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President Trump Signs Two Executive Orders Confirming the Immigration Policy for the New Administration

25 Jan

President Donald Trump signed today, on January 25, 2017, two executive orders focusing on border security and interior immigration enforcement that will have an immediate impact on the interpretation and enforcement of U.S. immigration law. These two orders relate to policies that the president campaigned on, including the building of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, the abolishment of “sanctuary cities,” and the removal of undocumented immigrants from the United States. Coming less than a week after President Trump’s inauguration, these orders set the tone that the new administration will take with regard to immigration policy.

The border security order calls for the “immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border” and directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents. The order notably does contain provisions clarifying that these orders will be funded through the allocation of federal funds and congressional budget requests. This order also calls for the enforcement of existing immigration laws related to the detention of all aliens apprehended for violations of immigration laws, the removal (deportation) of all aliens from the United States to their home country following formal removal proceedings, and the allocation of additional resources to “construct, operate, or control facilities to detain aliens at or near the land border with Mexico”.

Most notably, the interior enforcement order instructs the executive branch to cut federal law enforcement funding for jurisdictions whose enforcement and/or detention policies are not aligned with federal immigration regulations and policies. Under the new order, these jurisdictions that are commonly and incorrectly referred to as “sanctuary cities” would now become officially designated as such. This order also calls for hiring an additional 10,000 immigration officers and assessing additional civil penalties and fines to aliens unlawfully present in the U.S.

President Trump is expected to issue additional Executive Orders related to immigration in the coming days. Foster will continue to monitor developments that impact immigration law and enforcement and will present additional details in our upcoming Immigration Update© seminars.