocumented immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws. The interior enforcement order includes new enforcement priorities for DHS regarding the removal of noncitizens. The interior enforcement order seeks to reinstate the Secure Communities program which authorizes state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate, apprehend, and detain aliens through agreements with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The order also instructs ICE to hire an additional 10,000 enforcement and removal officers.

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