Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration – In Short: Build a Wall and Deport Everyone


On January 25, 2017, President Donald Trump signed 2 Executive Orders concerning immigration into effect.

While there is a plethora of nuanced analysis to be done concerning the orders, the long and short of it is he has announced that it is the priority of the United States to: build a wall, build more detention facilities, cut off funding to Sanctuary cities, deport everyone who is here illegally regardless, co-opt local law enforcement into the Department of Homeland Security as local immigration agents, detain everyone pending their hearings, and return people to the countries they fled while their hearings are pending.

Whether the United States government is capable of executing these orders is extremely questionable.  Instead of a reasonable enforcement priority order that differentiates those convicted of homicide from people with no criminal record who’ve paid taxes every year, he’s lumped everyone together, literally.  The strangest part is that his order isn’t logical. He is prioritizing the the removal of “removable aliens” who are not removable under the grounds he lists.  Only Congress can define who is removable.  The president can then prioritize the use of resources to enforce the law.

Regardless, one is titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements.”  In it he announced that the policy of the executive branch to, in summary:

  1. secure the southern border of the U.S. through the immediate construction of a physical wall;
  2. detain individuals on suspicion of violating state or federal law, pending further proceedings;
  3. expedite their hearings to remain in the U.S.;
  4. promptly remove those who have lost their hearings;
  5. cooperate with state and local law enforcement in enacting federal-state partnerships to enforce federal immigration law
  6. construct more detention facilities along the southern border;
  7. assign asylum offices to those facilities to conduct”credible fear” interviews;
  8. assign immigration judges to those facilities to conduct hearings;
  9. detain all who enter the United States illegally;
  10. return all who attempt to enter from a contiguous land pending a hearing before an immigration judge;
  11. hire another 5,000 border patrol agents;
  12. review all forms of aid provided to Mexico;
  13. to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.
  14. train Department of Homeland Security staff to ensure that unaccompanied children who may be the victims of trafficking receive proper care and are safely repatriated;

The full text of the order can be read here:

Executive Order_ Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements _ whitehouse

The other order is entitled, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”  In it, he states the policy of the U.S. is, in summary:

  1. that sanctuary cities have caused immeasurable harm to the American public by shielding aliens from removal from the U.S.;
  2. that the practice of foreign nations who refuse to accept individuals who have been deported is contrary to the national interest, as are these individuals presence in the U.S.;
  3. to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities;
  4. promptly remove individuals who have been deported from the U.S.;
  5. prioritize for removal all removable aliens who:
    1. have criminal convictions (INA 212(a)(2));
    2. present security threats to the U.S. (INA 212(a)(3)),
    3. are present in the U.S. without the permission of the U.S. Government (INA 212(a)(6)(C));
    4. are subject to expedited removal (INA 235)
    5. are removable for criminal offenses (INA 237(a)(2))
    6. are removable as security threats (INA 237(a)(4)), as well as removable aliens who
      1. have been convicted of any criminal offense;
      2. have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved;
      3. have committed acts that constitute a criminal offense;
      4. have engaged in fraud of willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter of application before a governmental agency;
      5. have abused any program related to the receipt of public benefits
  6. Prioritize for removal anyone who “in the judgment of an immigration officer” poses a risk to public safety or national security.


You can read the full text of the order here:

Executive Order_ Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States _ whitehouse

I have a ton of thoughts on these orders, but not enough time to post them all today.  I will certainly add new posts as the rubber meets the road in the coming months.