WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed two executive actions Wednesday on building a wall along the US-Mexico border and stripping funding from sanctuary cities.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a briefing that one action directs the building of a “physical barrier” on the wall and the second directs the State Department to strip grant funding from sanctuary cities and any city that “harbors illegal immigrants.”
Spicer said that the secretary of state also will be under the directive to withhold visas and other tools to make sure “countries accept and return the criminal that came from their country.” The directive to the secretary will be “to look at those funding streams and figure out how they can be cut off,” Spicer said.
The White House did not provide specific details on the documents Trump signed.
Trump also attended the swearing-in of new Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. The ceremony was performed by Vice President Mike Pence.
There remained little question, for example, about whether Trump would push to increase deportations of undocumented immigrants. One of Trump’s executive orders will call for tripling “enforcement and removal operations/agents” of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which is charged with arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants living in the US. And his executive order also called for a 5,000-person increase in Customs and Border Protection personnel.
Trump’s executive actions are not expected to address those of his predecessor President Barack Obama that signed safeguarding undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children or who are parents of lawful US residents from deportation, which Trump during his campaign signaled he would repeal.